Virtua Tennis took a few years off and is returning this year with Virtua Tennis 2009. With a tentative release date of May, there is a slow amount of information being released. Recently a developer diary video has emerged on the official website and we learned a few new tidbits.
For different modes, Sega brought the World Tour Mode back. The World Tour Mode includes both an amateur and professional level. The crowds are bigger as one progresses through the game. Also returning are the mini-games, titled Court Games. The mini-games include crocodiles, feeding zoo animals, fruit, pool, and pirates as part of the collection. They are available to play as single player, multiplayer and online. Most mini-games should be playable for 4 players online. I recall reading about Virtua Tennis 3, back in 2007 being pretty strong online, but only for the 360 version. Hopefully, the PS3 version will get online interactivity.
One new section is the Tennis Academy. As the name makes obvious, professional trainers will help the player to learn different aspects of tennis and control. Players will also have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in different areas (like speed).
Unlike other sports games, it seems as though creating a character is more important for tennis. Fortunately, Sega is claiming that they will have an expansive “Create A Character” section. There is a new license on board, the Davis Cup, which will also help the authenticity of the game. Virtua Tennis 2009 is one of those games that could definitely benefit from DLC. The developers have said that the new roster is enhancing the roster from Virtua Tennis 3. As for the professionals here’s a list of the confirmed roster:
- Roger Federer
- Rafael Nadal
- Andy Murray
- David Ferrer
- Maria Sharapova
- Daniela Hantuchová
- Venus Williams
- Ana Ivanovic
Graphically, I’m under the assumption that the PS3 and the Xbox360 version will be near similar. One of the big things that the developers mentioned was how much the crowd was more interactive. I worry for the Wii’s version not being able to graphically keep up, leaving emotionless, blocky cheerers. That’s one of the problems with the Wii and it’s lower end graphics. Take a look at these two shots:
I’m hoping that the Wii version does something else to break it away from its prettier counterparts.
Virtua Tennis 2009 is slated for release for the Xbox360, PS3, Wii, and PC. I’d be very surprised and a little disappointed that the DS doesn’t have a version.