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'US OPEN 2003' (PC/PS2/Xb) - Developer Interview

by Thomas on May 21, 2003 @ 4:41 a.m. PDT

The 2003 version of US OPEN 2003 includes many innovations: exclusive new animations with no more latency in controls, super realistic trackside details like ballboys, showtime match presentations, experiencepoints to improve your player's skills, bonus courts and players,etc.. And of course, for even more realism, you will find the offical courts of USOPEN. Wanadoo have world-wide rights, excluding N.America (where DreamCatcher is doing it). This is the Q&A, love.
Q) What is the difference between USOPEN 2003 and all the other tennis games?

We are the only game to have both the USOPEN and Roland Garros licences which enables the player to play on the real courts of these tournaments. More generally, the mix of arcade and simulation game modes and gameplay settings makes USOPEN2003 the most complete game and can really please every type of gamer.

Q) What influenced you when designing this new version?

We really wanted to add more fun to our 2002 version, being less simulation and more arcade in the approach. But we still have some strong simulation points in this 2003 version.

Q) How did the official players in the game help you for the development?

Well for instance Paul-Henri Mathieu, who was elected last year "best newcomer of the year" by the other players, came to our office and showed us the exact tennis gestures he would like to find in the game. He also insisted on being the best in the game !!!

Q) Explain us the new arcade exercices? Why choose arcade games for a simulation game with a realistic licence?

"Learn with Fun". This sentence is the main explanation of our new career exercises. They are clearly more arcade than simulation.

But we realize than it was not possible to teach the "basics" of tennis in some austere mini games.

The 2 on 1 mode, is also an arcade style game mode, but we thought that it was an interesting challenge to add to our game.

Q) What replay value does it have?

With a lot of game modes, US Open 2003 offers many hours of play. The new gameplay engine, added to the new graphics and animations convey a lot of fun and dynamism to this game.

Q) If we suggest that Virtua Tennis 2 is the best tennis game on PS2 yet, how does USOPEN 2003 compare?

Virtua Tennis 2 can be seen as the state of the art Arcade Tennis game.

US Open 2003 was not made to be 100 % arcade orientated, we wanted it to be an Arcade/Simulation sports game.

Our gameplay has different levels of control :
1- You can use it in a simple arcade way, by using just one shot button and the directional stick. This way you will have an intuitive gameplay.
2- You can use it in a medium level of control, by using the 4 shots buttons and the directional stick. This way you are in an arcade/simulation gameplay.
3- Last but not least, you can use the 4 shots buttons and the effect triggers, with the directional stick. This way you will have the complete control of the player, with a huge number of possibilities for winning a match. You will have the complete simulation tennis game.

We also deeply improved the graphics and animation rendering on this 2003 version. The graphic quality is better than Virtua Tennis 2.

Q) Is there a real difference in terms of gameplay whether the star you choose in the game?

Yes, really. All our players are different, which means that they don't have the same abilities (power and accuracy are different on forehand and backhand, at baseline and volley). They also all play differently, because of their specific A.I. strategy (serve/volley, defence player, baseliner).

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