Virtua Tennis 2009 is a lot like Zelda: The Twilight Princess’it starts slow, but once you get the hang of things, it absorbs you. It’s not the Roger Federer of tennis games (I’m looking at you, nagging callibration between every point), but it trumps the excellent Wii Sports Tennis in almost every way imaginable.
Thanks to the new MotionPlus peripheral, Virtua Tennis on Wii features responsive shot accuracy (read: the ball usually goes where you want it to). On top of that, the game boasts the deep “World Tour” single player mode the series is known for. Having played the game during my lunch break today, here’s what I like most about it:
- Aiming for the corners. In Virtua Tennis, if you time your shot right, you’ll hit the ball where you want it to go more often than not. Unlike Wii Sports Tennis, it’s easy to force your opponent to either side before setting up a winning shot. You can also charge your shots for greater power by holding the controller behind you for an extended period of time before swinging. Just remember to hold the Wii Remote side ways like a racket, with the face of the controller acting like the strings of an actual racket.
- Multiple control options. Fact: you can play Virtua Tennis with either a stand alone Wii remote or with the MotionPlus attachment. You can also play with the nunuck on either configuration to control the player. Currently I’m playing with MotionPlus only (no nunchuck) until I master all the shot types. I can only imagine how much deeper the game gets when introducing the nunchuck, which is a must for the mini-games you’ll be playing in campaign mode to boost your abilities. The stand alone Wii Remote (without MotionPlus) behaves precisly like Wii Sports Tennis, although you can charge your shots with this option as well.
- Incredible depth. If you’ve ever played Virtua Tennis before, you know how addicting it can be to level up your player so s/he can become the number one ranked tennis player in the world. Same applies here, but in addition, there’s a complete quick play mode, four player mode, and online multiplayer (which I was unable to try as no one on at the time). There’s a whole lot to do here.
- Great crowd build up during long rallies and key points. While the graphics look solid (the Wimbodon court in particular looks similar to Xbox 360, PS3 counterparts), Virtua Tennis 2009 features excellent sound effects. In the event of a long rally, you’ll start to hear the crowd shuffle, ooh, and ahh, as you play on. It really adds to the experience. Overall, it’s a very fun game.
Stay tuned for a comparison review with Grand Slam Tennis later this week.