Virtua Tennis 2009 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PC
Virtua Tennis 2009 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: SEGA 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 9, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The Court Games are as interesting this year as they were in VT3 - that is to say, they are mildly amusing. These "surreal" mini-games will have players knocking over barrels, taking out aliens, dodging waves of massive tennis balls while picking up fruit, feeding animals with well-placed returns, and playing billiards with your serves are just some of the fun options available. These games are a nice diversion during World Tour, but they don't exactly hold up on their own. If you do find yourself truly engaged, eight of them are available to be played online.

Virtua Tennis 2009 screenshot

Speaking of online play, the ability to port your created player from Worl Tour online makes the competitive component more engaging this time around. Unfortunately, the lag present in online matches will prove to be unbearable to most players. If you do get into online play, a couple of game types await you. The SPT Online Tours have players from around the world competing in events in order to accrue Tour Points. These Tours last one real-world week, and at the end of the week, winners of the various events are awarded with medals and a new Tour begins. Naturally, ranked matches are also available, which will have you paired up with players of a comparable skill level. Overall the online component is barely serviceable, and it certainly adds nothing new or noteworthy to online sports gaming.

Visually, Virtua Tennis 2009 is admirable when talking about the courts, stadia, and the 20 professionals' likenesses (for the most part). However, as previously mentioned, the randomly-generated, unlicensed scrubs are painful to look at - they are some of the ugliest opponents you'll face in a sporting title, and player animations are frequently clunky. Music during menu screens consists of generic SEGA beats that have done nothing to motivate players since their introduction a decade ago. Ambient sounds are what you would expect from a tennis sim.

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Truly, Virtua Tennis 2009 is little more than a lazily rehashed and less than polished iteration of what was offered in Virtua Tennis 3. I strongly urge players to save their money and pick up 2007's version used for nearly an identical experience. Still, if you simply must have the latest SEGA tennis offering, Virtua Tennis 2009 controls great and offers quite a bit of whilst playing against friends on the couch.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The visuals are mostly admirable, but the ugly random player models and a lack of customization options hamper the title.
4.5
Control
Controlling the game is about as good as it can be, resulting in some very enjoyable gameplay.
2.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
An utterly unremarkable aspect of the title.
3.2
Play Value
There is a lot of fun tennis to be had with friends at home, but a lack of modes, a humdrum single-player option, and forgettable, lag-laden online action keep the value down. Moreover, the game is virtually identical to VT3.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • All-new Tennis Store: With prize money earned in online tournaments, you can customize your character with over 800 items from the new store.
  • New player creation system: You can customize your character's face, body, and clothing from a huge variety of options with improvements to hair, skin, and texture detail.
  • Enhanced World Tour: Challenge more than 20 licensed pros, from Roger Federer to Maria Sharapova. Vie for cash and trophies, and even compete in the all-new Davis Cup.
  • Additional players and courts: More than 20 of the world's top players, including eight new to Virtua Tennis and three legends, take to the court in new arenas. Dubai and Shanghai have been added to the 40 existing courts for a huge level of variety, complete with 3-D crowds.
  • Tennis Academy: Learn footwork, ground stroke, volley, serve, and technique from the greats including Stefan Edberg and Tim Henman.
  • More court games: In 12 mini-games, six completely new, improve your quick reactions in games such as Alien Attack, Avalanche, and Meat Defender.
  • New online ranking system: Now fully integrated with online features, rise through the ranks and compete for the ultimate title on worldwide leaderboards.


  • Screenshots / Images
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