Virtua Tennis 3 Review - 31/07/2007

When Sega first delved into the almost non-existent games genre that is tennis, it was the best tennis game out. And although games such as Smash Court Tennis and Top Spin have given the guys at Sega a bit more of a job on their hands – Virtua Tennis has always been the true fans choice. The purist's tennis game. And this latest instalment is no different, just better.

As always you create your athlete, now using a similar [less detailed] system to EA’s ‘Gameface’ feature, and play your way through loads of different arenas ranging from The French Open to London [yep, still not Wimbledon.] With the aim of getting to the number one spot in the tennis world rankings – I suppose there’s not much else you can do with a tennis game is there? The mini-games are back, and wackier then ever, that help you enhance your skills to the top level, and I’m sure professional players do them all. In one you have to dodge giant tennis balls while collecting fruit. I can imagine Federer now…

The graphics, as always, are great, and they’re a real showcase of what the console can do at such an early stage. Every detail from the sponsors on the hoardings to the ball marks on clay courts look amazing – it’s like you're really there...inside a tennis player's body. Each player, by the way, looks exactly like its real life counterpart – Blake is as bald as ever, and Mauresmo looks a tad manly. Perfect. In fact the only downside I can think of about the players is that [future world number one] Andy Murray still isn’t included. Better luck next year.

Now, matches in ‘VT3’ are very life like and tension rises when you go a game down, which generally only happens when you have completed around 50%. The controls are really easy to get to grips with – even my mum got it…eventually, but the SIXAXIS option is utter Trollope. Yes, it works, but it makes the games more frustrating and less enjoyable overall. Then, game after game, post and pre-match arguments after arguments it all gets a little repetitive. Let's face it, with no online modes the life span of this game isn’t going to be particularly stellar.

“W-What!? No online support!” Yes, you heard me correctly. Sega haven’t included any online multiplayer, not on the PS3 version anyway. The 360 version’s fine – almost flawless even. Jammy gits. But they have left some hope for us, as of yet unsatisfied, PS3 owners. Offline multiplayer. You can either take part in a doubles tournament, working as a ball bashing unit, or take each other on to see who’s best. Honestly, if you have brothers and sisters, or a lot of friends, then this will have you glued to the telly for ages.

And we come to the end of another review, that told the tale of Virtua Tennis 3’s good qualities, offline multiplayer and graphics, and bad qualities, online multiplayer and repetition. And I hope you realise that despite these flaws VT3 is a solid sports game and in no way does any harm to the series. Tennis fan? Go out and buy it!

Verdict: Without online multiplayer the game slips below par…Wait that’s golf. Without online multiplayer the game falls just short of brilliance. FAULT!

- Tyler Roberts



Sega AM3