Yet another big name franchise has been given a sequel at Gamescom 2010. Sony announced that SEGA has the next installment of the Virtua Tennis series already in the works. The simply titled Virtua Tennis 4 will ship with support for the PlayStation 3’s motion tech, Move, as well as being one of the many new titles to sport 3D compatibility.
With the Move’s basic control set-up being dangerously close to the Wii, it only makes sense that we would see Sony try and capitalize on a game type that has shown some decent success on Nintendo’s console. The real question is: Should we really expect it to play all that differently than what we’ve seen on the Wii?
While this is one of the few instances so far where the prospect of 3D actually has me pretty excited, seeing a 100mph Andy Roddick serve flying out of your television would be pretty awesome, I’d really be more interested in seeing a greater level of depth and precision to the control scheme added to the Move version of Virtua Tennis 4. Something that serious players have wanted but have really only seen done decently well in Grand Slam Tennis on the Wii. The bad news is that IGN is reporting that the preview they saw did not feature user-controlled character movement but instead had the player at the mercy of a computer-controlled system. Let’s hope this is just due to it being an early build and not evidence of a major step backwards for the genre.
There certainly was a time when the name Virtua Tennis actually stood for something amongst great tennis games. Virtua Tennis 2 was the main reason my Dreamcast stayed hooked up long after that console’s funeral. Unfortunately, SEGA really hasn’t been able to put together a package with the same level of polish or mechanical finesse since then, and the sequels that we’ve gotten so far this generation have left several fans and critics wondering what happened to the once great franchise. If done properly, the addition of tight motion gaming and immersive 3D visuals could mark a long overdue return to form.
Are there any Federer wannabes in Rantland? Does Virtua Tennis 4 sound like an ace? Does it get you excited for either Move or 3D, or is the Wii going to win this one in straight sets? Tennis humor, yikes.
Audition for the spot of the lost Williams triplet when Virtua Tennis 4 smashes into stores next year.