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Virtua Tennis 3 Review

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Supremely rewarding sports game, whether a Tennis fan or not.

★★★★

While Nintendo has made sterling efforts to evolve digital athletics with its motion sensitive shenanigans, for its PS3 debut Sega has opted to stick with the indomitable formula that made Virtua Tennis the most gripping sports simulation on any console. And with the graphical muscle of Sony’s new machine bringing this latest edition to life, VT3 is one of the most satisfying sports sims around, whether you’re a tennis fan or not.

As always, the key to Virtua Tennis’ success is its deceptively deep controls; after ten minutes mastering the game’s three-button set-up you’ll be smashing, lobbing and hurling yourself across the court to return shots, with only minimal effort required on the gamepad to make you look like a pro. Success in the single player tournament, however, pitches you against some unforgiving computer-controlled foes, forcing you to rethink your match tactics and gradually discover the true depth the game has to offer.

On the PS3, VT3 brings little more to the party than improved graphics, with tennis whites that billow and flap as the players throw themselves around and scarily-convincing digital doubles of key players such as Maria Sharapova, Leyton Hewitt and the Williams sisters (aside from their dead, black, shark-like eyes). But if you don’t already own Virtua Tennis on another system, treat yourself to the best version of Sega’s smash hit money can buy.

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