Top Spin and Virtua tennis have been going at it a while to claim the title of best Tennis game. Last year saw both titles going at it again with the critics giving 2K’s Top Spin the kudos over it’s rival. 2012 sees EA release their own tennis game to lock horns with the competition, Grand Slam Tennis 2. Boasting slick visuals, a massive career mode, and all four grand slams will this title ace the its opponents?
When you first start up Grand Slam Tennis 2 you’re introduced to the typical EA layout and structure. You have your single and doubles modes to choose from for casual or competitive play, a practice court, career mode, and your usual EA extras beyond that. Menu colours sport a blackish backdrop with a featured tennis star gracing the background.
EA have done a good good creating a good and satisfying tennis game. Gameplay runs at a flowing pace and is only let down by certain shot animations. Errors are a small part of the game and make the game feel a little bit arcade like, rarely will you hit a shot long or wide of the mark. ‘Total racquet control’ is a new feature by where your right analog stick gives you complete control over your shot and while it is well implemented feature it doesn’t stand out at all and you’ll soon revert to face buttons to dictate your play.
Clearly EA have put a lot of detail into player animations, Nadal spreads his feet apart when receiving a serve; Djockovic swaying from side to side as he anticipates the serve; this all lends itself to making the game seem more realistic. Saying that, when your pro player wins a point the celebrations are almost non existent, a short fist pump from Nadal doesn’t suffice when you’ve just won a huge point. It dumbs down the experience, although the game doesn’t suffer greatly from it.
Visuals is something EA is strong at within its sports games and GS2 benefits from this. Centre Court at Wimbledon looks great with ball boys/girls, umpires and fans lending to the atmosphere on the court. The players themselves are visualised with great detail, from Andy Murrays facial hair to Roger Federer’s face, each bit of the player looks the part.
PlayStation Move controls are integrated into the game and do give a different experience to the traditional controller. Whilst not going to the extent that SEGA did with Virtua Tennis, EA made the Move experience as you would without the first person view. You swing the controller in the chose direction and your player on screen will replicate that to accuracy.
EA Grand Slam Tennis 2 is a solid tennis experience, getting most things right and therefore putting it in competition for the champ of tennis games. Some aspects may not be enough for the hardcore fans of the sport. Despite that the game offers fun gameplay and bright visuals that are a joy to experience.
EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis 2 launches on February 14 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Pre-order your copy here (PS3) and here (Xbox 360).