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Virtua Tennis: World Tour Review

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Developer: Sumo Digital Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: October 7, 2005 Also On: None

Virtua Tennis is widely regarded as one of the best tennis games, sitting up alongside Top Spin and Mario Tennis. The gameplay has always been quick, simple, and fun while holding together some realism. SEGA has taken their winning formula and ported it to the Sony PSP, and the result is a success. Virtua Tennis: World Tour is one of the more entertaining sports titles on the handheld.

The main attraction here is the World Tour mode, where players will create a male and female tennis player and take them through a schedule of tournaments. There is a bit of stat-building as well, and several hours of gameplay must be put into several different mini-games that build your tennis players into solid contenders. There are challenges that focus on serving, volleys, strokes, and footwork. Some of them are more fun than others, like the Tennis Bowling and Danger Flags, but they’re all pretty entertaining. When it gets down to tournaments, winning will award the players with money that can be spent on better rackets, new clothing, and professional doubles partners like Roger Federer, Thomas Haas, Maria Sharpova, and Venus Williams.

The actual gameplay on-court is pretty simple but maintains a feeling of realism. There is a feeling of momentum, which makes it so your player can’t simply smash every single ball into the opponents. There are several shot types, including a traditional shot, smashes, lobs, and slices. Using each of these shots and countering your opponent is a lot of fun to do, and really makes for some strategy in the gameplay. Of course, for those gamers who would rather just play some simple tennis, hitting the X button to swat a normal shot will still win games. Lobs and slices are just there for more experienced players and harder tournaments.

The gameplay isn’t the only thing that is done well. Maybe it’s due to the high-res screen of the PSP, but Virtua Tennis looks absolutely amazing. The detailed courts, realistic player models, and smooth animation are all factors that put together a great visual package. The sound is pretty generic for a tennis game, and most of the sound bytes were taken from other Virtua Tennis games, but it works just fine.

The simplicity of the gameplay hides some of the depth that Virtua Tennis: World Tour harbors, but that’s the beauty of the game. This is a wonderful addition to any PSP owner’s library, and if you are looking for a simple, easy sports title, this is a great place to go. Even if tennis isn’t your thing, I recommend giving it a chance. It just might stun you like a big smash to the baseline.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.1
Written by Cliff Review Guide