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Virtua Tennis Preview

Scheduled release date:
Fall 2005

Sega's upcoming tennis game, Virtua Tennis: World Tour for the PSP, is playable here at E3. We took it for a test drive and,

while it was nowhere near complete, it gave us a good idea of what to expect.

If you've played the previous Dreamcast and PS2 versions of the game, imagine those with a little more horsepower in the

graphics department. The graphics look sharp and the courts are nicely detailed. The animation transitions for all the

various shots are fluid and realistic. We also noticed that the players' facial expressions change as they're making powerful

shots. There wasn't much going on courtside, but we did notice that spectators were moving their heads and hands, and that

the shadows cast by the players in the sun deepened as the match went on.

The game plays like most tennis games seem to… one player stands near-court at the bottom of the screen, while the other

player stands far-court up top. You can tap the shot button to serve the ball, and then you have to move the player around in

order to return shots.

We played a couple matches and were mostly pleased. The X and square buttons control lob and slice shots, and you can perform

smashes, drop shots, and other cool returns by pressing and releasing the buttons. The game pre-loads shots, which means that

your player will automatically lunge in the appropriate direction and swing once you release the button.

When all is said and done, Virtua Tennis: World Tour will include a number of different mini-games and a roster of both

fictional and actual players. The Sega rep here at the show couldn't comment on how many players will be included, but she

did say that Andy Roddick is a definite.

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