Virtua Tennis 4
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Monopoly-like career

There are two main tennis games in the market these days: Top spin 4, which is unfortunately unavailable for PC, and Virtua tennis 4 the game that has been ported pretty well from the current generation of consoles which means that it is well optimized and runs smoothly on most rigs. Alas, that cannot be said for the actual gameplay. Unlike Top Spin 4, which is a tennis simulation game, Virtua tennis is a bit too casual. Game developers have gone so far in this style that it is almost impossible for a ball to reach the out zone. There are four different buttons for each of the different ball-strikes such as top spin hit, slice, lob and "super shot". Also, adding to the casual feel of the game is the super-shot meter, which in accordance with the tennis player style gets filled and when the bar is full makes possible a super shot, which is almost always (even on hard difficulty) a winner. AI is suprisingly good especially on harder difficulties, and it does a proper job on mimicking the super-stars of the day, as well as some legends like Tommy Haas.

Main game mode is the career in which players have the task of building their own avatar, and leading him/her to victory, fame and ahem, star points. Developers made a big mistake by turning your player`s career into a monopoly-like game in which you get movement-cards of 1,2,3 or 4 steps that you can take on the world map. There are many trening sessions that have been done in forms of mini-games which is probably the highlite of the game, if you are interested in clay dishes smashing or collecting chicken from the parallel out lines. All in all the carrier consists of four seasons (!) with each having only one grand-slam tournament. Due to do licence limitation these grand slames have different names then their real-life contraparts such as "American super tennis". Other modes are the exebition, tournament mode and party mode which consists of those career mini-games and is by far the mode with most fun if you`re playing the game with your friends.

Player base is somewhat adequate for the tittle of this calibre with the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Wozniacki making an appearance, but there are some players like Tsonga that are missing.

Graphics on the other hand, are good, with well facial animation, and what is more important body animation is realistic.  Bloom effect is used in large quantities mostly to shadow the faceless crowd. Game engine is not flexible, which is not suprising considering that this game is a PS3/360 port, and it allows only to change the resolution, Anti-Alias quality and shader model, but the game is suprisingly stable for a port. Sound effects could be better with the annoying voice in the background that informs the player of the current score, almost mute crowd (even for tennis standards) and the sounds that players make are almost the same. In mine opinion this, and every other tennis game are missing a proper commenatator.

All in all this game is not a grand-slam hit but a rather ATP 250 minor tournament.

He looks happy, how couldnt he be?