To us VR enthusiasts, it’s downright strange that it’s taken a developer this long to deliver an actual tennis simulator. Even more so considering the dirge of quality tennis games on any system lately, be it flat game or VR. But the wait is over courtesy of developer Bimboosoft.
Enter Dream Match Tennis VR.
Along with your VR headset, you’ll need one Move Controller and either a Dual Shock 4 or the near-dead Playstation Nav Controller. You read that right, the PS3 era navigation controller that you swear you just saw a couple of months ago, but now can’t find anywhere. Yeah, that’s the one. It works like this: you hold the Move in your racket hand and the DS4 or Nav controller in the other hand, allowing you to run around the court. They both work great, but as I’m sure you can imagine, the Nav controller is more comfortable to use. Especially for those long sessions. If you don’t want to run your little digital guy around the court, Bimboosoft set you up with some options.
They have an auto teleport option that morphs you right to the ball, and it’s as bad as it sounds. One option that I did enjoy was the autorun option, which is the same as the teleport only it runs you to the ball, so the only thing you have to do is concentrate on striking the ball accurately, and with spin and the placement you wanted. I played the first four or five matches this way, and I found it a great way to get my feet wet. Now, however, I’ve found using the Nav controller is the ideal way to play to fully immerse yourself in the game. Although my VR legs are firmly entrenched, it’s worth noting that I didn’t suffer even the slightest bit of queasiness running around the court. But for those not as lucky, I feel the autorun option is a great alternative.
The Move tracks well, allowing you to put realistic movement on the ball and crush pinpoint serves. In fact, the racket physics was an obvious focal point for the developer, but it seems most other parts of the game suffered from lack of attention. In indie developer Bimboosoft’s defense, improved graphics, better crowd animation, and more game modes would have been for naught had they not nailed the actual act of playing tennis. The racket did lose calibration a few times causing it to hang at an awkward position. Most of the time, simply holding the select button would straighten everything out, like every other VR game, but twice that didn’t work. I was deep into a tournament and didn’t want to restart, so I fought through it, and eventually, the racket settled into a realistic position. It only happened twice in hours of play, but it was frustrating nonetheless.
The graphics aren’t stellar, but the racket looks great and the court is good enough. The crowd is small and has zero animations. I couldn’t find a scoreboard, either, which was strange. The line judge would announce the score after each point, but I couldn’t always distinguish his “thirty” from his “Forty”. The sound of your racket smacking the ball is spot on, but all other sounds are forgettable, literally. Besides, the line judge announcing the score, and the sound of the racket making that familiar sound of striking the ball, there may be no other sound in the game. I honestly don’t remember.
The biggest bummer and most glaring omission of Dream Match Tennis VR is the lack of multiplayer. As it stands now, there is a deep practice mode that allows you to hit balls from a ball machine in a myriad of speeds and shots. All customizable. There is also the exhibition mode and a tournament. Each round of the tournament takes place in a different locale, but the court and crowd never change, as if the budget dried up a little sooner than they expected. You can change the court to grass or clay, but that is the only visual difference you’re going to see in this bare-bones tennis affair.
In the end, for 15 dollars, you’re getting a tennis game that truly nails VR tennis, but misses on most everything else. I came to play tennis, and I played for hours with a smile on my face. If they patch in some polish that would be nice and would further my recommendation of purchasing this game. If they patch in some multiplayer, then I’d say Dream Match Tennis VR is a must buy for anyone with a headset.
Dream Match Tennis VR PS4 Review
If the the rest of Dream Match Tennis VR was as good as the actual tennis playing, this would have score even higher. Add in a decent multiplayer mode and it would be elevated to an instant must-buy. Instead, it’s just a fun tennis sim that is well worth the fifteen bucks, especially if you like tennis.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.
When Jeremy isn’t writing books or playing video games, he’s living his life one random movie references at a time.