Passing Shot - Rerelease
Copyright/Publisher: Mirrorsoft/Image Works, Conversion by: Teque Software; Peter M.Harrap,
Arcade Game Created By: Sega, Release Year: 1989, Genre, Tennis, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

A somewhat obscure Sega coin-op, this was missed by the usual conversion houses in favour of Imageworks (who also handled Atari's Blasteroids).

Tennis games have never done that well in the arcades and the conversion wasn't overly hyped either - we never received any preview shots nor even a review copy of the game. By the time we could do a review the game was already disappearing from the shelves, overshadowed by more glamorous releases. So was it really that bad?

The game uses an odd perspective where the serve is shown from behind the human player(s), then flicks to a scrolling overhead view as the ball leaves the racket. Hitting the ball isn't that precise, it's fairly easy - so unlike International 3-D Tennis or Tie Break there's no option for the computer to move you into position.

This means although it's fun to get into, I doubt whether it's got a huge amount of lastability since there aren't that many shots to master. Also the challenge isn't huge; the four skill levels are simply three finals (France, America and Australia) plus England (where you have two matches to go through before the final).

Opponents do get tougher but sadly there's no competitive two-player option (normally the best part of a tennis sim). If you play on your own it's singles against a computer opponent, if there's a second player it's doubles with both players on the same side.

The graphics are okay, nothing special but effective, whilst weak intro tunes give way to very sparse spot FX. The whole game is really a bit limited, but until Tiebreak and International 3-D Tennis appear on budget Passing Shot is well worth a look. It's not going to keep you playing for months on end, but for a couple of days fun it's not bad.