Grand Slam 2: Why isn’t anyone talking about it?

I was so busy picking up my Vita and playing it I forgot to mention earlier this week Grand Slam Tennis 2 arrived via Gamefly.

The original game, released for the Wii, was one of the first really technical implementations of the Wiimote — it was a nice idea, but it was frustratingly difficult and not fun at all. I did have some hope after playing the demo for the “2” of this game, which was only released for the 360 and the PS3.

For whatever reason, Kinect is NOT supported by Move is, so if you want full body action, you’ll have to get the PS3 version.

First off, this has the old EA Sports menus (like Madden 11, not FIFA 12), but you can work with it. The game has a lot of deep options, like create a player/season modes — of course there’s also one off games where you can play as the pros of the past (as well as present).

Graphics are gorgeous and this is one of the first Tennis games I can remember that has actual play by play. John McEnroe does a fair job, although apparently there wasn’t a lot of time to record a ton of dialogue — which means repeat “tips” — ugh. However, some is better than none, and I’ll live with it. It goes pretty well with the gameplay, except if you X out — then the commentary won’t match what’s going on. It’s as if he has to finish the .wav file before he goes to the next one.

The game play using the controller is basically the left stick to move and the right stick to swing. Triggers can select lobs. The game is a lot of strategy and a lot of action. In my brief time with it, I’ve done a lot of fist pumps on some shots I’ve made.

Serving is fun and playing the ball is nice. Line judges move, although I haven’t seen ball boys/girls in action. Advantage is given using the player’s name. That doesn’t happen very often and is a nice immersive touch.

Unfortunately, it seems a full length 5 set, 6 game to win a set tennis match is painstakingly long to play and that doesn’t change here. You’ll want to set it at 3 game sets and most likely best of 3 otherwise you could devote a whole Breakfast at Wimbledon, which would turn into a Lunch at Wimbledon — just for one match.

This is just early impressions, but I’m liking this game a lot. Easily better than Top Spin so far…




About icedcorn

I'm a gamer
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2 Responses to Grand Slam 2: Why isn’t anyone talking about it?

  1. MeanOnSunday says:

    It seems as if there is 50% of a decent game. The classics mode is nice, replaying the critical moments of games from the last 30 years. Also you can download characters created by other users, so if you have some favorite players not in the game you can probably find a decent replica and even add them to the career mode.

    That brings us, however, to the bad. The career mode is awful; you can’t adjust the difficulty it just auto-increases each year. The result is that you will win the grand slam in your first and second years with hardly a lost game (but mysteriously never being ranked in the top 20 in the world). Then in year 3 the worst unknowns will suddenly be returning everything, blasting shots at impossible angles, and crushing your dreams of ever being ranked #1. The AI games have no logic at all, so Federer, Nadal, etc often lose in the first or second round. I probably averaged playing one real player per grand slam event.

    You have to be careful of the auto-save, which sometimes decides not to work. Always manually save your profile.

    The controls, well just try using the old style controls instead of the right stick and you will realize how imprecise the latter really is. Still, I used the right stick just to give the AI a chance on the lower difficulties.

    A pet peave of mine; I hate all the grunting, and this is the one thing you can’t turn down in the audio settings. Also, the racket sounds are the worst I can remember. It sounds like the rackets have metal guitar strings.

    Unless you plan a lot of online play I would say this is a rental, or wait for it to drop to $20.


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