Spurred on by my silver medal in the cycling last week, I was full of confidence going into today’s tennis event in my PC-based version of the Olympics. The event, which I invented myself, was a knock-out tournament consisting of one-set matches against the computer. I installed three tennis games on my PC and needed to beat the computer at each in order to progress to the next.
The first round saw me take to the court in Tennis Elbow. The game lets you compete on a number of different surfaces and also includes a World tour mode where you can compete with up to 300 players in 125 tournaments. For now though it was just to be one set, which I won by a convincing 6-2 margin. I really enjoyed this one, not just because I won, but due to the realistic graphics and ball physics, which makes it a very natural feeling tennis sim.
Bizarrely, my semi-final saw me paired against a raccoon called Rubin, in Tennis Titans. The control method here is rather simplistic and just involves moving the mouse and using the cursor keys to direct the shot. Once I’d got my head around the game controls (and come to terms with the fact that I was a possum) I managed to dispatch my furry opponent by one set to love.
After these two relatively easy opening rounds, I felt sure that I would at last pick up a gold medal in the Virtual Olympics. However, I didn’t reckon on coming up against such a tough challenge as the one presented in Dream Match Tennis. At first I was in awe of the polished graphics and excellent game presentation, but my hopes exploded when I realized how difficult it was to play. I found serving almost impossible and the game ran very slowly on my PC which put me off my stride somewhat. I lost 6-0 and had to settle for the silver medal – my second of the Games. Time may be running out for me to claim gold, but I’m determined to get one before the week is out.