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Virtua Tennis Challenge (iPad) Review

/ Jun 5th, 2012 1 Comment

Virtua Tennis for iPad

Virtua Tennis Challenge Review

Virtua Tennis Challenge Review

My first ever video game was “Pong” back in the 1970’s. It was a tennis game at its very basic roots. Since then I’ve played every major Tennis game released on nearly every console. I love Tennis! What’s not to like about the sport? My favourite series was Sega Virtua Tennis on the Sega Dreamcast, I loved both 1 and 2 and continued the games on the PS2 and PS3, so when I was given the chance to review Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge on the iPad I was excited to say the least!

Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge is a full-blown arcade tennis game on a par with console versions. I’m going to say this now, because I’m bursting so much it hurts… Virtua Tennis Challenge looks stunning on the iPad 2. It’s probably one of the best looking games I’ve played on the device, and one of the best looking tennis games full-stop. Animations are smooth and fluid, character models are crisp and detailed, the courts look fantastic and have great diversity and the whole presentation is slick and modern. Sound is also of a similar high standard, and effects and music fit perfectly to the game play. My only niggle to the graphical experience is that there was a little slow-down that was barely noticeable once or twice when the screen was doing fancy-effects to change menus etc, but nothing that would change the game-play experience.

Of course, all the best graphics and sound in the world won’t help a game if it’s a poor gaming experience, and thankfully Sega’s Virtua Tennis Challenge has great game play and plenty of options to keep you coming back for more. Don’t be fooled, this game is not just a quick blast and forget about it, this can be as much of a full-on gaming experience that you want it to be. This is the full console experience on your iPad.

Virtua Tennis for iPad

Virtua Tennis for iPad

Before you begin your game you have to choose which part of the game you want to play. The first option is the SPT World Tour, which allows you to select a player which you will control and then work your way up the seeds (rank in tennis-talk). Your aim is to become number one seed and beat every opponent that the game throws at you. And, it’s a big game with over 50 players to compete against and 18 stadiums across the World to play in. You’ll play on grass and clay-courts (both red and blue) which offer different types of play, with different courts playing at different speeds just like in real-life tennis. My favourite court is the red-clay of the French Open, which seems to play in my favour more than the other courts.

Next you have the Exhibition Match which allows you to choose players you have unlocked, plus various courts to play with. It is essentially a quick-game option that allows you to tailor the game to your needs. It’s this mode that most will choose when they first start off playing the game, as it allows you to choose what types of surface you want to play on and who you play against. I found this mode a better way of training than the training mode. The Training Mode is fun though, and pits you through various tasks just as in other Virtua Tennis games. It can be fun, but it’s no replacement for the full on SPT World Tour which I’m sure all tennis fans will want to dip into soon after purchasing this game.

Another option you have is Multiplayer, and this gives you the option of playing via Bluetooth to someone in close vicinity with you, or via the internet via wi-fi. I thought I would give the game a go via wi-fi against some random person, and I found that experience to be enjoyable.

Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge on iOS

Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge on iOS

There is one thing that I haven’t mentioned yet though, which some of you will no doubt be wondering. How do you control a game like Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge on the iPad with no buttons to control it? There are multiple options to control your player, the easiest way once you get used to it is the default touch-screen option. This has you swiping the screen up or down and at various angles on the way you want to hit the return ball. The longer the swipe, the harder you hit the ball with your racket. As I mentioned, there is a slight learning-curve to this method, but its amazing fun once you master it. Other options for control are on-screen joysticks, which I find never work well on the iPad even when implemented well. It is worth noting that as long as you swipe your stroke in time, your tennis player will run to the ball in time to return it to the opposite player.

There are various options in the game to adjust the game, such as its difficulty level (normal, hard or very hard), camera type (TV or dynamic), audio features and number of game and sets etc. You can also unlock achievements and visit the leader-boards.

Overall Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge is a stunning piece of iOS goodness, and with the tennis season under-way, there’s no better game to pretend you’re at Wimbledon playing against some of the World’s best players.

Overall Ratings – Sega Virtua Tennis Challenge (iOS)

Gameplay:

9/10

Graphics:

9/10

Sound:

8/10

Presentation:

9/10

OVERALL SCORE:

88%

Mark Adams
Mark Adams been gaming since 1977 and owned almost every console since the original Pong machine. Gaming has always been part of his life and he enjoys a variety of games and his mind is always open to new experiences in the gaming world. Over the years he has written gaming articles for blogs and local newspapers, and he always tries and add something a little bit different from your usual review. He works in IT for a small local company in Wales, and when he's not working, he's gaming!
Mark Adams
Mark Adams
Mark Adams

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  • Claudio

    Its frustrating when you are playing at the normal level an all the players have the same difficulty, but from nowhere “the rival” has the impossible difficulty that you haven’t ever experienced with any other player at the game. If we choose to play at some level, is expected that the game function at this level, not changing disproportionally only for one player. To me the game has loose the joy.

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