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PS2 Reviews: Virtua Tennis 2


Virtua Tennis 2 screenshots


The Final Say!


Virtua Tennis 2 -  reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: 18 December 2002
Review Score 8.5/10
Distributed By: Acclaim

One of the best tennis games to grace the world of consoles has finally arrived on the PlayStation 2 and if you thought the Dreamcast version was spectacular, then wait till to you see Virtua Tennis 2 on the PS2. SEGA's Virtua Tennis 2 features 16 of the world's top tennis players that include Venus Williams and Pat Rafter and unlike the previous incarnation of Virtua Tennis, the current version features dozens of new shots and lobs that really give you a true sense of Tennis. The controls of Virtua Tennis are extremely easy to learn and you will be playing like Leyton Hewitt in no time because one button can perform a variety of different shots such as backspins, topspins and lobs. You basically control your player with the analog stick and use the button pad to perform a variety of different shots and to serve the ball. 

The Exhibition and World Tour modes have been reprogrammed on the PlayStation 2 to offer more realism and gameplay. The World Tour mode is now a cross between a arcade and manager game that lets you travel around the world to compete in various tournaments. By excelling in the World Tour mode, you will receive a higher ranking in the tournament and receive monetary rewards that can be used to purchase better equipment and outfits. By passing on a tournament, you also have the option to train your character to help increase their statistics such as footwork, serving, strokes and volleys. Virtua Tennis 2 also supports a highly addictive multiplayer mode that lets you play against 4 players via double matches and would make the ideal game for Christmas day so that the whole family can play. There is also exhibition match for gamers that want a quick game of tennis, either with the computer or with another player that is guaranteed to increase the longevity of this title.

Graphically, the PlayStation 2 version of Virtua Tennis 2 looks almost identical to the Dreamcast version with the exception of sharper looking character models and a locked framerate of 60 frames per second. Although the characters could contain a higher amount of polygons, they are extremely well animated and look almost lifelike in some instances and the players that are based on their real-world counterparts actually look like the players they are trying to portray. Virtua Tennis 2 also allows gamers to create there own players and you can select a variety of different physical characteristics such as body size, hairstyles and faces. The game also features some great lighting effects that really put a spin onto night and day matches. The only downside to the graphics are the backgrounds of the game such as the tennis stadiums and the crowds that unfortunately appear a little low res. 

Don't get me wrong though, the graphics are extremely fluid and the attention to detail on the players and advertising on the stadiums make this title one of the better tennis games around on the PlayStation 2. 

Musically, Virtua Tennis 2 features the same style of "cheesy" music from the Dreamcast version and is a combination of Japanese pop meets European Techno music. SEGA have done a great job in recreating the different noises you would hear on the various types of tennis courts, from grass to clay. The beauty of Virtua Tennis 2 on the PlayStation 2 is that the crowd really gets behind your players and you hear their voices, shouts and sighs in conjunction with your gameplay. The sound effects that come from the players are exactly the game as you would hear from real tennis matches, with all the grunts and groans they make when they slam a hard shot. With the sounds of the balling bouncing on the court and sound of the racket hitting the ball, everything comes together perfectly in this awesome tennis title for the PlayStation 2. 

Although Virtua Tennis 2 is an improved port from the Dreamcast version, it's an acceptable port at that and features some better graphics and the same wonderful gameplay that made it a hit on the Dreamcast. Those that love tennis games should really check this game out because nothing will come close. Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2001 www.impulsegamer.com