Sega Virtua Tennis World Tour - PSP review

It was the saving grace of the Dreamcast, but can it do the same for Sony's PSP? Pocket-lint grabbed a racquet and a PSP to find out.

Considered by many to be one of the best tennis simulators available, the good news is that Virtua Tennis doesn't shatter any illusions with this latest edition. The gameplay is just as addictive and the transfer over to PSP perfectly performed.

As in previous outings, the game is broken down into three modes: World Tour, where players travel the globe using a custom-created character to win cash; Exhibition, where players can take control of a pro tennis all-star for one-off matches; and Tournament, which puts players in knockout sessions where only the best will see victory.

All three modes can be saved as you progress and offer the meat of the game. For those looking for a quick fix you can opt to enter a quick match where the game automatically chooses you a player to battle it out in a single or doubles game.

Gameplay is very easy to get to grips with but takes an age to master fully and learning when and why you should play a lob rather than a smash will become apparent over time.

There are 14 characters from the world of tennis including Roger Federer, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Lleyton Hewitt, Lindsay Davenport and Tim Henman and surprisingly all of them act differently on the court. Federer for example will hog everything in doubles games where Henman sticks to the usual want of a good volley to keep him happy.

Aside from tennis match after tennis match the game does offer mini-games to practice with and these range from defending blocks from automated tennis ball firers to playing the tile game Othello.

Sega has even included Wi-Fi gameplay and here you can have up to three other players in a doubles match.

Verdict

Virtua Tennis: World Tour is a smash. Its easy to pick up, the graphics are great and the depth and breath of the game long enough to keep those winter train journeys filled. It would have been nice to see some sort of a tutorial in the game to be able to practice your shots - but then perhaps that’s what the mini games are for?

Either way if you are a fan of the game or not - this is still one to have for the PSP.