|Review: Grand Slam Tennis 2|
Friday, 24 February 2012 12:15
Unlike its Wii counterpart, Grand Slam Tennis 2 (GST2) on the Xbox is a serious affair - the graphics are awesome, it has a deep career mode and it has an intuitive control system makes it a hard game to put down.
GST2 has a full roster of all the top tennis players including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, and the Williams sisters as well as a ream of tennis heroes from yesteryear including Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova. In addition to the regular career modes, the game has 'grand slam classic' matches where you can compete in some of the biggest clashes over the past 30 years, like the Nadal-Federer 2008 Wimbledon Final.
The controls are simple and intuitive with a basic four-shot button layout. You also have the choice of using the right stick instead of the buttons. Even though using this 'Total Racket Control' system has a steeper learning curve, the subtlety in the control will give you a competitive advantage at higher difficulties.
That being said, the secret to mastering the game is in things they can't teach you – positional play, coming in to towards the net, and selecting and timing your shots. I found the control relatively easy to master but my lack of tennis knowledge meant that I struggled at higher difficulties.
However, the game has very repetitive commentary. Pat Cash and John McEnroe provide the dialogue for the game but they very quickly become annoying. I switched it off by the end of my first tournament.
The online gameplay is almost flawless. Finding an online game was easy and lag was almost non-existent. Strangely though, when playing a fellow local reviewer, the lag was much more pronounced - though this didn't stop him from beating me multiple times. Outside of the rather embarrassing loss, the online experience was highly enjoyable.
GST2 is an excellent sports simulator. It combines the technicality of a typical EA sports title with an arcade feel. The controls are simple to pick up, the career mode is meaningful and online gameplay is well executed. Whether you're playing online, have four controllers at home or are even playing alone, GST2 is definitely worth your time.
Pros: Online gameplay; simple control system; is easy to pick up but difficult to master at higher difficulty levels
Cons: Repetitive commentary; losing to fellow game reviewer Fayyaad from OneLargePrawn – multiple times;
Achievement difficulty: 4/10
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