The best Tennis Game I have ever played.
Enter Grand Slam Tennis from EA. I've had this for a week now, and at this stage, I rate it as one of the best Sports titles on the Wii. It's an incredibly addictive game and easily the best Tennis game I have ever played on any console. EA has totally nailed it this time.
EA has done the clever thing, and not gone for realism of Graphics as they know the wii is not suited to that due to hardware limitations. The textures are all smooth - giving a cartoony type feel to the look, but it works beautifully. The players look, move, and sound just like their real world counterparts. Hear Nadal's groan on his big forehand, hear the Williams sisters as if they were actually playing. Slide across the clay, see the ball curve and float on slice shots. It's all there.
The gamplay is superb and the learning curve well balanced. Building up your custom player is fun an rewarding, by playing Legends you have a chance to take their abilities and equip yourself with say, Venus Williams' serve, if you can beat her in a leadup match. It's so well realised that it's actually really fun to just sit back and watch a game - so real is the gameplay and movement on screen, that my partner who is not a gamer, actually likes watching me play - not something she has ever said before.
If I had a couple of gripes, it would be about the Motion Plus, and customising players.
1/ The M+ is tricky to get used to with this game. It sometimes 'glitches' and plays a shot when you are simply trying to move your player, leading to a lost point. If it's at a crucial stage of the match, this can really annoy. The m+ does give you finer control of shot, but it also can make the forehand/backhand choice of chot much harder, and you end up getting cramped in your choice of shot sometimes. I actually ditched the M+ and now play Grand Slam without it - and I find the experience much more fun and easier to get into. THis is just my opinion.
2/ Customising your own player is a bit limited. You cant really make a player to look much like you, which is a shame. I would have liked to have seen greater options to get your own likeness more accurate, like the Mii system which is so effective.
I have played Virtua Tennis 2009 on Wii and for me, EA's Grand Slam Tennnis hits it for an easy winner, straight down the line. Overall I give this game a 9.5 out of 10. It falls short of greatness due to it's imperfect implentation of the Motion Plus, and the limited player customisation. This is a must-have Wii title.
Gamespot's reviewer for this game has unfortunately got it totally wrong this time. You only have to look at the overall positive (average: 8/10) scores by users, to know that whoever reviewed this game for gamespot, shouldn't be allowed to review games for gamespot. Period.