As well as snails and Sacha Distel, the French are pretty keen on their tennis: hence this simulation of the game from Paris-based Ubi Soft.
Essentially it's a one player game in which the player competes in the four Grand Slam tournaments. There is a two player mode but it's only used for practising. Should you fancy practising solo, you can step onto the court and bash away at the balls served to you from a machine, which has six pre-set programmes to match your ability, or you can just chuck a few balls in the air and try to improve your serve.
Once you reckon you can handle a computer-controlled opponent, it's time to enter a tournament (seed bottom at 64) and gain points by winning through the rounds and eventually grabbing the tournament title if possible (and increasing your seeding along the way).
Tennis (in common with other ball games) has often suffered in the past through lack of control. Frequently, for instance, the viewing angle has made it very difficult to guess where the ball might land. But in Pro Tennis the control is great. It uses the old favourite view of slightly behind and slightly above the player throughout the game, but for each tournament match your player remains at the front of the display making it much easier to judge where the ball is going to land and where to position your player. On the easy level there's even a cross that appears on the ground indicating roughly where your player should be to return the ball. This cross also appears on the other side of the net during the serve, to aid accuracy.
Your player is also very adept at switching hands and producing some stunning shots with little prompting from yourself (on the easy level at least, but things get much tougher on the higher levels). That said, it still takes a while to get to grips with the controls especially if you're playing a two player game and have to play on the far side of the court. Win through the rounds, grab the tournament trophy and increase your world ranking before jetting off to another part of the world and another tournament.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The viewing angle is just right and contributes greatly to the enjoyment of the game. The animation of the characters is also very good, but possibly even better is the sound which is terrific - especially the line calls. All in all it looks and sounds great.
Even if tennis is not your favourite sport you'll find Pro Tennis Tour a great game to play. It's not a brilliant two-player game, but solo you'll find it very challenging, especially on the top professional level, and addictive enough to keep you coming back for many matches. Arguably the best tennis sim to have appeared on any machine, not just the Amiga.