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Passing Shot by BMan2
Game:Passing ShotCompany:Sega
Type:SportsPlayers:1-4

Tennis games have been much maligned throughout the history of arcade gaming. How to get the perspective right - how to control the player - it never seemed to quite fall into place. However, Passing Shot gave the world something the gaming community hadn't seen in a tennis games - doubles. In a unique sit down dual sided case - you and three of your friends could battle it out in a tennis engine - that with some practice was quite intuitive and at the same time most enjoyable.
Passing Shot gives you the option of playing singles or doubles, and in both modes allows you to compete against either the computer or a human opponent - which is where the game REALLY stands out. Your object is to compete in the four major tournaments of the world - each of which increase in difficulty to win. Adding to this, whitewash the first couple of levels - and you'll find the difficulty level increasing markedly - making the battle versus the CPU not an easy one.
Passing Shot lets you control your player from the top down - giving you a full view of the court. This lends well with the control system which although initially is quite frustrating in working out timing and control - after some minor practice (and some tail-kickings by the computer!) the controls fall beautifully under your fingers (especially with a gamed on System 16!) You have 3 shots to choose from - the lob, the spin, and the flat shot - each of which can be used to hit the ball to differing parts of the court - depending on your body position. To be honest, this is one of the better control systems I've seen for any tennis games - truly giving the player a sense of freedom of movement and control of the player and ball.
Graphically, Passing Shot is quite bland from above - and if it's eye candy your looking for - you won't find it here. However, the graphics are crisp and concise - and the players move quite well - which is really all is required of the game. Sound wise, the background tunes (I won't call it music - they still are a little bit on the tinny side) sits in the background nicely and maintains a quasi rhythm to the game. Oh, and the tennis racquet goes bump every now and then too :P Again, not a standout feature - but not an integral one either.
Frustrations? Only one - and that is the method the computer uses to make you lose quicker. On the entering of a credit - you are given 5000 points to use up. As a rally goes on, these points decrease - and you lose further points and games - they diminish more - until you finally reach zero - and it's game over. Only by consistently winning points are you able to stay in the game. While the concept is good in theory - I find that the odds are definitely stacked against you - and even a couple of good rallies will lose you more points than you will gain.
I've given this game possibly a lot more time than I would normally be bothered with most others - however I think this game deserves some consideration. Passing Shot takes on a very difficult sport to portray accurately - and even more so in the arcade genre - and carries off a wonderfully entertaining - and involved game. Game Set, and almost Match point for the effort!
Graphics
6
5
Sound
Play Control
8
8
Challenge
Replay Value
8
7
Performance
1999 EmuViews