Showing 1 to 8 of 8
1. Posted: Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:06 BST
Grand Slam Tennis Review
I wrote up a review for Grand Slam Tennis this morning, after playing the game for nearly two weeks. Enjoy! (And can someone please enable the size tag?)
Control (With MotionPlus) - 8/10:Grand Slam Tennis has a very steep learning curve; When you first plug in MotionPlus, you'll more likely than not think you just wasted 50 smackers. However, after an hour or two of practice, things begin to click. You'll soon be able to aim (regardless of timing) your shots up the line and cross-court with ease. Note that there is a delay between your swing and the on-screen character, but it feels quite natural after practice.
Swinging in an upward motion will apply top-spin, while swinging in a downward motion will apply back-spin. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. Occasionally I find myself hitting with backspin when I was trying to apply topspin - if you're aiming for the line, then this usually results in the ball flying out. Luckily, this is rare and does not hinder gameplay.
Control (Without MotionPlus) - 8/10:Even without MotionPlus, Grand Slam Tennis has solid control. You aim your shots by timing them carefully, and apply topsin and backspin the same way you do with MotionPlus. The system works quite well. If you have trouble timing your shots, the practice mode is your friend - it projects where the ball will land while you're waiting to swing. With 10-15 minutes practice, you'll be at home with the controls.
Nunchuck Movement:This game simply must be played with a nunchuck. So much depends on where you're positioned, that you need full control over your player's whereabouts. At first using the nunchuck can be confusing, but with practice it becomes quite natural.
Career Mode - 6/10:Disappointing. Both the career mode and player creator are minimalistic at best. You'll essentially follow this pattern: Exhibition match, party game, pro-ability match (i.e., learn Pete Sampras' serve), tournament. If you win a match or event, two new items will be unlocked. (Shirts, shorts, rackets, etc.) Occasionally during or after a match your player will increase his star rating. The more stars you have, the more pro abilities you can equip, three being the maximum. It is rather addicting, and two weeks later I'm still playing it.
Online Mode - 7/10:A tad disappointing. Matches are set up randomly, and the server tries to find players near your skill level. It also gives you the choice to play ranked and un-ranked matches. Sound OK? Yeah - so far. Unfortunately, playing in different countries can (but not always) be extremely laggy, to the point of you simply giving up the match and lowering yours and your country's rank. This would be acceptable, though, if you could set it to only pick players in certain regions - but you can't. Luckily, with the friend system, you can easily set up custom match-play, and completely bypass the random match system. That said, when you do find a lag-free match, and someone at your own skill level, you'll have a blast. It's incredibly fun learning other peoples' play-styles, and figuring out ways to take them down.
Oh, and you'll want to be playing every day, or you'll find your rank drop 100 spots or so.
Local Multiplayer - 10/10:This is where the game really shines. The gameplay is fast and intense, and it's some of the most fun multiplayer I have ever played in any game. One minor issue is when the ball is near a net post; the camera will go to an awkward angle, completely hiding the ball from sight. Fortunately, this is a rarity.
There are some party games, such as King of the Court, Champs, and Aussie Doubles. They're decent fun, but not nearly as good as the exhibition matches.
Graphics - 7/10:While a great concept, the execution is less than stellar. The crowd is a blurry 2D mess, and the line judges have no animation. On the other hand, most of the character models look like the real players, and are instantly recongizable.
Sound - 8/10:Punchy, arcadey sound effects. Most of the players have their real-life grunts. The music is decent, if unmemorable. The crowd applause is spot-on. Commentary is best turned off.
Menus - 8/10:Great, flashy menus. But wait - no analog stick support? WTF EA? Some long load times.
Summary:While a good rookie effort from EA, Grand Slam Tennis is definitely lacking in features. The online and career modes have their fair share of issues, but the brilliant gameplay and multiplayer more than makes up for it. Overall, a solid buy for any tennis fan.
Edited on Sun 5th July, 2009 @ 23:29 by pixelman
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2. Posted: Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:20 BST
Nice review, Mr. Case Sensitive. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. Once again, this is making my decisions very tough.
3. Posted: Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:25 BST
Glad you liked it, Knucklehead! I haven't played VT09 yet, so I can't really help you decide between them, other than saying GST is a very solid tennis game.
4. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 01:19 BST
I gave online another go this afternoon. Lag is still an issue, though mainly while playing against players in Germany and Canada. I had a couple of solid matches against Brits, and a hella fun match against a fellow American.
I also made a few minor changes to the review.
5. Posted: Sat 20th Jun 2009 02:56 BST
After beating Starfy I've finally had time to give this game time. The controls do take some getting used to, but once you get them down it is very fun. I've not had any issues with lag myself. P.S. Anyone have the wireless nunchuk by Nyko? I've heard bad things about it. I would like to buy it for this tennis game though.
6. Posted: Sat 20th Jun 2009 04:17 BST
You don't need it, with time and practice the nunchuck cord won't get in your way.
7. Posted: Sun 21st Jun 2009 18:27 BST
Is there any way to make sure your motion plus is working correctly? I can't tell a difference between playing with and without it, which makes me wonder if it is working.
8. Posted: Sun 21st Jun 2009 19:42 BST
Yes, enter practice mode, hold the Wii remote still, then move your racket smoothly to the right or left. If your player does likewise, then it's working.
Edit: And make sure the nunchuck is plugged in.
Edited on Sun 21st June, 2009 @ 19:43 by pixelman