It’s that time of year again: Wimbledon is but a distant memory. It rained, Henman failed to win again, and the last overpriced, genetically-modified strawberry has been begrudgingly consumed. It’s normally about this time of year that we like to return to our favourite sporting pastime of Pocket Billiards. But wait! What’s that in my pocket? It’s a Game Boy Advance!
Hurrah for Game Boy and hurrah for the latest tennis sim to appear on it: Next Generation Tennis is here. Carrying the official licenses of both the Roland Garros French Open and the US open, NGT presents a well-rounded and comprehensive virtual tennis experience. Featuring 10 well known male and female players, including former world number one, Gustavo Kuerten, and our own Tim ‘it’s a long shot but, just maybe’ Henman.
The usual array of game modes are all in there, such as Exhibition and Arcade mode, as well as some extra modes, such as Mini Tournament and Survival. If you’re in it for the long haul, though, then Career mode is for you. Spanning 20 tennis seasons, Career mode allows players to create their own player, hit the professional circuit, and try to succeed to the top rankings before the end of the duration. Intense stuff.
With the help of the teams at Roland Garros and the US Open, who provided exact plans of their stadiums, the development team has faithfully produced accurate models of the most famous courts at Roland Garros and the US Open. The players battle it out on the authentic courts of these world-famous tournaments, in front of crowds who react to their performances.
Next Generation Tennis, or Roland Garros French Open 2002 as it’s known in its native France, is a hugely promising tennis title. Give it some of your time and you might find that you’re hooked.