Virtua Tennis 3

Exactly what does physics mean to you? Sleep? Bearded old men? Hieroglyphic formulas? Fair enough. But it’s really, really important in games with balls. Honestly, it is - that’s why Winning Eleven Soccer’s so brilliant, why the FIFA games are suddenly not shit and why the Virtua Tennis games work so well. The simple bounce of a tennis ball and the way it moves through the air got nailed with Virtua Tennis 2, to such an extent that it doesn’t need fiddling with.

That, and the accessible, yet subtle controls means you can expect Virtua Tennis 3 to be more of the same - bigger, shinier and with added breasts. It’s drop dead gorgeous. Players no longer look like pioneering face transplant patients - Sharapova is pretty hot - and the courts and crowds bristle with tiny details. You won’t need a big HDTV to play it on, but it’d be a shame to miss out on all of VT3’s loveliness.

Realism is what will mark Virtua Tennis 3’s step forward, and that means 20 real tennis players lining up in the game - Xbox 360 gets a measly 12 - and a new five-set option in Exhibition mode. But it’s the revamped World Tour Mode which sounds the most interesting. Your player has 20 years to make the world number one slot, otherwise time is called and retirement beckons. If you do get to the very top, you’ll enter the hall of fame and you won’t have to hang up your racquet, so you can go on to earn more goodies. There’s also a management aspect to this mode, as you’ll have to learn when and how often to train, and importantly when to take breaks from playing to minimize the chances of getting tired.

You’ll need to make nice with other players on the tour as well to get invited to exhibition and training matches, and to make sure you’ve got someone to team up with when you want to play doubles matches. And as far as the peerless gameplay goes, it promises to be as addictive as ever. Sounds quality, no?

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