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Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3)

 

This hyped up PS3 title was there to prove a point, that not
just football games or golf games could be a success. But is it?

Gameplay: 90%
The main game mode is the career based World Tour mode, where you create your own customized player and start at level 1 on your skill stats. To improve early on you can go to tennis school, or play some of the mini games that focus on improving one of the four skills in your game: ground stroke, volley, serve, and footwork.

 

These mini games can be fun, but not as much as the main career mode. One called Pin Crusher is like a bowling alley where you try to knock down bowling pins with your serve. The skill level in the mini games starts on easy, but they get harder as you get better.

 

 

In the career mode you start ranked 300 and are on a mission to be first, which isnít easy. Just to get to rank 100 is quite hard, but then it starts to really get tough. Basically levels 300 to 204 are amateur, 204 to 100 is intermediate, and then 100 to 56 is hard. When you get to rank 56 you can only participate in four annual events (the major tournaments) that will boost your rank. Overall your rank only goes up if you do better in tournaments compared with the year before. For example, if you got knocked out in the semi finals of the French Open, the only way to advance is to make the final in the following years tournament.

You also have a stamina level which goes down as you train or play in tournaments. If it goes down too much you risk injury, so itís best to have a rest from time to time, even if it means missing a low key tournament.


The best thing about this tennis game is the control you have when playing a match. When you play a shot it does exactly what you tell it to do, (I use directional buttons as they are much more accurate). Whether you choose from lob, volley or smash shots etc, or to add spin, your player will do whatever you told it to do. This is really good, as from my experience tennis games on PS2 could sometimes be a little unresponsive.


Graphics: 86%
The graphics are very good. Players move around and play their shots pretty realistically, and you will even see them slide if they try to change direction too quickly. You will play both day and night games, and on grass, clay and hard courts. Despite the high score here, I still feel that they could have done a little bit better on the graphics.

 

Sound: 70%
The match sound effects and crowd noises are okay, but overall the sound is pretty non-existent, apart from some relatively annoying background music.

Online: No

 

Value: 90%
This game lasts a long time because it takes a while to become the best. The career mode is excellent, partly because the game gets gradually harder, while the mini games are fun even after you have finished using them to practice your skills early on.

Conclusion:
This tennis game is definitely a worthwhile purchase for any PS3 (or Xbox 360 owner). The lack of online play on the PS3 (the Xbox 360 has it) is disappointing, but that doesnít stop the game from being great fun, and a good alternative to the usual sports games.

Overall Score: 87%