Amazing Tennis Game!

User Rating: 9.9 | Virtua Tennis 2 PS2
When I had first played this game, it was at a Golfland arcade during one of those weekend mornings when competition for either Tekken or Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike or Marvel vs. Capcom 1 or 2 wasn't available. I resigned to just playing this game thinking I would just pass the time and not have any fun, although even before I played it the demonstration looked amazing and the sound effects were dead-on. I just needed to pass about an hour or two before the real players for the real games got to my arcade. An hour later, and I'm still playing Virtua Tennis 2 -- and having a blast. I never play any kind of tennis game usually, so who would've thought this game would keep a gamer like me interested? Sega Sports Tennis is the PS2 version of the same great arcade game, with a tweak or two. The visuals are amazing, you can almost swear you're watching a live game (cutscene graphics aside). The shadows and movement are so life-like, but it's something I've come to expect from Sega Sports. If you've ever played any of their football NFL 2K series, you'll appreciate instantly how true to life people and players look and move. Much better than the EA counter-part. The sound in Sega Sports Tennis is unbelievable, with the ball bouncing sounds so authentic for the different types of courts, the smashing sounds of the racket, and the grunts of the famous players. The controls is tight and simple, but whereas the aracde sticks to a two-button configuration (Shot and Lob Shot), the PS2 expands on the buttons and options. The only thing i don't really like is the music on the PS2 version... somehow the silence during matches in the arace version, which is only broken by crowd applause, seemed so fitting. Throwing a soundtrack into it just doesn't make the game feel right. Still, it's a minor gripe for such an amazing and too quickly forgotten game. However, this gem is damn near impossible to find nowadays. Pick it up if you come across it, because it's the best tennis game you'll ever play.