Virtua Tennis 4

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Virtua Tennis 4
Virtua Tennis 4 cover.png
European cover art
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Producer(s) Jun Yoshino
Designer(s) Mie Kumagai
Series Virtua Tennis
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
PlayStation Vita
Xbox 360
Wii
Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
  • EU April 29, 2011
  • AUS May 5, 2011
  • NA May 10, 2011
  • JP June 30, 2011
Wii
  • EU April 29, 2011
  • AUS May 5, 2011
  • NA May 10, 2011
Microsoft Windows
  • EU June 24, 2011
PlayStation Vita
  • JP December 17, 2011
  • NA February 15, 2012
  • EU February 22, 2012
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single player
Multiplayer (2 to 4)

Virtua Tennis 4 (Sega Professional Tennis: Power Smash 4 in Japan) is the third sequel to Sega's tennis game franchise, Virtua Tennis. It was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii and PlayStation Vita. Virtua Tennis 4 is also being produced for a four player stick based arcade.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The game supports the PlayStation Move controller on the PlayStation 3, the Kinect[2] on the Xbox 360, and the Wii MotionPlus on the Wii. All previously mentioned devices are optional. Virtua Tennis 4 allows the player to step into the shoes of some of the world's best tennis pros. The game supports stereoscopic 3D on the PlayStation 3. When the PlayStation Move is used, the character's left and right movement is automatic but each swing of the racquet must be performed by the player and one can drop back or rush to the net by physically stepping back or forward. There is a dynamic camera system in place, so when the ball is in the other half of the court, the camera pans out so that one can see one's position.

When the ball is coming towards the player, it glides into a first person viewpoint where the player can see their racquet in front of him and time their swing accordingly. The player can twist the racquet to adjust its face when it connects with the ball, allowing skilled players to apply spin.[3]

Players[edit]

On 1 January 2011, a trailer was released on the YouTube channel of Sega America[4] with a partial list of players that were confirmed for the game. On their blog entry published the same day,[5] it is announced that there will be seven new inclusions to the game.

Six days later, on the Facebook page of the game, the full list of players was released. On 31 March, on the same media, it was announced that 3 legends were included to the game. However, these will be exclusive for PlayStation 3 (along with 2 new mini-games).

As well as these players included in the game, the user has the option to create up to eight of their own players in the World Tour mode.

Key
New Players new to the series
PS PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita exclusive

Courts[edit]

Grand Slams

  • Australia Australia Challenge – Melbourne – Hard
  • France French Cup – Paris – Clay
  • United Kingdom England Tennis Classic – London – Grass
  • United States US Super Tennis – New York – Hard

Special Tournaments

  • United States The Tennis Hall (King of Players) – Dallas – Indoor
  • United States Grand Square (SPT Final) – Chicago – Hard
  • Brunei SPT Arena (Fancy Dress Matches at World Tour) – Bandar Seri Begawan – Indoor

Advantage Series

  • China Advantage Series China – Shanghai – Hard
  • Egypt Advantage Series Egypt – Cairo – Hard
  • Sweden Advantage Series Sweden – Stockholm – Hard
  • Canada Advantage Series Canada – Vancouver – Grass

World Tour Venues

Satellite Courts

  • United Kingdom Satellite Court London – London – Grass
  • Russia Satellite Court Moscow – Moscow – Grass
  • Spain Satellite Court Madrid – Madrid – Hard
  • Germany Satellite Court Berlin – Berlin – Hard
  • Argentina Satellite Court Buenos Aires – Buenos Aires – Clay
  • Netherlands Satellite Court Amsterdam – Amsterdam – Clay
  • Italy Satellite Court Rome – Rome – Hard
  • United States Satellite Court New York – New York – Hard

Not available at Exhibition mode

  • Montenegro Special Matches at World Tour –Podgorica – Indoor

PlayStation Vita Exclusive

  • United Kingdom England Tennis Futuristic - London - Grass
  • United Kingdom England Tennis Vintage - London - Grass

Development[edit]

This is the first game to be developed by the original Virtua Tennis team Sega AM3 since 2006.

Despite the fact that Sega opted to skip GamesCom, Virtua Tennis 4 was revealed at the convention at Sony's booth.[6]

World Tour Edition[edit]

North American "World Tour" Cover Art.

An updated Vita port, entitled "Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition" was announced on June 7, 2011,[7] and was to simultaneously launch with the PlayStation Vita, along with being exclusive to Sony's new handheld.

The World Tour addition included many exclusive features. More mini-games were added, along with touch controllers. You can also play in first person mode, and control the game using the Vita's gyroscope. Players may use the handheld's front camera to take a photo of their face, and have the game construct a character based on the photo (Similar to the mechanics of the game Reality Fighters).[8] After the game downloads your image, you may edit your player in a light character customization screen. Different game templates were also added, allowing the user to play in various time periods, ranging from the early 20th century to one-hundred years in the future.[9]

Two players may now play using the same system, by turning it sideways in the style of Pong,[10] with each participant using a combination of touch control and buttons or analog to play. Augmented reality can be used to bring tennis players featured in the game to life on your system.[11] Simply select a player, and have them brought into onto your screen, with the background being whatever is facing the second camera on the system.

Online play had also been touched up on, allowing players to share stats, and allowing users to share comments on the other's game home screen.[9]

The game itself was enjoyed by players, critics, and actual tennis players alike (See Reception for more on the reviews). Tennis star Andy Murray stated that he enjoyed the game while playing against a representative from Sega, stating that he found it and entertaining, praised the graphics, and said his in game character was an accurate representation of him.[12]

As of January 4, 2014, Virtua Tennis 4 is the only tennis game available for the PlayStation Vita.

Reception[edit]

GameZone gave the game a 6/10, stating "By and large, Virtua Tennis 4 does adhere strongly to its roots, bringing enough excitement to lure a wider audience. However, it would be useful for a study to be conducted of similar titles, so that these updated features could find their way into the beloved franchise."[13]

References[edit]