Virtua Tennis 4 is the 4th installment in the long-running Virtua Tennis series. It’s also the first “real” tennis game designed for use with the Kinect Sensor. Virtua Tennis 4 totally blew my mind right off the bat when I went to the main screen…there were so many choices and I enjoyed every mode available!
The main mode, “World Tour,” allows you to create a character and travel around the world trying to win championships. It’s not just a tennis game where you play match after match anymore, you actually have mini-games to improve your skills, there are media days where you can earn “stars” which, in turn, give you a chance to qualify for tournaments. You can also check yourself into a hotel for a “rest break” and an opportunity to build up some stamina. The movement is almost “Mario Party” style, as cards are randomly picked and each card has a “movement number” which will tell you how many spaces to move. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this mode a lot more than I thought I would!
“Arcade” is another great mode, which includes both singles and doubles play. Here you face off against other players and progress as far as you can until beaten. It is definitely a quick change from the “World Tour” mode. The online play seemed fair enough, but, as expected, not many people play tennis games online, so it was virtually impossible to find a match.
Now for all of you non-Kinect owners out there, don’t fret; you can play with the Xbox controller, but I felt that with the controller, I was almost always a little “late” on my hits. In my opinion, it really takes away from the actual tennis feeling you sense when playing with Kinect.
Overall, Virtua Tennis 4 is a great family game. The Kinect feature really gets you involved, which is something that no other tennis game has been able to accomplish, and you hardcore tennis players won’t be disappointed, if you think that the game is intended for the less serious.
(The rating above is for Kinect users. With no Kinect, I give the game a 5.)