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Virtua Tennis (Power Smash in Japan) is a 1999 tennis arcade game created by Sega's Hitmaker division. The player competes through tennis tournaments and various arcade modes. For the home console market the game was expanded upon with the introduction of the campaign mode. It was later ported to Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and for Microsoft Windows in 2002. A Game Boy Advance version was also released in 2002.
A sequel, Virtua Tennis 2, appeared on Sega NAOMI, Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. In 2005 another sequel, Virtua Tennis: World Tour was released for the PlayStation Portable. 2006 saw the release of Virtua Tennis 3 in the arcades (using the Sega Lindbergh hardware). Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Playstation Portable and PC versions were released in 2007.
The player must win 5 matches to win a tournament. Each match is played on a different surface:
|3||US Super Tennis||Hard|
|4||The Old England Championship||Grass|
|5||Sega Grand Match||Carpet|
This is a single match in which the options are customizable.
The match can be played as singles or doubles with up to 4 human players (2 for singles). The duration can be varied between one game and one set. Other options include the court that the match is played on and the skill of the opponent(s).
This is the main mode of the game. Users have to win matches and complete training exercises in order to progress and unlock new ones. The user enters with a rank of 300th, which improves as matches are won. These matches are unlocked by completing easier matches or traning exercises.
The focus of the training exercises are to be fun, rather than realistic. Each exercise has three levels, with the difficulty increasing progressively. By completing the hardest difficulty with a certain amount of time left or points scored, an outfit is unlocked, which players can wear in all modes.
Characters include several real world tennis players, with their respective strengths:
|20px Jim Courier||Various Shots|
The Dreamcast and PC ports include eight extra players, all of them fictitious:
|Davor Tesla||Wide Shots|
|Pieter Tinbergen||Serve and Volley|
And finally there are two bosses in the game.
*Mark Philippoussis was removed from the PC version as he was already featured in a licensed tennis title for that platform.
Virtua Tennis received very positive reviews from with the UK version of the Official Dreamcast Magazine rating it at 9/10, as well as overwhelmingly positive reviews from users . Players were pleased with the quick learning curve and the wide variety of training exercises available. The game became one of the few Sega All Stars.