Virtua Tennis: World Tour Review

There have been a lot of sports games released for the PSP in its short lifetime, but tennis is one sport that has been conspicuously absent. Until now that is – Virtua Tennis fills the PSP tennis void and fills it quite nicely.

Max serve!
The centerpiece of Virtua Tennis is its World Tour mode. In this mode you create both a make and a female tennis player who start out a the bottom of the world rankings and with just enough skill to compete at the professional level. You can then compete in a variety of mini games to build up their skills while waiting for the next tournament to come along. Competing in tournaments not only gives you a chance to improve your ranking on the world circuit, it is also a chance to win some cash. The cash can be spent in stores to buy new clothing, equipment, and venues. Also, it will cost you money to enter into a doubles contract with another player so that you can compete in doubles tournaments.

The mini games each focus on a particular aspect of play such as serves, footwork, and volleys. If you successfully meet the minimum goal of a mini game, you’re rewarded by a boost in the stats related to the area of play they you worked on. Fail and you still receive a stats boost, but a much smaller one. The mini games include exercises such as trying to knock prizes off of a conveyer belt, hitting ball machines that march across the court Space Invaders style, and hitting a dartboard type of target with your volleys. They’re each fun in their own right, but just up to a point. You’ll play through them so often during the course of your career that if it wasn’t for the stat boost rewards you’d be sick of them before too long.

Each tournament or mini game you play advances the game’s calendar by a week and costs your player a little stamina. You can switch between your male and female players at any time, so it’s possible for you to exhaust one while the other remains completely unused. If a player’s stamina goes to zero then you’ll need to rest for a week before theat player can participate in anything, so there is a little bit of strategy in making sure that your player is nt exhausted during the same week as a tournament. Unfortunately your male player will not be rested in a week in which you use your female player and vice versa, and both players are forced to rest during a rest week.