It’s been quite a while since I’ve spent an entire afternoon at the local arcade, but I do remember that Virtua Tennis was one of the more popular games at the time. Sure, I could empty out a roll of quarters with Street Fighter or Daytona USA, but Virtua Tennis offered the best tennis experience.
This Sega franchise was born out of the era of Virtua everything, from Virtua Fighter to Virtua Racing, and it has since expanded greatly into the home console market. One of the most recent offerings is Virtua Tennis 2009, acting as the sequel to Virtua Tennis 3. What’s new on this court? Let’s find out.
Introducing the Pro Athletes
A big part of the appeal for Virtua Tennis came from the license to use official athletes. On the men’s side of things, you find everything from Rafael Nadal to Roger Federer, James Blake to Tommy Haas. For the ladies, you can choose from the likes of Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, and Lindsay Davenport, among others.
From afar, I think that developer Sumo Digital has done a good job with making us think that we are controlling the real players. Some of them come with characteristic features, like Andy Roddick’s signature serve and Sharapova’s ear-shattering scream. However, when you look a little closer, the facial detail isn’t terribly accurate.