The Video Game Project

A Closer Look At The Prototypes That Became Your Favourite Games!

Pete Samparas Tennis

Pete Samparas Tennis - Sega Mega DriveReleased by British software house Codemasters, Pete Sampras Tennis was the first game of three of this celebrity-endorsed tennis video game series. It's worth nothing that its successor Sampras Tennis was also released on the Sega Mega Drive but by Pete Sampras Tennis '97, Codemasters had decided to only release the game on Sony's PlayStation 1 and Windows/DOS.

The only real tennis player is Pete Sampras. It's is his likeness that was endorsing the game after all! All players do however have different ratings for base line, service, speed and volleys, and there is a noticeable difference between left- and right-handed players. Not all players can be used in the World Tour mode, as some of them are actual opponents. The game has three main modes: Challenge match, Tournament and World Tour but by inserting the password "ZEPPELIN" in the World Tour password screen, two extra modes are unlocked: Crazy Tennis and Huge Tour. You can also play Pete Samparas by entering "PLAYPETE".

Challenge matches are simple head-to-head matches, where everything can be customized, from game length (1/3/5 sets), location and the kind of game (singles or doubles). All players can be chosen (including opponents in the World Tour), and if the J-Cart is in use, 4 players can play simultaneously.

Tournament is the "party" mode. From four to eight players can compete head to head in a knockout competition until the best two matchup in the final. Although it is not possible to change the match length (5 sets only), each player can choose a handicap, from none to three sets.

The single-player only game mode, called World Tour, is a one set only, composed by 18 rounds across the globe. Some of the players are not available (Sampras included) since they are opponents during the tournament. Since the game is easy, this mode can be beaten in few days.

Crazy Tennis is one arcade-ish mode where players get points from simply hitting the ball. There is one overall sense of wackiness in this mode, as some lower balls are blocked by a popup racket on the net, some powerups increase the size of the ball or allow direct control of its path, and there is even a cameo from Dizzy, who walks on the net and works as a piƱata. After five hits Dizzy breaks, giving several points to the last player who hit the ball. Players can get points from hitting the ball, breaking Dizzy and winning the point, which aggregates all the points played since the last service (which is done automatically by a machine, instead of a player). The game is timed, and both players must achieve the target score - if one of them reaches the timer without the required score, the game ends and the player with the higher score is declared winner.

The Huge Tour mode is a complete competition, nearly a season simulation. There are both men, women and mixed tournaments, for the highest rewarded a minimum place in the ranking is required. So, in order to win the Australian Open (the season opener) one must first complete a season first. Up to eight players can compete at the same time, the match length is the official: five sets for men, three for women.

Pete Samparas Tennis Prototype - Front

Proto - Front

Pete Samparas Tennis Prototype - Back

Proto - Back