You want realism?
The fact that my friend walked in on me playing this game and said ‘Oh, is Murray winning?’ really does sum this game up. It’s just a shame the gameplay couldn’t quite match the amazing graphics.
Just like football, tennis has got its own fierce gaming rivalry. Top Spin and Virtua Tennis have been slogging it out for a number of years now, and still it seems, with no elusive winner. However, are the tides about to be turned? I played Top Spin 2 and enjoyed its simplistic, compulsive gameplay, meanwhile its newly introduced online feature proved immensely popular and offered the game another dimension. But this was no different to Virtua Tennis, and with the official licenses granted to the Virtua series it seemed like a loss for Top Spin.
Easy to learn – difficult to master.
Thankfully Top Spin has upped its game this time around, on and off the court. Firstly you are asked to create your Pro, and for some a monotonous process begins. However for me this was half the fun. Such was the detail and authenticity of the creator, it is easy to forget that it’s the action on the court that makes this game what it is. The graphics continue to overwhelm you right from the start of your career. Spanning from the believable crowd and synthetic court locations in Junior level to the royalties of the Australian Open, with its sun blessed shadows and an atmosphere that pits you right there alongside Federer himself. I was blown away. I own a HD TV and it really is a joy to play, experiencing every rotation of the ball and the exhaustion cast on your players face after THAT fifth set tie break!
A major criticism of Top Spin 3 however, has to be the controls. After becoming suited to the basic controls of Top Spin 2, it took me about ten games to really get the hang of things. An easy turn off for many tennis fans but trust me, grind through these early games and the game opens up into a truly beautiful and exhilarating experience. Most noticeably, the orthodox way of button pressing to play your shot has been revamped – with you having to hold down your selected choice of shot way before you actually getting around to making contact. Annoying at first, but it altogether aids in reminiscing real life that extra bit more. Easy to learn – difficult to master.
I’m not an avid tennis fan myself but found this game compulsive. The graphics blew me away and the gameplay enforced a difficult challenge that was extremely rewarding to overcome. If you’ve given in to Virtua Tennis over the years, change may be on the agenda with 2K sports’ crisp and clean new tennis ace.
The Bad: Very poor online community.; No commentary!; Can be very challenging for beginners.