If you haven’t noticed, half of the launch games for the PlayStation Vita are ports. Games such as Rayman Origins, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, and Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 are games that did so well on consoles, developers ported them to the PlayStation Vita with new features to appeal to a new demographic. Among the ports on the Vita is Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition. With new ways to play Tennis using the Vita’s touch panel and more, will this port for the PlayStation Vita be worth buying for tennis fans?
Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition.
World Tour Mode
Using the customized character you created, your goal is to travel throughout the world and compete against some of the most famous tennis players in the world. The mechanics may sound simple, but the World Tour mode is solely dedicated for tennis purists. Laid out in a board game format, you will move your character from one place to another on a world map. Depending on how many moves you can make, you can decide where your character should go – it can either land you in a mini-game where you will earn money and stars to compete in a Championship Tournament, or you might land in a resort to restore your stamina. This is important because the better your stamina is, the better your performance will be in the next match. Managing your time will be tested as your moves will be restricted. Just don’t forget your goal in World Tour is to compete in the tournament and gain as much money and stars so you can unlock more stuff and be the number one player.
When you participate in the tournament, it will be basic tennis gameplay. Since it’s a tournament, you’ll be fighting a series of players to win the cup. After successfully finishing the tournament, you can unlock items like customized characters to use. The portability of Virtua Tennis 4 is a huge highlight as you can pick up and play wherever you’re. If you’re connected online, players around the world can jump into your World Tour campaign and challenge you to a tournament. The World Tour mode offers a lot of things that tennis players will enjoy doing, thus adds a lot of replayability.
Aside from the common modes like arcade, there are mini games added solely for the Vita version. If you want to take a break from the serious tennis gameplay in the arcade or World Tour mode, you play the mini-games and just have fun. Minigames in Virtua Tennis 4 vary from Egg Collector, where you need to assist chicks to their mother on a tennis court, Pin Crusher, where you will play bowling via serving at the bowling pins plus many more. In the nine mini-games added for the Vita version, it makes playing the game even more fun as it washes away the repetitious tennis-gameplay.
Up until now, I am simply amazed by the visual quality that the Vita offers. With Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition the visuals are nothing less than phenomenal. Even at the lowest brightness setting, the colors and the setting for the tennis courts look equally fantastic. Comparing the console and Vita version, I must say that both look about the same. However, there is a slight drop in frame rates during tennis replays.
Uses Some Vita Features
Solely for the PlayStation Vita, World Tour Edition offers new modes that utilize features like the touch panel and gyro controls. Instead of using the analog stick to control your character on a tennis court, you can simply move your character by touching the screen where you want them to be. Using them may seem gimmicky, but the controls work just fine and I don’t mind using it. As for the gyro, there’s a dedicated mini-game for it. Here you have to tilt the PlayStation Vita to control a rocking boat with targets, and you play tennis to hit them. The added mini-games that use the Vita features may seems corny, but trust me their fun.
For those who simply want to play the classic style of tennis, there’s an arcade mode where you can select from a roster of famous tennis players and compete as them. This mode is for more casual players who just wants to pick up and play. Also, if you wish to challenge real people, there’s an online multiplayer mode for you to play.
Nevertheless, it’s a PS3 Port
No matter what way you look at Virtua Tennis 4 World Tour, the game is still just a port. Everything that is found on the PS3 version can be found on Vita. Seeing as how the PS3 version is cheaper than the Vita, those who wants to play tennis will most likely ignore the Vita version and just buy it for their console. Just remember that some new fun and addictive mini-games have been added to this Vita version of the game.
Frame Rate Drops
Everything about the visuals in World Tour Edition looks phenomenal. However, when the replays of a match starts kicking in or whenever there’s a short cutscene, you will notice that there’s a slight drop on the frame rates. The movement of the cutscenes isn’t as smooth as it was on the console. The slow down of the game is only noticeable on cutscenes, so you players shouldn’t worry that much.
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition is a game that shows exactly how the PlayStation Vita can handle a port without losing much of its quality in the process. While World Tour Edition is a port of a great tennis game, the added mini-games and the portability is something PlayStation Vita owners will want. With the plethora of game modes, addictive mini-games that showcases the Vita’s features, and a deep World Tour mode, Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition is the definitive package for tennis fans out there.
[Editor’s Note: Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition Review,