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May 24 2009
Virtua Tennis 2009 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
28/5/2009SegaSegaSumo Digital
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation

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C'mon a 3 year old knows who this is!
Sega's Virtua Tennis has certainly stood the test of time. Having first been released in 1999 in the arcades (where in Japan the game was called Power Smash) the series has seen numerous ports and additions to home consoles starting with the first game on the Dreamcast to the latest game, Virtua Tennis 3 at the PS3 launch. Now, in 2009, we have a new and improved title Virtua Tennis 2009 which is being developed by Sumo Digital.

In terms of players available in the game there are 20 current players available. From the ATP we have Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, David Ferrer, David Nalbandian, James Blake, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tommy Haas, and Mario Ancic. On the WTA side we have Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Amélie Mauresmo, Anna Chakvetadze, Nicole Vaidisova, Daniela Hantuchova, and Lindsay Davenport. Beyond this we have three confirmed legends of the game - Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, and Tim Henman (is he really a legend?). Sadly there are no Australian tennis players in the game.

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Virtua Tennis 2009's courts look detailed.
While Virtua Tennis 2009 includes Arcade and Tournament modes, as with previous titles in the series the focus of this game is the World Tour. In this mode you will create your player with as many attributes as one could ever expect, be trained by a real-life tennis legend, and compete against numerous players to reach the worlds #1 ranking. The game includes over 40 different courts to play on including locations such as Dubai and Shanghai among the more familiar tennis locations. Impressively the game is now licensed to include the Davis and Fed Cups so we can expect some country vs country tournaments.

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Federer Vs Nadal on grass.
One of the most popular aspects of this title in the past has been the mini-games and they are back in Virtua Tennis 2009 with 12 court games to play, including five brand new ones - Pot Shot, Pirate Wars, Block Buster, Count Mania, Zoo Feeder, and Shopping Dash. Sadly for people that don't like these mini-games these are the only way to improve your player stats.

As you compete in tournaments and events prize money is awarded and the game includes over 800 purchasable items which will go towards improving your looks, and your skills.

Finally Virtua Tennis 2009 includes a fully integrated online ranking system as well as the ability to play matches online (although at this stage Sega have still only confirmed 2-players online), and even the ability to play the mini-games online.

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Virtua Tennis 2009 on PS3.
Visually Virtua Tennis 2009 looks pretty impressive thanks to the 1080p visuals, and with particular attention paid to the tennis player likenesses. The developers have promised improved animations, with diving being given particular attention and replaced with a more gameplay friendly stumble, while the game boasts a new camera angle as well. Finally the crowds have also been improved.

With a release set for the next couple of days Virtua Tennis 2009 is looking like a great purchase for tennis fans - as long as you prefer the sport leaning more toward an arcade then simulation styled gameplay. Visuals are impressive, game modes better then ever and gameplay engrossing.