Too bad, because I think the right stick controls are a good idea. Put that in Top Spin 5 and you've got yourself a really good game.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 Review
Good visuals and accessible controls can't mask Grand Slam Tennis 2's weak career mode.
- Only tennis game with all four Grand Slam venues
- Various control options that are all easy to grasp
- Great roster of classic players.
- Weak career mode
- Only a few court locations
- Female roster lacks top stars.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 comes to the sports gaming sphere when fans of the sport already have two other options: Top Spin 4 and Virtua Tennis 4. To stand out from its competition, it's coming onto the court as the only game with all four Grand Slam venues and a deep roster of legendary players, featuring names that people from all walks of life should recognize. While these two elements are good, a weak career mode and a lack of additional courts cause Grand Slam Tennis 2 to land in the middle of the tennis gaming landscape.
For starters, Grand Slam Tennis 2 is extremely user-friendly thanks in part to two different control options. EA Sports games have never been afraid of letting you use the right analog stick to control things. Here, it's used for swing mechanics. Flicking the stick in a different direction will result in a different kind of shot. The stick is used for all aspects on the court, including serving, and it works well in all regards. But for those who want simple button presses to dictate shots, that option is also available and can be grasped in no time.
PlayStation 3 owners have the additional benefit of the Move controller, and as you'd expect, it works fairly well. There are some minor delay responses, specifically when you're required to bring your hand down to initiate a serve, but otherwise, no real problems exist. On top of that, if you have a navigation controller, or want to hold a Sixaxis in the other hand, you can use it to control your player instead of your player being moved automatically.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 also takes a different approach to serving. While other tennis games have you pay attention to the height of the ball or a meter to maximize speed, here you have a bell curve that determines power. Before initiating the serve, holding the serve of choice for a period of time dictates how much power you want. Based on your serving skill, a sweet-spot marker appears on the court. Once it's set, a bar moves and your goal is to stop the moving line at the peak of the bell curve to get the strongest shot possible. It isn't necessary to hit that sweet spot to have a successful shot, but the closer the line is to the peak, the more likely it is that the serve will result in an ace.
One of the highlights of Top Spin 4 is its fantastic and deep career mode, which includes a plethora of tournaments and game types to take part in, not to mention that your created character earns experience regardless of the mode being played. Grand Slam Tennis 2's career mode entices you by giving you the opportunity to play at all four Grand Slam venues. While other tennis games have included three of the four, Grand Slam Tennis 2 is the only one that also includes the famed All England Club in Wimbledon.
While the inclusion of all four Grand Slams is nice, it's the only real highlight of the mode. Each year spent in the 10-year career is broken up into quarters for each Grand Slam. Before each one, you have the option to take part in up to two different activities, such as entering minor tournaments. Alternatively, you can try to complete training exercises while famed tennis player John McEnroe yells at you, or take part in exhibition matches that unlock additional gear and attributes.
There are a few problems with the career mode. The first is that it's limited. On top of the fact that there are only a few match types, there are only four major and four minor events available. This means that once the year is done, you may have seen everything the mode has to offer. The other problem is the way the difficulty increases. Rather than restricting what you can do based on your player's rating or career ranking, the game's difficulty increases as you progress from year to year. The first year you play on the game's easiest difficulty, rookie; year two moves you up to amateur; year three takes you to professional; and then years four until the end are played at the superstar level.
Shame about the game, great presentation, but the gameplay lets this game down. Huge dissapointment. I own this and top spin 4 and believe me top spin 4 is way out of this games league. This game is a bit like playing ping pong on one of the first ataris but just with jazzed up graphics