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Sampras Extreme has digitized movements and dynamic playing styles of both male and female tennis professionals using the latest 8-camera motion capture technology. The result is a tennis game that realistically duplicates hundreds of shots, playing styles and sweeping movements of 22 tennis professionals in amazing 3D detail. You'll see players doing dive returns, high smashes, slices, regular shots, serves, looking down at their feet when they miss a shot and much more. The mathematical engineering on the ball's movement makes this virtual tennis ball look real and the sound effects for it are very convincing.
A tennis ball being hit by a racket, bouncing off the court, or hitting the net are just some of the sound effects you'll hear in Sampras Extreme that make this game come to life. There are over 50 megabytes of crowd samples that give a unique reaction to each individual shot in the game using its artificial intelligence. Each of these samples are played depending on the type of shot which gives the impression of a live audience. The umpire has not been left out and calls out the shots during the game in the native language of the eight countries you can play in. You'll hear English (UK, Australian and American), French, German, Spanish, Cantonese, and Russian. On a foul shot, a beep will sound and the umpire will call the shot. You'll even hear your running shoes squeaking against the wooden floors.
There are three game modes to choose from in the main menu: Single Match, Knockout, and Tournament. In the Single Match, one to four players may play against the computer or each other in a game of Singles or Doubles with sets of one, three or five. In Knockout, eight players compete in singles matches and try to remain unbeaten to win the final. If there are less than eight human players the computer will make up for the difference. You choose the number of games to be played from either one, three or five. Tournament can be played with either one or two players in a Singles or Doubles match taking on International players. Each Sampras opponent will be stronger than the last as you work your way through the Sampras Extreme World Tour. The number of sets can be either three or five.
Eight stadiums are available for play on indoor, outdoor, grass, clay, or hard courts. These 3D stadiums are very well produced including the side boards with advertising on them, the crowd, skies, and seven umpires (three on each side and one in the middle). The crowd actually looks real as you can see their heads, shoulders, upper arms and hands when they clap. The following table consists of the eight stadiums found in the game:
|U.S. Challenge||Flushing Meadows, New York||Outdoor||Grass|
|French Open||Stade Olivier Foux, Paris||Outdoor||Clay|
|London Open||Putbey Arena, London||Outdoor||Grass|
|Australian Open||Canooba Creek Stadium, Melbourne||Outdoor||Artificial Grass|
|Barcelona Grand Prix||Stadium Nacional, Barcelona||Outdoor||Hard|
|Frankfurt Championships||Der Staatstade, Frankfurt||Indoor||Hard|
|Hong Kong Open||Tai Hang Bay, Hong Kong||Outdoor||Hard|
|Kremlin Cup||Krem, Moscow||Indoor||Hard|
An extra bonus is in store for you when you play the tournament which includes the T.V. show "Extreme Tennis". Filmed in January in a warehouse (you can sometimes see their breath) that was transformed into a studio with show sets from the BBC in Midlands, you'll receive live intelligent and intuitive commentary on the progress of your game. Over 500 different sequences of dialogue were recorded by the American ex-professional tennis ace Jim Smash and the English tennis official Major Duffer. They will introduce the game and offer opinions between each set on the action and playing styles used. The video quality is almost perfect, just like watching T.V.
There are nine different camera viewpoints in which to play the game from. Several fixed angles through a 360-degree tracking camera are available as well as a first-person perspective view allowing you to see the game just like the pros. This is extremely well done providing the most accurate feel of playing a tennis game. The other possible views are three types of fixed views, three types of ball tracking views, a TV view, and camera view that you can adjust.
Before a game, you'll view the players walking out onto the court. They will sit down for a few seconds on a bench or chair and then get up to play the game. In between games the players will switch sides of the court by walking (fairly slowly) towards the center side of the court. The players are dressed in shorts, polo shirts, running shoes and socks. By the design on the running shoes and advertisements in the game, it looks as if the players are wearing Nikes. The computer players are equipped with artificial intelligence. They will learn your shots, prepare themselves for them, and even use the same shots against you.
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