Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Neo Geo Pocket Color Forgotten Favorites: Pocket Tennis Color

Console: Neo Geo Pocket Color
Genre(s): Sports
Players: 1 - 2
Published By: SNK
Developed By: Yumekobo
Released: 1999

Tennis, a true man's sport. There's no greater feeling than grabbing your favorite racquet, your shortest of short shorts, and a couple fuzzy yellow balls and hitting up the courts for some sweaty one on one action... Uh, if that sounds like something you would like to avoid all together, well, you've come to the right place. After all, this a gaming site not a tennis site. And let's face it, not all of us are in peak physical form and would look ridiculous in short shorts. So if you made it this far you're probably wondering what the heck I'm rambling about. So let's get to the real topic at hand, Pocket Tennis Color for Neo Geo Pocket Color. Read on to find out why this game is quickly becoming one of my favorite games for the Neo Geo Pocket.

Pocket Tennis is a no fluff type of game. What I mean by that is it's incredibly simplistic. Think of pong, but with little characters running around and you telling them to hit the ball. There are no upgrades for players or special power ups for individual characters. Just good ol' fashioned hardcore tennis. Some might consider this a downside, but I consider it a major upside, especially for a handheld game.

There are a total of two different gameplay modes in this game, Exhibition and Tournament. Exhibition mode is a single game mode that offers 1 or 2 player games and will allow you to choose either 1 set, 3 set, or 5 set matches and you will have a choice of 5 different courts to play on. No trophies or rewards are given upon winning. Tournament mode is a single player only mode that will match your character against a random character from the game. You will need to win three matches in a row in order to play in the tournament championship where you will face off against one of the two unlockable characters, Amiba or Kaoru. There is also a Record mode which will just showcase what trophies you have earned during tournament play.

There are a total of 10 playable characters to choose from for the different modes. Two of which (Amiba and Kaoru) will need to be unlocked by defeating the tournament mode mentioned above. Each of the characters has there own unique attributes that will change your overall gameplay strategy, but for the most part you can play each character in similar manner.

The controls are incredibly straight forward and easy to pickup. Within about 5 minutes you will have it down and it will take just a couple of sets to develop good mechanics. Keep in mind there are no charge ups or specials in this game so a well timed swing and strategic targeting is the key to success. The hardest hit you can make is from a well timed volley after the opponent lays up a lob. This will cause your player to attempt an overhand smash.

Yeah, Pocket Tennis Color doesn't offer a lot of modes or an over abundance of features, but that doesn't take away from the super addicting gameplay. Everything this game does, it does incredibly well. If you are a Neo Geo Pocket owner, this game should definitely make it's way to your collection.

Amazon.com typically has Pocket Tennis Color for under $5, so there really is no excuse to not give it a go.  

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