Podcast #23 – SEGA Superstars Tennis Interview with Steve Lycett and Travis Ryan – HGZine Feature

In an agreement with HGZine, I have been given permission to release certain audio interviews I have recorded for the online magazine right here on my personal website as podcasts.

I interview Steve Lycett, Executive Producer and Travis Ryan Lead Designer of SEGA Superstars Tennis. Although this interview was intended for a portable handheld magazine, there is a lot of detail about the next generation versions as well.

Topics include:


Console Monster Podcast #6 – Virtua Tennis 3

In the latest Console Monster Podcast, I interview Toby Allen, Assistant Producer from Sumo Digital, who are behind the Xbox 360 port of Virtua Tennis 3.

Also featured is an interview with Max Freiert from Compete Blog [38:14], who discusses his two posts on ‘Xbox 360, Halo 3, and Gears of War: Violence breeds killer apps?‘ and ‘Xbox360 vs. Wii vs. PS3: Demand doesn’t lie‘.

The Virtua Tennis 3 interview includes the following topics:

  • Who are Sumo Digital?
  • Toby’s experience in gaming
  • Still enjoy the games you develop after release?
  • Developing for next generation systems
  • Difference in quality of development tools
  • Multi-platform gaming development
  • Creating games on lower spec systems
  • Played previous Virtua Tennis games?
  • What has changed in this latest incarnation?
  • What is all the fuss about 1080p?
  • Why does the Xbox 360 version have online multiplayer, but the PlayStation 3 does not?
  • What is the process involved when porting a game?
  • Any major/minor differences between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions?
  • What is involved with the single player experience?
  • Achievements spread
  • Favourite mini game?
  • Online spectator mode (VT:TV)
  • What Xbox Live features are included?
  • Any downloadable content in the future?
  • Possible patch update to fix a few minor issues?
  • Any game ideas that didn’t make the final version?
  • Any tips?
  • The under-arm serve technique
  • Will there ever be a Nintendo Wii version of Virtua Tennis 3?

My Virtua Tennis 3 Review for Xbox 360

Here is my Virtua Tennis 3 review for the Xbox 360:

Now I hope you are ready for some tennis nostalgia as we set off in our little gaming time machine back to the good old SEGA Dreamcast, where the delights of two players, one net, two rackets and a few simple lines to create the outline of a court can inspire even the most bewildered sport fanatic.

Yes the game I am talking about is of course Virtua Tennis, which is the pinnacle sports title of the last few console generations. With its arcade styling’s and simple pick up and play attitude, this SEGA gem had been left in the shadows since the demise of the Dreamcast and only now has it appeared from behind the crowd to again take on the competitors.

I must say I have been quite addicted to this game for the last few weeks and I have also recently interviewed Toby Allen, Assistant Producer from Sumo Digital. They are behind the Xbox 360 port and offers insight into the process and the final game. This will be released as a podcast on in the next few days!

Note: On, the score is currently shown as an average of the scores I gave for graphics, gameplay etc as is coded within the content system, however on the new site design it will be an independent value. Average is 7.7 , but I am giving the game 8.5 (85%), which will be shown when the site re-launches! Confusing I know, but thats what happens between site designs.

Review: Virtua Tennis 3 Review for Xbox 360
Shop: Virtua Tennis 3 @


Virtua Tennis 3 Xbox 360 Impressions

virtuatennissmall.jpgAfter playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox 360 I thought SEGA had lost any sense of its heritage as it was a complete disaster, but then came along Virtua Tennis 3 to apparently save the day…

Having owned both previous Virtua Tennis games on the much loved SEGA Dreamcast, the latest in the series achieves the same style of arcade enjoyment right on our Xbox 360 console. With the same almost pick up and play attitude, the tennis game to beat all others has arrived with photo realistic graphics and with an extremely fun gameplay factor to match.


The only downsides I have noticed are that in some doubles matches the framerate can drop a little during the transitions on screen after a point has been completed, the online is a little laggy (could be just I haven’t played anyone from the UK yet!) and the player you are controlling is extremely sensitive to positioning yourself for the next shot, which can result in an unwanted dive destroying your winning streak.

Let us also not forget the 1080p support as well, although it is excellent that the Xbox 360 can match the PlayStation 3 in this area, the number of us who actually own 1080p compatible high definition televisions is slim at best, but a nice addition I suppose for those lucky bleeders who do (I am more than just a little jealous maybe).

Overall it is a very welcome third title in the Virtua Tennis legacy and is sure to be far better received than the lackluster sequel Top Spin 2. SEGA seems to have finally rekindled that magic with the help from Sumo Digital and long may it continue!

Shop: Virtua Tennis 3 @


Virtua Tennis 3 Coming to Xbox 360 and PS3

Before the great Top Spin and Top Spin 2, there was only one tennis game that everyone adored and that of course was Virtua Tennis on the SEGA Dreamcast. With Top Spin 2 released recently, it is interesting to hear that Virtua Tennis 3 is coming to the Xbox 360 and PS3:

Sega has announced Virtua Tennis 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game, ported from the Arcade version of the same name, is tenatively slated to ship in Spring 2007. Given the graphical leap expected by next-generation hardware, the realistic character models in the Virtua Tennis series should see a serious upgrade.


Are you more into mini-games? The next-gen installment of Virtua Tennis will include updated versions of the classic skill improving challenges as well as some new mini-games. Additionally, the create-a-player mode will receive a new coat of next-gen polish.

Virtua Tennis was always in an arcade style of the sport, however it should be great fun and great news for tennis fans including myself.

Link: Virtua Tennis Comes to Next Gen