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Virtua Tennis 2009
Have you ever dreamed of becoming the number one player in the world? Competing against Rafael Nadal on clay or Venus Williams on grass? With SEGA Virtua Tennis 2009 you now have your chance. Equipped with over 20 top tour professionals including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams you can play with your favorite player or compete against them on center court.
The game begins by giving you options to play a quick game, play the World Tour or play someone online. By starting a quick game you can immediately compete in an exhibition match, tournament or arcade game and play with your favorite player, against the computer or against a friend Although the play a quick game option is perfect if you want to get right into gameplay, the true strength of Virtua Tennis 2009 is in the World Tour.
You begin the World Tour by creating a character, starting with a name and home country (which can be important for the Davis Cup, explained later). You then can create the complete look of your player including height, weight, facial features and structure, hair color, body type etc. You can spend quite a lot of time creating a character to your likeness or that person you always wanted to be. Once you have your character completed your thrown into the amateur circuit with your coach, Tim Henman.
You start ranked 100 on the amateur tour and you will need to make your way up the rankings before you can turn professional. You can move up the rankings by winning challenger events around the world however first you will need to get some training. The great part about Virtua Tennis is the on-the-job training and practice in building up your character’s skill set. Although the gameplay is pretty simple – one button for top spin, one button for a slice and one button for a lob--the key to the game is court position and angles and your character’s power and court speed will only improve with practice.
At the tennis academy you can practice regular tennis drills with a computer opponent, such as hitting five volleys in a row or trying to hit crosscourt winners. However, the real training fun is in the Virtua Tennis court games -- arcade style games that allow you to practice your new found tennis skill. In Pirate Wars you need to volley balls back across the net to destroy the moving pirate ships. In Pot Shot, the tennis court is setup like a pool table and you need to practice your serving and angles to pocket pool balls. In total there are 12 different court games –each with 10 levels – you need to complete. Each time you successfully complete a game or drill you gain experience which gives your character better movement and power during matches.
The entire career mode is based on a year round tournament calendar. Certain weeks have tournaments or special matches, and in off weeks you can choose to practice or play a match with a playing partner you meet along the way – everything will take a week of the calendar. You also have to watch your stamina bar because if you don’t rest a week or two you can get an injury and be out a lot longer. I broke two arms by not getting proper rest and I was out a total of 8 weeks. Managing your tennis calendar is an important part of your career.
Tournaments are fairly simple and start in the quarterfinal round. Each match is best of 3 games – in the amateur calendar- which allows for quick play and faster movement up the rankings. In the beginning you will only be able to play 250 level challenger events --–while you are ranked 100 – 75 –-- then you move up to 500 level challengers and eventually on to the professional tour where you will have to work your way up to the number one player in the world, by also winning some majors along the way.
Overall Virtua Tennis is a blast as you make your way through each tour. Although there are no specific rights to official tournament names, rather each tournament is named after the city you play in, there are rights to the BNP Paribas Davis Cup, which adds another goal to your professional tournament calendar. All the different court surfaces are also represented and as you begin playing amateur tournaments in neighborhood parks you eventually will play at center court in the London Championships (Wimbledon). With great graphics, fun and easy to use gameplay and great replay-ability Virtua Tennis will appeal to the tennis fan of any age.