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…