Who would have thought a handheld tennis game could be this good?
For whatever reason Sega knows how to make tennis games. And for whatever reason, they decided to go all-out with this Vita release. Virtua Tennis 4 was also on the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC, but only the Vita version got the World Tour Edition with a whole bunch of extras designed specifically for handheld. And what do you know? All that effort really payed off. This is a solid, fun tennis game packed with a surprisingly large amount of content.
The game controls very well, and works great for a couple quick pick-up-and-play matches. It strikes just the right balance between simplistic arcade and in-depth simulation, so it’s easy to get into yet challenging to master. Each tennis player also has a bit of a different play style (strong backhand, focus on defense, etc), and this is something you can experiment with in the world tour mode, where you create your own character and lead him or her to victory in a series of tournaments. This takes the form of an extensive board game, in which you decide if you want to level up skills in a practice match, earn money in mini-games, or build up street cred at fundraisers. It’s a clever way to throw in some variety, getting you to play an otherwise repetitive sports title for hours on end.
If you own a Vita and are not adverse to tennis, I’ll go ahead and recommend this one. It’s a good-looking handheld sports title that manages to keep me entertained, and I’m generally not one for sports in the first place.
As is often the fate of sports games, this one is no longer available digitally. Get its physical release on the Vita.