The acclaimed Virtua Tennis series has been around for over a decade now and even the latest PSP conversion is still by far the most intuitive, most playable and easily the most addictive tennis title there has ever been.
Featuring all the modes we’ve long since taken for granted, World Tour caters for every possible permutation, from the standard one-off Quick Match that gets you into the game with a random pairing, the more specifically tailored mixed doubles, Exhibition matches, knockout Tournaments, quick-fire mini-games, wireless Multiplayer and the life-sapping all-encompassing World Tour career mode.
There certainly is plenty to sink your teeth into. Naturally, multiplayer support takes care of up to four players, so if you’re lucky enough to have tennis-loving pals with PSPs, those old rivalries can now be well and truly resumed. The game also features throwaway mini-games like Fruit Dash, where the idea is to simply run around one side of the court picking up fruit as it appears while trying to avoid a red ball that’s being fired at you from the opposite side. As you pick up fruit you also top up your time, but, the more you collect, the more balls get fired your way. Next up, Blockbuster tasks you with smashing a wall of descending blocks; hit one, and blocks adjacent of the same colour also disappear - topping up your time in the process. Simple, addictive, and fun.
The World Tour mode, however is the area you’ll probably devote most of your single-player energies to, with the idea simply to claim the No.1 throne in both the male and female category. You can create your own custom player to drag up through the ranks trying to improve your stats in the disciplines of serve, stroke, volley and footwork. Once you’ve earned a bit of cash out there on the circuit, you’re then able to buy new equipment. Not only does this serve to upgrade your abilities still further, it gives you the chance to purchase a few unlockables, such as new stadiums, shirts, and even sweatbands (gasp!). The visuals are a stunning showcase for what the PSP is capable of, with the same smooth, slick animation and fantastic detail that put the game so far ahead of its time years ago. Controls will be immediately recognised by tennis game fans and feel very natural to the hands. This game, despite being a comprehensive tennis title - will entertain even non-sports fans with a great mix of quick, simple gameplay.