Grand Slam Tennis 2
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: PS3, X Box 360
It had to happen sooner or later but at last I have played a game where I didn’t want to turn off the Move controller after my first go. That probably should have be unsurprising as the Move, like the Wii(plus) remote, is ideal for recreating action from sports such as golf and tennis. What caught me more off guard was that when playing with the traditional controller, I was offered a depth in gameplay that I really wasn’t expecting (or previously experienced) from a tennis sim.
Like any other EA sports title, you are offered an assortment of options for courts, game modes and online / offline play and you can choose from customisable character to an assortment of tennis stars from present day to legends like Boris Becker and John McEnroe. Gameplay wise movement is controlled with the left analogue stick and your shot is either controlled with the Move controller or the right stick. While simply whacking the ball back over the net can be picked up easily enough with both controllers, to truly master the game - particularly if you wish to consistently beat your friends / online opponents - you must practice the precise means and positions to preform different swings and lobs. It did take me longer to feel comfortable with the right stick compared with the motion controller and there was some fair amount of frustration being yelled at in the training mode but the more complex controls successfully raised this game above the simplistic arcade style of gameplay that I have come to expect from tennis games.
Although it will take time to become an expert at the game, Grand Slam 2 is significantly easier to pick up and play compared to other sporting games and would be one of my first choices if choosing a multiplayer game when playing with irregular gamers. Unfortunately, while it offered far more replay value than I had anticipated, I cannot see myself getting invested here as much as I would with an EA football, basketball or golfing game. This is not a fault of the game itself or the designers work but more of a reflection on the sport itself. Golf allows for a large number of players in a turn based multiplayer experience and football and basketball allow for greater variation in matches thanks to squad selection and positioning. In tennis, large multiplayer matches can only be accomplished in league modes which and while that can be enjoyable in its own right, is not the same as some of the epic rounds I have had with golf videogames nor can it offer the diversity of a game involving teams.
Overall, by far best tennis sim I have ever played. It is quick to pick up but offers far greater challenges to master. If you like tennis, pick this game up now. For all others, unless you have an intense hatred of the sport, then you could do far worse than Grand Slam 2.
Rent or buy: Buy
Reviewed by: JP Gallagher
Story by entertainment.ie | 16:20 | Thursday 15th March 2012 | Games
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