Usually whenever you get any new hardware like the PlayStation Vita the first titles that make it to launch are usually fighting and sports titles. It’s probably because those kinds of games don’t need much development time. So it was a no-brainer that Virtua Tennis 4 would be among the titles from Sega ready for the Vita at launch.
Recently the good folks at Sega were in town and with them they brought two of their upcomming titles for the PS Vita. The one I walked away immensely impressed with was Virtua Tennis 4. Read on for my thoughts on the title.
I know that it seems like every time there’s talk about the PlayStation Vita the one thing that’s on most people’s lips is “wow, that screen.” Well this is going to be one title in particular that will help show off that beautiful display. Sega has managed to essentially bring those same great visuals that the Virtua Tennis series is known for and translate them perfectly to this handheld version without making any comprimses.
Besides the stunning visuals, gameplay is where this gem will shine the most. It seems like the developers really took into account the different offerings from Sonys new hardware. The clever use of gyroscope, multitouch, and gestures are all in there and at no point feel gimmicky or tacked on.
While the game will support online multiplayer it was the local multiplayer that I found to be one of the cooler features. If you’re with a buddy and both want to get down on some Virtua Tennis, you can set down the Vita and play in an overhead mode, with each player at opposite ends of the five-inch display. It pretty much plays like an intense version of pong. It isn’t the most “core” sports simulation experience when played this way but definitely a welcome addition.
Another notable feature was the first person mode. And while we’ve seen the point of view in the console version of the game (when using either Kinect or Move) the way it’s done here is even better. While you’re in first person the game uses the Vita’s accelerometer and gyroscope so that to look around the arena, you simply move the vita around as you hold it. Want to look up? Hold it up! Want to look down…I think you get the idea.
The build I got to play was pretty rock solid, and the person who was in charge of my demo told me that certain things are still being worked on and tweaked a bit. Industry folks say that the success of any platform will be measured by the quality of the 3rd party support it has. From what I’ve seen of Virtua Tennis 4, even though it’s a 3rd party title it’s just as strong as any 1st party launch title offering. Make sure to keep your eyes on this one.