|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.
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.
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.
CCC Editor / News Director