Genre: Sports (Tennis)
Capabilities: VMU, Jump Pack, & VGA Cord Compatible
Review Written: April 4, 2002
If you think tennis video games are boring, then get your ass up and try this game. Last year, Virtua Tennis proved to be the sleeper hit of the summer. And now the developers at Hitmaker are back for another season on what will be the last tennis game on the Dreamcast. This years version boasts new features and enhancements to game play. Will it be as good as the original? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Everything is similar to the way it was in the last game. All the players and courts have the same kind of texture and designs as in Virtua Tennis. The courts have everything you expect, which is umpires, ball runners, and an audience. If you thought the players from the last game looked great, think again. These players are detailed down to every last notch to match there real life counterparts. The zoom ins after each ball is played look just spectacular, as do the instant replays. The players are animated true to life, doing all kinds of moves the professionals do like dive for balls out of their range. They also have a wide variety of specialty shots theyll do out of nowhere like back hands, for example. They add to the presentation to the game, and they make sure to let you know that you arent playing any old tennis game.
The audience is now in full 3D, instead of the mixed shots of 3D models and sprites we got in last years game. Remember the game of tennis you were playing was also being played out on your VMU in last years game? That VMU version of Tennis also got a new overhaul in the graphics department, kind of. Instead of having an overhead view of the action like in Virtua Tennis, now the VMU rotates in 3D around the court. The menus have a similar layout to last years game, and the world tour map is nearly identical as well. And as always, Sega makes sure the loading times are kept to a minimum.
Im always amazed at the presentation in the Sega Sports games, and Im also amazed at how it keeps on getting better every year. Usually the audio has a big role in this matter. And thats the case with Tennis 2K2. Its the announcer that plays the big role. He makes all the calls after each ball is played. But the thing is, his language changes whenever you play in a different country. Like if you are in France, hell speak French, and if youre in Spain, hell speak Spanish, and so on. That just goes to show you that Sega went all out in the final game on the Dreamcast. The umpire also makes all calls down the line as well. The sound effects are right on target with all the strokes and bounces sounding exactly the way they should. I loved the music in last years game and the same set of tunes are back, but with many more new variations. And for all you crazy goons who cant get enough of it during game play, Sega included a sound test for us to listen to that music all day long.
The controls identical to Virtua Tennis. Y changes the camera angle, X lobs, and A and B do your basic tennis shots. X, A, and B can also serve. If you position yourself right you can do specialty shots like overhead smashes, and dive for the ball. You can use either the control pad or stick to move. I prefer the pad, because its easier to move the wrong way with the stick. You can set the rules any way you want them like number of games needed to win the set. And unlike professional tennis where its best of three or five sets, all you need to do is win one set here. To win a set you can win anywhere from one to six games in Tennis 2K2. To win a game you need to make four points (scoring for a game goes 15, 30, 40, game). And make sure to win by two points, or you have to go into a deuce tie breaker. Deuces can last forever by all means, but thankfully you can turn them off as well. Its too bad Sega didnt wise up and make it so you can set games to best of three or five sets, because I often find games lasting under ten minutes.
There are over a dozen real life, pro tennis players from around the world to choose from in this game. But too bad youll barely recognize any of them. There is no Pete Samprus or Andre Aggasiz in this game. Why isnt there? I have no idea. But new to this game is the addition of woman tennis players. There are a couple of ways to play this game. First off, there is your basic exhibition mode where you can practice against the computer, or go against three of your friends in singles or doubles play. The main mode of play is World Circuit, which is very similar to how it was designed last year, but has so many enhancements. You start off by creating a male and female tennis player. And you play out both careers at once. You now have a calendar to go by, so you know what dates you have to play. Besides your standard tennis match ups, you also have training exercises which help strengthen your abilities. By winning matches and completing exercises, you win money to buy new tennis gear, and sign new doubles partners. You also get experience points so you can level up your character and his abilities as well.
The World Circuit will provide several hours of action to successfully complete for the solo player. And to top it off, the game can be played for hours more with your friends. I have had many fun sessions playing this game with my friends. Except for this one guy who kept on calling everyone he played against Jumping Jackasses whenever they missed a shot. I ditched him faster than youd expect.
+: World Circuit is a lot better, woman players now added to the roster, one of the best multi player games on the Dreamcast
-: No recognizable professionals like Samprus and Aggasiz, cant play more than one full set
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 9.4
Replay Value: 9.3
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
If you liked Virtua Tennis, then youll love this game. But if youre a little bit cautious about your money, then you should just stick with Virtua Tennis. This game offers plenty of new features, but its basically the same game. But with the Dreamcast on its deathbed, you can probably find this game for under $25 brand new.
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