Virtua Tennis 3 - updated hands-on

We love Virtua Tennis. Its colorful blend of arcade smashery and addictive gameplay caught our attention immediately and each successive update has only enhanced the appeal. Now Virtua Tennis 3 is heading out on to the next-gen court later this year, and so we've picked up our racquets for the PS3 build to see what Sega can do.

Unsurprisingly, Virtua Tennis on PS3 looks so sharp it's a wonder your eyeballs aren't left in two cleanly hewn pieces. What we like most of all are the crisp, glowing digital readouts on the court walls, displaying crucial match stats and the mph of the last service - small details perhaps, but atmospheric and engaging nonetheless.

The nuts and bolts of Virtua Tennis have hardly changed since the very first game, and Virtua Tennis 3 is no different. The solid, responsive and reliable controls are still immediately graspable, letting newbies get comfortable. Before, of course, you thwack the hell out of them in multiplayer.

Fortunately, there're now less demeaning ways to introduce your friends to the brilliance of Virtua Tennis. This next-gen sequel sports a raft of brand new minigames, with a select number available for four-player madness.

With three like-minded friends, these insanely inspired minigames provide endless, ridiculous fun, offering such highlights as giant tennis ball dodging, oversized curling, balloon popping and bingo. They're so appealing you'd be forgiven for ignoring the rest of the game, but thankfully VT3 's career mode has been similarly beefed up for your attention.