It just seems yesterday when Sega announced they were developing a Naomi game based on the sport of Tennis. A warm fuzzy feeling inside of me said "this game is going to rock", even though not a single screen was available. Why? Because old Tennis games for Genesis and Super NES were fast and fun. For some reason big gaming companies like EA have ignored Tennis. Well, that's good news for Sega as the sole developer with a next generation tennis game on the market.
Virtua Tennis is a pixel-perfect translation of the arcade hit. In addition, the game features a number extras designed for the port over to Dreamcast. The result is a very fun gaming experience.
Virtua Tennis stands alone as the best looking sports game currently available on the Dreamcast. NBA2K looked good but the players did not move smooth enough to warrant life-like reality. Virtua Tennis on the other hand presents the game of tennis as if you were watching it on television. The developers have taken utmost care in every detail. From ball marks, to moving hair and changing facial expressions, Sega has done an impeccable job.
The game has no slowdown and as a result blazes along with the on-screen action. You will appreciate this as the action is a direct result of how you control your player. There is virtually no lag time in making moves that plagues most sporting games today. The in game replays are incredible. The developers have utilized motion-blur to present larger than life replays.
The character design has also been handled well. Some will argue the close ups of the players look scary, but their overall appearance is quite life like.
A bit of a mixed bag. All of the necessary sound effects are present and done well. It is the soundtrack that leaves a little to be desired. It tends to get repetitive quite easily. More variety would have enhanced the soundtrack, but the receptiveness is a minor issue.