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Virtua Tennis (DC) Interview
Our Cliff O'Neill
recently had a chance to interview Mie Kumagai, Virtua Tennis Producer.
1) Traditionally, tennis games do not meet with much success in the arcade or on the home console systems. How will Virtua Tennis attract tennis fans and non-tennis fans to the game?
You are right. There aren't many tennis games that have done well in the
States although the sports video game market is very large. This
situation shows that we do not have any competitors. My team and I believe that if we provide an exciting, high quality tennis game with amazing 3D graphics, it will be a success in the American market. We're making a trial version (demo disk) so that Dreamcast users can actually check out the game before they purchase it. We think they will realize what a great game “Virtua Tennis” is and get hooked on it!
2) Is the gameplay in “Virtua Tennis” sim-based or more arcade-like?
I think the game is both sim-based and arcade-like. We can say the
gameplay is sim-based because the offensive and defensive moves the
players make during the matches are very close to real tennis. On the
other hand, the game possesses fun aspects typical of an arcade
game like easily executed super plays and strong serves and smashes.
3) Will there be any kind of learning curve?
We currently have three different gameplay modes, which are: Season, Exhibition and Playoff. All of these are self-explanatory.
This game is for all ages. “Virtua Tennis” possesses a great deal of depth
and challenges the users to improve their skill.
4) What is the control scheme like?
Basically, the control scheme consists of the D-pad (or analog thumb pad)
which can be used to move the character and hit the ball. By using the
“shot” button and the “lob” button, the user can select the type of shot he'd
like to execute. It is possible to maneuver volley and lob shots
through button and D-pad command combinations, making it possible to
return the ball in a variety of skillful shots.
5) How many characters are included, and are there any professional tennis players in the game?
8 tennis pros who are ranked at the top in world rankings
appear in “Virtua Tennis.” Carlos Moya (Spain), Tim Henman (UK),
Thomas Johansson (Sweden), Tommy Haas (Germany), Cedric Pioline,
Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Jim Courier, and Mark Philippoussis. 8 other
fictitious players have also been included in the game.
6) Is there a create-a-player feature that will allow gamers to create their own tennis player?
It is not possible to create your own player, but it is possible to change
uniforms by purchasing them with prize money earned from competitions
won in “WORLD CIRCUIT” mode.
7) What types of gameplay modes are featured in Virtua Tennis?
Gameplay based on clearing all five available stages. Players can participate in the middle of a match as well.
Players can select settings, customize the conditions to win, rules of competition, and desired stage (court). Both singles and doubles matches are available.
User selects from one of eight real players in this Dreamcast original mode and tries to advance to tournaments across the globe. While improving his/her ability through training (tennis mini game), players earn prize money by winning tournaments.
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