Virtua Tennis World Tour

by Angela Simpson
author awarded score: 90/100

Virtua Tennis World Tour Review
Developer: Sumo
Publisher: Sega
Format: PSP

Reviewed by: Angela Simpson

Let's not beat around the bush, it's tennis, there's no 'story'....

Gameplay ranges from the simple to the sublime. It’s possible to play this title with very basic moves (A button tap here, a button tap there and slight analogue movement left and right), but where the true gaming experience opens up is when you start to master the various strokes, get the timing correct and learn where best to position yourself on the court. As well as the main tennis sections, Virtua Tennis also includes some sweet mini-games that are actually fairly addictive and a very clever way to attune yourself to the controls, if you’re not in the mood for a full on tournament these will quench some short term fun thirst as will Quick Match for quick jump in and play experience.

Virtua Tennis PSP review

You get to design your own players (male and female) and it’s your task to take them from a lowly 300th in the world to the world number one seeded tennis player. World Tour career mode is where you’ll attempt this feat and will keep even the heartiest of gamers busy for a long time, there’s plenty to do and plenty to see.

Sound too is very well done, though there’s little in the way of music (and what is there some may suggest is irritating), no grunge styled beats because this isn’t ‘Tennis Street’, this is realistic tennis and it has to be said the pop of the ball on the court is as realistic as it comes, you can almost see the yellow fuzz fly off when you hit it with a strong thwack. Umpire, player grunts and crowd noise is also really well done. To experience this at it’s finest, as with other PSP titles, don’t be afraid of the PSP headphones. The deaf or hard of hearing gamer can play this title no problem at all, everything is explained in text.

Female gamers fear not, you can actually play a female character in this title and there’s even a few of Tennis’s big female names making an appearance (Venus, Anna and more). I know it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference graphically given the size of the characters when in play but it does feel great to have the choice at least. Also remember you make a male AND female character for Tour Mode. Sweet.

Virtua Tennis PSP review

Overall this is a brilliant addition to the PSP games library. I had my doubts they could capture the Dreamcast feel but they have and very well. Given I’d been devoting so many hours to the PSP’s other sporting title Hot Shots Golf (Everyboy’s Golf UK) I had my doubts I could be swayed off the golf course and onto the tennis court but I was, both titles show how sport should be handled on a handheld. This is great and addictive tennis action so there’s only one thing left to say… Game set and Match on this one with a whopping 9 out of 10.