Feeds

Ball games: the latest sports releases

Action for the armchair athlete

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Virtua Tennis 4

RH Numbers

Sega might not milk the cash cow as ruthlessly as EA Sports, producing only four Virtua Tennis games in the past 12 years. But by rehashing the same core experience found in the Dreamcast original and camouflaging it in novelty, Virtua Tennis 4 nonetheless feels like a cynical retread.

Virtua Tennis 4

Large overheads

At its heart lies a decent but not spectacular arcade-style tennis game. The standard four shots: flat, slice, lob and top spin offer a reasonable range of stroke play, but length variation is largely absent. Almost every shot lands in the backcourt, bouncing to the perfect height for baseliners. And a lack of a drop-shot reduces net play further to simple overhead smashes. The varying styles of its roster of current world contenders goes some way to improve strategic play, but overall Virtua Tennis 4's gameplay lacks the depth of Top Spin 4.

It also lacks Top Spin 4's compulsive career mode. Instead, its World Tour mode is a bizarre Monopoly-style metagame, where progression is randomised by movement cards. Initially fun, the introduction of luck into career progression soon frustrates, as you miss tournaments and mini-games by chance alone.

Luckily, the standard Arcade mode, local singles and doubles matches, and comprehensive online play all make up for the World Tour's shortcomings. Less successful, however, is the integration of motion controls in the standalone Motion Play area.

Virtua Tennis 4

Let's discuss this over the net

More tech-demo than fully-realised mode, it's a much reduced version of the game, where the computer moves your player, leaving you to just return the ball. Shoddy enough on PS Move, where you can at least move towards the net and angle the controller to vary your stroke, it's even worse on Kinect, where the only skill is in the timing of your single stroke.

Virtua Tennis 4 is a competent enough copy of the franchise's own template. Its faults are many, and its nod to motion gaming perfunctory, but there's still a decent game at its core. Just like real tennis, you might not play it regularly, but it's certainly worth a trip to the courts via Blockbuster when Wimbledon swings around.

Virtua Tennis 4sReg Rating 65%
Price £40
More Info Sega's official Virtua Tennis 4 website

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!
N1 mini-'slab to plop into crowded pond next year
The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose
Finnish firm coyly exposes mystery product – and WE NO what it is
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'
Sugarcoating Android's Lollipop makes tab easier to swallow
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.