Feeds

Ball games: the latest sports releases

Action for the armchair athlete

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.