Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Preview: Virtua Tennis 4 (career mode)

1:00 PM on 04.29.2011 // Samit Sarkar

When Japanese developers tackle genres and standards that are familiar to Western gamers, you can always count on them to deliver a non-traditional take on those tropes. Consider Sega’s upcoming tennis title, Virtua Tennis 4, which I recently had the chance to play for about an hour and a half. It includes a career mode in which you create a player, with the aim of taking him or her from relative obscurity to international superstardom.

Yet its setup gives rise to a career path that evokes the progression seen in a board game rather than in your typical calendar of events. It provides an all-encompassing life in tennis, presenting action on and off the court while occasionally forcing you into tough decisions.

Oh, and you can visit a spa. It is a Japanese game, after all.


Virtua Tennis 4 (PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360, Wii, PC)
Developer: Sega AM3
Publisher: Sega
Released: April 29, 2011 (EU)
To be released: May 10, 2011 (NA) / Summer 2011 (PC ver.)

I breezed through most of the character customization, choosing to skip the more in-depth options in favor of the important stuff: picking a name (“Vir” -- the default was “Virtua,” and I’m lazy) and a grunt (the PR rep had warned me that he had inadvertently left his grunt as a high-pitched female cry, so I didn’t want the same fate to befall Vir). Rest assured that VT4 features a bevy of customizable traits, allowing you to mold your player in your own image or anyone else’s.

The foundation of the career mode is its real-life map of the globe, which -- with its events scattered along branching paths -- reminded me of the classic Super Mario Bros. 3 world map. You begin in Japan and eventually make your way to the Asian mainland, Europe, Australia, and North America. The game restricts your movement along the career track by requiring you to possess movement tickets; here’s where my board-game analogy comes in. Just as movement by spaces in a board game corresponds to the number that comes up on a dice roll, you need to have a numbered ticket in order to move forward by a particular number of dots on the VT4 map.


The game’s “condition” meter also plays a vital role: it indicates your fatigue level. Every action you take tires you out -- training drills and practice games don’t take too much out of you, but an entire tournament will leave you exhausted. It’s important to note the meter’s effect on gameplay. Once your condition drops below a certain level, you’re officially fatigued. This can even happen between rounds of a tournament, and since you’re a significantly weaker player when you’re tired (who wouldn’t be?), you might start losing to an opponent that you’d usually be destroying. (I did find the in-game manifestation of the meter to be rather silly: for as much foot speed as your player loses at low condition, you’d think he was wading through a molasses-thick swamp of his own sweat.) The only way to recover stamina is to visit a spa.

By restricting you in this way, VT4 makes you think about the track of your career, and subjects you to the capricious nature of life. Let’s say you’ve been practicing for an upcoming tournament, and all the drills have tired you out. You see a spa that’s two spots ahead of your current position, and the tournament sits three events away. But if all you have are one- and three-move tickets, you have no choice but to enter the tourney while fatigued. In other places, the game will take you down a peg. I asked the Sega PR rep about a particular world-map icon, and he explained that in that event, “Something bad happens.” Like picking up a “Go Directly to Jail” Chance card in Monopoly, sometimes you’re just a slave to the luck of the draw.

Over the course of your career, you’ll earn money (which you can use to buy items such as clothes and movement tickets) as well as stars. The latter is usually a requirement to enter tournaments, so you’ll have to complete certain events if you want to play with the big boys and have a shot at a significant payday. You can build your skills through training events, which are drills that require you to do things like fire shots in particular directions to break targets. VT4 also has an arcade element: you can unlock special shots, which are either very difficult to return or unblockable altogether. You’ll see a meter at the top of your screen; each shot has its own in-match parameters, like “hit ten forehand winners,” that will fill up the bar when met. You can then unleash the power shot when you need it most.


As someone who’s played countless career modes that follow a similar pattern, I was happy to see VT4 taking a different tack. It looks like it’s going to offer enough event variety and challenge, thanks to its unique structure, to keep you playing. (You can go through the mode multiple times with the same character to try different paths -- you’ll retain the items you’ve unlocked, but will have to start from scratch as far as your star rating and condition meter goes.) I can’t wait to see what the world thinks of Vir.

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Samit Sarkar,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Well, my Bloggers Wanted post is up, but it timetraveled back to Sunday behind Zetta's blog or will only post two days from now otherwise. Mrgrgr.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Yeah I still can't take the new Batman and Superman seriously, Batman just looks so stupid with his cowl lol.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
This near final build of Nuclear Throne is going to bring back my eye twitch.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
When I was a lad, I loved this game something fierce. [img][/img] Anyone else ever play the tie in Small Soldiers games? Maybe it's nostalgia, but I remember them being not too bad.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Finally got my surface pro 3. Holy shit I love this little guy. And Windows 10 is better than I thought.
Putting more effort into iOS game review than African American history book report. This is not what Dr. King died for. Or maybe he did, I wouldn't know because I'm not doing the book report. Wha-hey!!
Lawman avatarLawman
More info and footage on that cancelled first-person THQ Avengers game is shown. The heartache's still real.
Archelon avatarArchelon
DailyFloze avatarDailyFloze
So just dropping in, just finished my first hands on with the new Bloodborne DLC..... in one word...Potatoes!!? #theoldhunters #dropitlikeitsyarnham #aintnothinglikeafromsoftwarething
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign just made it to $1.300.000! if you can back it please consider doing it.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Slow day at work. [IMG][/IMG]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
22/31 missions completed on Prototype, fun game with a ton of destruction but crashes on my desktop PC and barely runs on my dad's laptop. And it's distracting me from playing more Fallout 4. But hey, I can slice+disguise as tank commanders and that's fun
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Virtua Fighter month begins tomorrow! First blog will be coming sometime this week (mostly Wednesday).
voex avatarvoex
*Sigh* time to figure out how much a Fallout 4 capable PC upgrade is gonna cost me...
ooktar avatarooktar
Ordered this on Thanksgiving and surprisingly got here today. The case is amazing and Now I got all the Persona Cards. [img][/img] [img][/
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You probably already saw this - but it is gold - Fallout 4 One Punch Man Mod [youtube][/youtube]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I just got my new Mega64 Blu-Ray! But now I have a problem... Do I watch that or keep watching Claymore...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Hey, my new blog is up! A few days ago! Go read it! Before......before its too late. Please. *walls start crumbling, reality starts oozing out, things begin to eeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Alright so I'm looking for a few games for my newly repurchased DS. I'm already set on RPG as it's all I have pretty much. Were there any good puzzle games? I've heard good things about Professor Layton.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I made chocolate and banana cake because why not.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -