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July 12, 2005
Virtua Tennis: World Tour - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
1/9/2005SegaSUMO Digital1-4$TBA

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Rematch of the Wimbledon final.
Virtua Tennis: World Tour is a game certain to generate a lot of interest upon release. The original Dreamcast title is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, tennis titles of all time. It's somewhat stunning that there hasn't been a sequel to the title since its release in 2000. I wouldn't call this game an official fully blown sequel, but does have an updated player roster (no more scud - it wouldn't be a realistic game if he actually hit a ball!) as well as several new features.

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Going for the serve.
This game includes three main game modes to play in. The first is the Exhibition mode which allows you to make use of any of the pro tennis players for a one off match. The second mode is the Tournament which allows gamers to enter a series of knockout rounds - much like a real tournament somewhat unsurprisingly while the final mode, the World Tour Mode, is where you are likely to spend the bulk of your game time. This allows you to create a player before hitting the world circuit to become the greatest player. Once again it will be possible to upgrade your player through prize money won with new clothing and equipment. Virtua Tennis: World Tour includes all the court surfaces - hardcourt, clay, carpet and grass.

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The Federer selection screen.
As well as the main games you will be able to play in four new mini-games to hone your skills - Blockbuster, Fruit Dash, Blocker and Balloon Smash, all exclusive to the PSP version.

Now one of the big questions is always the player roster, and Sega have, as one would expect, scrapped the player list from the original game and put in place an entire new list of players. On the mens side you can expect to see players such as Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tommy Haas, Sebastien Grosjean and David Nalbandian. On the womens side you will be able to play with Daniela Hantuchova, Amelie Mauresmo, Nicole Vaidisova, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams.

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Watching the replay.
In terms of multi-player Sega are committed to providing support for up to 4-players through the PSP's Wi-Fi capabilities. As yet there hasn't been any word on downloadable content - but it's possible.

SUMO Digital may not be a developer familiar to Playstaion owners but XBox fans would know them as the development team behind the very respectable remake of Outrun while they are also working on V8 Supercars 2 on PSP for Codemasers. Virtua Tennis: World Tour looks like a wonderful tennis game - another PSP title to keep an eye on then!