How hard could it be to make a fun tennis game? Apparently very, VERY difficult, as International Tennis Open plays like a nightmare! With an overall creepy presentation to boot, this one is better left at the bottom of the list on eBay where you found it.
Why did every early CD-ROM game HAVE to have a bunch of full-motion video thrown in? Showing decent-quality video only serves to highlight how horrible the characters in the actual game look. Let's get right to those crummy characters. While they look like pretty much every other poor early 3-D sports game on the market, the complete lack of control actually made me angry while I was playing it. These characters only have a walking animation, and a swinging animation. ONE swinging animation! It doesn't matter which direction the ball is coming from, if you don't position your character's racket right in front of it, you will miss. And forget about trying to dash toward the ball to hit it in time; you be walkin' to that ball playa! It makes me think that old Philips wasn't familiar with play-testing.
The creepy presentation is just that. You choose your opponent, not your player. Once you find Mr. Right, as there are only men in this one, you are "treated" to some video footage of them in front of a blue screen pretending to caught up in an exciting match. With their purdy mousse-filled, blow dried hair swaying in the fake wind; it really makes me think they were marketing this thing to no one but the creepy tennis players that starred in it. Or possibly, the USA Network; these guys all look like minor characters from "Silk Stockings".
There are a few mini games to play in International Tennis Open, but they really aren't even worth mentioning, since the same frustrating controls are at work here. The CD-i excelled at making poor games, and if the other reviews didn't drive that point home for you, I hope against hope this one does. Stay away from this game, and stay away from this system!