Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Virtua Tennis 3

Developer: Sega AM3
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PSP, PC
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Pong HD.

0:01 The intro. switches between live video and the in-game models. The models don't hold up so well under direct, close-up comparison.
0:02 Controls seem pretty simple, as usual for the series. Top spin, slice, lob.
0:03 My first power slam at the net. So satisfying!
0:05 I hit the dirt to get a tough shot. I'm loving the fluid animations, especially the dive. The effect wears off on the pug-ugly close ups after the points though.
0:07 Computer gets a zinger by me. I'm already getting complacent.
0:08 Nadal pulls off a fancy under the leg shot that seems wholly unnecessary. Fun to watch though.
0:11 Maria Sharapova is five years younger than me? I am SO OLD!
Sharapova seems to unlock the composite court. I can't really tell the difference from the clay -- the both play nice and fast. I like the sneaker squeaking sound effects though.
0:13 The X button mangnetizes to ball a bit. I can be four steps away and I'll still run for it. Disconcerting.
0:14 Oh no don't zoom in on Sharapova's face oh god the humanity my eyes I'm blind.
0:16 I finally max out the serve gauge and get an ace. Refreshingly hard to get perfect.
0:17 There's a lob button, but no drop shot button. In fact, I can't figure out how to do a drop shot consistently. The slice only does it about half the time.
0:20 I don't understand how the prize money and rankings work. Even if I don't lose a single point, I get a D ranking. Huh?
0:22 This time Sharapova's on clay. So how did I unlock the super-secret composite court?
0:24 I like the little, appreciative crowd noise when you make a tough shot.
0:25 I win my final points hitting nothing but X. No directions, no movement, just the X button magnetizing me to the ball. It's maaaaaaagic!
0:26 Now a grass court! Don't let me choose or anything. With the random distribution, I could have put the demo down without knowing it was ever there.
0:29 The grass court felt just like the others. Maybe I'm just not at a high enough level of play yet.
0:30 I hit a ball out. My first in a half hour.
0:31 I'm liking the behind the back camera option. Much more thrilling and challenging. Where's the first-person tennis option?
0:33 This time I got an unforced error but a C ranking. What's going on?
0:38 I'm running out of stuff to do in the demo. I try and find out if I can win with Venus Williams' slice exclusively. Turns out I can, it just takes a little longer.
0:43 It's harder, but not impossible, to win with only lobs. The trick is to get the opponent off balance. It extends the challenge, and the value of demo, at least.
0:45 I hit a high, floating lob to the right. My opponent runs off the screen to the left, then tries to race back. There's a difference between easy to beat and incredulously bad.
0:50 I just noticd my jersey has no stain after a dive in the clay. Lame.
0:51 Finally finish my lobs-only match without losing a game. Whoo. That was... fun?
0:54 The full version includes "multi-set tennis." Someone was padding the feature list.
0:58 Try to set up a match with nothing but smash winners. This is tough, because you have to lead the opponent into lobbing it to you, and you can't beat her any other way. End up with 4 out of 8 and a B ranking. So I get more prize money when I smash it? Interesting...

Would I buy this game based on the demo? No
Why? I already own Virtua Tennis for the Dreamcast, and this just doesn't seem different enough.

1 comment:

FUNNYMAN said...

It looks like this version is the same as the previous Virtua Tennis.