Lately I've been ever so excited in playing Virtua Tennis 4. See, this is the thing I like about Sega, they make fun sports games! Sure I've only ever played Virtua Tennis, and Beach Spikers, and that soccer game they have... I forget what it's called. Their approach is very easy to pick up and play, and that's all I need. Jump in, quick matches of tennis and then carry on with my life. Though I have not played a lot of Virtua Tennis, but it's definitely come a long way since the Dreamcast Original. (There was also that one time I spent an hour on the VT3 arcade cabinet, that was cool.) The core of the gameplay is the same as it's ever been, even the one thing you can take away from Sega Superstars Tennis is that it plays Exactly like Virtua Tennis. You move and different buttons have different kinds of swings, so it's easy to change your game up and give your opponent a work out. I haven't tried the move stuff yet, and I probably never will. Since the Wii's time I've grown passed motion controls and just like to sit down with a controller and push some buttons. (Playing something actively is for actually going out and doing it. But the recent tennis talk has actually got my girlfriend into it, and we're going to take it up for whenever we have the time to.)
I really like the look of this game though, the courts look amazing, and the environment wears and tears up with the game. (The best looking court is the special match court simply because the ground looks amazing after a good rally. I know that's a little weird to say but gawddamn!) The animation of the players is really fluid as well. It's as if they have mapped out a cycle for every position you're in, in relation to hitting the ball. I think the models themselves still need some work though. I mean, this is probably just sports games but there's usually something wrong with the faces or in this case, they mostly have a complexion that's comparable to the ghouls of Fallout, possibly in certain light as well. Although this is just a minor thing and you don't really pay attention to how someone looks over playing the game but it's just kind of funny how you're created character can end up looking a lot better than the real people.
The single player is a really neat idea that is mapped out as a board game and you get to move a certain amount of spaces for every day depending on the ticket you use, (hell you could even just use a day to relax.) the spaces are comprised of training sessions, publicity, (like charity events, autographs, large donations tv spots all to boost up your star rating.) singles/doubles exhibition matches, down arrows which I assume are accidents or something, and then you make your way to the inevitable tournament!
Along the way you get talked up by your rival, offered to play games/partner up with real life tennis stars, get fan mail by the same guy over and over and over and over again, and a lot of unlocking for the game takes place here as well, courts and gear all have to be unlocked within this mode. That's ok, because it happens at a constant that (at least with your first run of the single player) there is always something new unlocking to keep it interested.
So with that, there actually isn't much else to talk about, it's just a very fun arcadey tennis game, that I just purchased to be my lazy Sunday game. When I get through with the single player I will try to get into the online and compare my skill with others, though I already tried that once, and I'm not very good (though I imagine people have been playing this game a lot longer than I have, so that's understandable.)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit on the other hand? What a game! My interest has suddenly come back to it since the PSN came back online and I'm making slow but good progress. It's turning out to be quite a love/hate relationship with this game. Everything always starts out fun until I realize how well I want to actually do in a race. It can be especially frustrating when you have a whole bunch of people on your friend's list with good completion times and you find yourself finishing 5 until them all in no time flat. I can't help but compare this game to Burnout paradise every time I think about it. Just because Paradise was a hell of a lot more fun than the first game, though I guess you could argue that it's also easier to play.
Hmm... you know, maybe the autolog is the factor which makes me complain about the game the most. As neat as the idea is, [for people like me] it's an itch that I always find myself scratching. “I have to do better, I have to do better.” Some races I haven't even finished yet because their difficulty matched with good playing times by friends is too much for me to process and I have to turn it off, then proceed to curl up into a ball and cry for 1 to 3 hours.
But strangely, it's still fun enough to play. Just as long as I stay within an hour of game time.
Oh by the by:
- How was your rapture weekend? More like CRAP-ture.. M I RITE??
- Portal 2 runs well enough on my Mac, now I just have to find the time to play it. God, whenever that will be.
- L.A. Noire? Jesus, I don't want to play this game, I just want to drive around 1940s L.A.
- Minecraft is a good little 'Before bed' game. Play a podcast mine some crafts, fall asleep, all is well!