Virtua Tennis 2 / Power Smash 2


Publisher: Sega
Hardware: Naomi Cart or GD Rom
Year: 1999
Controls: 1 Joystick, 2 Buttons Per Player
Number of Players: 2 players
Gd-Rom Image:
Ported To: Dreamcast


Dedicated Cabinet :


The first thing you'll notice about Virtua Tennis 2 is how little the front-end has changed; the menu screen is almost exactly the same as the first, and the option screen is also hauntingly familiar. The character select screen and music work exactly as before, with the notable inclusion of eight female players where the eight hidden players were last time.

Into the game proper, you'll notice the drastically improved graphics on the players (in the last game, poor choice of colours and textures meant that most of the players - and particularly Cedric Proline - looked as though they had been rotting underwater for eight weeks before their models had been created, it was almost like a Sega cross-franchise Tennis of the Dead). You'll notice the far more difficult serving - it's unbelievably easy to put a serve out in this new game, which was an uncommon occurrence in the original. Above all, you'll notice how much faster and more difficult the new game is, and while your first match on Easy mode will still be easy, the game soon ramps up the difficulty to ferocious new levels. Returns come whistling past you much faster than before; try running to the net for a quick smash early on in a rally and you're more likely to fall foul of a sly lob shot than you are to slice the ball along the net out of the other guy's reach.

In short, this game plays a different game of tennis than the last one did, and those who are expecting to use the same old techniques are going to be disappointed - while they might still work against your mate in two-player mode, the computer has gotten wise and just isn't going to fall for your cheesy tricks any more. The whole game system has been tightened up - diving is less frequent, and recoveries from dives are much, much quicker than before. The pace of the game in general is higher which helps lessen those pinball situations with both players up at the net hammering the smash button for all they're worth. Thankfully, while the sound has remained effective, the music has moved on from the god-awful cod-rock of Virtua Tennis to a much more effective modernist theme. In real terms, however, the main difference between the titles, and the one which will cause the most difficulty in updating your tactics, is that the repertoire of shots has been extended to three - the slice shot makes an appearance this time round. While this dilutes the original's immediacy, it does mean that more shots are open to you (and, of course, your opponent).

(Description written by: ntsc-uk )

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