Virtua Tennis 3 Reader Review
There are people that claim videogames - for all the technological advances made in the last decade� are still no different now than they were back when moving sprites were at the forefront of the industry. And to some extent they do have a point and if any game were proof of this then it would be Virtua Tennis 3. Strip it down and ultimately what you�re left with is Pong. This of course isn�t a bad thing, simple is in many cases better and again if any game is proof of that it�s Virtua Tennis 3.
It�s been 6 years since Virtua Tennis 2 and truth be told not much has changed. The series is renowned for it�s simplistic controls and easy to grasp gameplay so Sumo Digital hasn�t strayed too far from this winning formula because they haven�t needed to. It�s refreshing to play Virtua Tennis 3 after having my dexterity challenged to their very limits with Top Spin 2 earlier in the year. There are three buttons for three types of shots and that�s all you need to be on your merry way to blowing the likes of Federer off the court.
It�s not to say there hasn�t been any changes to the way Virtua Tennis 3 plays, more a series of tweaks than a major overhaul but these subtle differences will become immediately noticeable and very much appreciated for those that played the previous titles religiously.
Player movements are considerably smoother and far more realistic than before. Professionals move with frightening realism and are instantly recognisable in appearance and play style from Roddicks unorthodox serve to Blake�s devastating groundstrokes and it�s these personal attributes that have given Virtua Tennis 3 so much balance. No one character is head and shoulders above the rest and as a result this makes for some incredibly tight encounters when you take the game online.
And it�s the online mode, which was never available in the previous incarnations that make for the games main selling point. My time playing other players from around the globe has been a mixed bag, when you�re matched with a player with equal skill who plays the game in the right spirit and the game is running smoothly then there is no better online experience. Winning is the greatest feeling in the world and losing is soul destroying. Unfortunately, moments like this are few and far between due to the game-crippling lag, which is a shame because it was a potentially brilliant addition.
Since there isn�t much you can do with the gameplay side of things it makes you wonder what Sumo Digital have been doing these past six years and it all it take is a quick glimpse to find the answer. Virtua Tennis 3 is absolutely stunning to look at. It really looks generations ahead of Virtua Tennis 2 and it�s made the game a more polished experience overall. From the more detailed player models and the way clothes ripple with every swing to the well-designed courts that all have their own distinct little quirks.
In fact, if there�s a word to describe Virtua Tennis 3 it is polished. There�s nothing spectacular about what the game has to offer, it�s very much a case of Déjà vu throughout but the game is so accessible and so much fun to play that it doesn�t matter. You feel the tennis genre has been taken as far as it�s legs will carry it and the developers have done the best possible job with what they�ve got. Sumo Digital has created a game based on a sport labelled by many as nauseatingly boring, into an extremely enjoyable experience. You�ll have a hard time finding a better sports game this year and Sega have served up another ace. Game, set and match indeed.
8 / 10