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Virtua Tennis

video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Virtua Tennis Publisher: Sega
Category: Sports, Tennis
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Everyone    Release Date: July 2000

Overall Rating: 3 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
3 Stars out of 4

From its opening CG montage, Sega's Virtua Tennis grabs your attention with its slick television-like presentation.

Eight tennis stars are available in the game, including Jim Courier, Cedric Pioline, Tim Henman, Tommy Haas, Mark Philippoussis, Carlos Moya, Thomas Johansson, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Up to four human players can bat balls around in a variety of modes. Arcade mode is perfect for a jump-in-now experience, but the World Circuit Mode offers a little more depth via globe- trotting. Each tournament can be followed by a spending spree for important supplies such as racquet strings and nutritional beverages.

The crowd reactions are so well-done that you never notice them. Their "oohs" and "ahs" are never over-done or mechanical, reflecting good sound design.

The sound is also notable among the players as they leap for balls, roll on the ground, and drive the net. Furthermore, the different "turfs" result in slightly different controls. A hard court will feel different than a carpeted court; a grass court will feel different than a hot clay court.

The character animation during game play is even better than that of the montage sequences. The last time I played a tennis game was Mario Tennis for the Virtual Boy.

At that time, the 3-D visuals were the big draw. Here, the animation is the draw. Virtua Tennis is a simple but enjoyable game.

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