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Virtua Tennis is back with a new offering on the high definition consoles but has the wait led to an improved game or is it really just best to stick with Virtua Tennis 3 and its greatness?
Virtua Tennis is, as you would hope for from a high definition game created by a major publisher stunningly gorgeous in its presentation standards with amazing graphics and audio all marrying together to give the gamer an impressive game that manages to immerse the gamer in the action.
The game itself follows in the tradition of the Virtua Tennis series in that it is aimed more towards the arcade feel than the true to life simulation style offered with games like Top Spin. Whilst this arcade feel is excellent and offers up an easy to pick up and play game you will find this can make games last a long time as rallies last for hundreds of shots and get a little frustrating so this can be taken as a positive and negative dependant on your prefference.
The players in the game are true players including some huge names like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, etc with the players being put together well enough in their look that you can tell who they are meant to be.
For me one of the biggest let downs on this game is that there are only 4 venues on offer which is something of a disappointment as I would have certainly expected this to be more in line with other sporting games (football, rugby, basketball, etc) where you are offered a large number of arenas.
Overall this is a good game but does have its flaws that are mainly down to preference like simulation over arcade. This has been improved over previous versions in that if a player can't reach a shot he will not dive for a shot but rather he will stumble and may fall. This has made a huge step towards realism being improved and so gradual improvements are being seen but to me it is just not quite there.
As a massive fan of Virtua Tennis, particularly Virtua Tennis 3 which appeared on XBOX 360 back in 2007 I had great hopes for Virtua Tennis 2009.
I'm not a massive tennis fan but I do love the gameplay of Virtua Tennis. I've tried other tennis games like Top Spin 2 but I get frustrated with the realism of it. Yeah, Virtua Tennis 2009 is very much an arcade game, where rallies between players can get into three figures and even outlandish shots can be pulled off by relatively inexperienced players. This is great for me. In fact, the whole 'tennis' thing for me is superfluous. This game isn't going to help me learn how to play tennis better or understand more about the sport, this is more like a 21st Century update of Pong and is about as video game as it gets as you'll soon find out if you try to play the ball out of bounds as its nearly impossible to do no matter how hard you return the ball as the game wants to be played, not to play you.
As the game is called 2009 as opposed to Virtua Tennis 4 I had already thought that this was going to be more of an update than a fully fledged sequel, and, well, it is.. The game does include a more up-to-date roster of stars including Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal and the list of tournaments available feels to be greater than in VT3.
The problem with this though is that if you've already got the third game there's nowhere near enough to recommend this as another purchase. The online scene on this game is more active than VT3 but that's what you'd expect from a new release.
In the context of Virtua Tennis 3 this gets docked a star for its lack of anything new. If this is your first time with Virtua Tennis this is a solid five star game.
After purchasing Virtua Tennis 3, I thought I would then purchase the next edition of the game as I enjoyed the previous version a lot. I didn't buy the game straight away as I waited quite a number of months until it was cheap enough for me to buy.
Anyway, I eventually purchased the game and gave it a few games to make it's impression. It did this within three games as I enjoyed the improvements the game had made from the previous version. The graphics are vastly improved as Virtua Tennis 3 was really arcadey, even though the series is meant to be arcade-like as it's normally found in arcades. This version remains arcadey but at the same time it looks more realistic. The gameplay is similar to the previous version but is a bit harder to just pick up and play. If you get the hang of the game as soon as possible, the more you are likely to play the game. The inclusion of some new tennis players, for example, Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic. This new edition also has the famous Davis Cup, which is a really nice touch as it adds more realism to the game.
Overall, I would give this game a 4/5 and would recommend it to all tennis fans as it is an enjoyable game. However, I would probably say that Top Spin is still the better series.
Firstly, I dont want this to be a rant about how bad this game is, without looking at a few positives first. Graphically, its pretty good, and you feel like your player is actually taking the shot, rather than ridiculous cross court shots with no bad swing you see on some games. However that is unfortunatly where the positives end.
The gameplay seems awkward and forced. Difficult to pick up and play, even with time and effort one lapse in consentration and your lose the point. OK prehaps this is just trying to simulate the realism of tennis, but the things that make other sporting games successful is that appears real, without being too difficult. This game isn't enjoyable, its a chore , so therefore in my opinion loses the classification as a game.
Overall its for those that want to put hours of effort in, and hammer all there mates without losing a point, leaving everyone very upset. Not my cup of tea.
Virtua Tennis 2009 allows you to take on the world's top tennis players. Take on the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer or play as Maria Sharapova against Venus Williams to recreate some classic court battles. Joining this impressive roster of tennis stars are Andy Murray and ladies French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. In addition to the traditional singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches, Virtua Tennis 2009 also has the official Davis Cup license, giving players the coveted opportunity to lead their country to glory.