Serve And Volley
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade/Electronic Arts, Programmed by: Lise Mendoza, Sound by:
Designed by: Rick Banks & Paul Butler, Graphics: Grant Campbell,
Produced by: Jay Stevens,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Tennis, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Right. Here you are, about to enter a tennis tournament. You've got your trendy shorts, your
Adidas shirt, your Puma trainers and a designer racket; what else do you need? Ah yes. That's
it. You need to learn how to play tennis.
The game starts by selecting a match type and length, as welll as choosing which player
you wish to control. Play can take place in one of three locations: Centre court, Seaside
or Country Club, eac with their own backgrounds.
The action is controlled via a tactics box (see below) and continues up until the selected
limit (one set, best of three or best of five), with the winner being nominated cup-holder
on the title screen.
SHOT TIMING BAR - hit as close to centre line as possible.
SHOT DIFFICULTY LEVEL - also shows shot error.
FATIGUE LEVEL - affects shot power.
SHOT SELECT BAR - Press fire when the grey bar passes the type of shot you wish to use.
AIM WINDOW - Plots where you will aim or run to. Also shows a 'strobe' effect display of the shot.
When I first looked at this, I though it was all a bit dull - the action is very slow. But once
you've accepted that face, and you get used to the complex control and play methods, you've got
a lasting and fairly enjoyable sports simulation which offers you much more depth than any
previous tennis game.
It's a lot like Matchday 2 in that it moves like a crippled sloth, but the extra features
just about make up for it. The graphics and sound are nothing to shout about, but the
presentation is very much up to the high Accolade standards; if you're a tennis fan, check
it out, especially if you've got a friend (aaaah!)
I always considered Accolade a force to be reckoned with when it came to sports simulations,
what with classics like Hardball and 4th & Inches to their credit; but now that we have
Serve And Volley, I'm not sure.
The idea of a more tactical approach is fair enough, but when it plays as slowly as this
the idea falls a bit flat. Sometimes the opponent's serving is like never! Also (he
shouts, adding to the moans) it seems to play a bit unfairly. Just when you think you've
got used the sluggish timing bars and player movement, the bar rockets down past the line
and causes you to miss the shot.
This kind of thing I can do without! On the other hand, if you're a dedicated sports-sim fan
and need to have a tactical tennis game your collection then you may overcome these
difficulties. All the time I played it, however, they just stayed scremingly obvious.