Virtua Tennis did for videogame tennis what NFL Blitz and NBA Jam did for football and basketball respectively. No, there aren’t any big head codes, you won’t be hitting the court with Bill Clinton and Will Smith, there is no loudmouth announcer, and players don’t burst into flame. What I mean is that Sega and AM3 has taken the sport of tennis and made it fun to play. At first it wouldn’t seem to be much of a big deal, as tennis is rather easy to implement in video game form. In fact, the very first video game was basically a version of table tennis. However, there is a lot of strategy involved in the sport. Speaking as a former high school tennis player, it’s important to position yourself correctly, use the proper shot for returns, and figure out how to prepare and set up the next volley. There is a lot of thinking involved, and little time to do it in. Thankfully, Sega Sports’ tennis series has always eschewed any of these complications and focused upon the bare essence of what tennis is: two (of four if playing doubles) people knocking a ball back and forth between each other and moving as fast as possible while doing so.
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