Grand Slam Tennis 2
Does Electronic Arts serve up an ace or double fault?
- Great graphics
- Excellent commentary
- Slick presentation
- Interesting variety of past and present players
- Not quite that different from other tennis games
- Selection of players not to everyone's tastes
Grand Slam Tennis 2 is the latest and greatest tennis game on the market, and there is much enjoyment to be found in it. As long as you expect an evolution instead of a revolution, Grand Slam Tennis 2 will satisfy.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
While not as prolific in the video game space as other sports genres such as soccer and basketball, tennis has always held a small niche for gamers. I've personally had an on-and-off relationship with tennis games in the past, having gotten my first taste with Super Tennis on the Sega Master System. At the time, I found it to be a slightly limited experience that obviously could not replicate the raw intensity and deeply strategic nature of the sport. For that reason, I more or less overlooked tennis games in the subsequent 16 and 32 bit generations.
My interest in tennis games was rekindled when I played the original Virtua Tennis on the Sega Dreamcast. The detailed polygon graphics for the time and tight controls added a new dimension to the gameplay. I had a lot of fun with that game and it effectively became the yardstick to which I measure tennis games, including subsequent sequels in the Virtua Tennis franchise. However, I ended up avoiding any further Virtua Tennis games, as I found them too similar to the first game and not much of an evolutionary leap.
• In pictures: Tennis Grand Slam 2 launch event
I was excited to play Virtua Tennis 3 when it came out on the current consoles, and it provided enough new content and innovation to rekindle my interest. The additional processing power of the consoles meant that that the graphics and controls were even better than before, leading to a more immersive experience. I played Top Spin 3 as well, and while it was a good game, I found few points of differentiation with Virtua Tennis 3. Both were good and enjoyable games, but ultimately they did not seem to be such a great leap from the original Virtua Tennis.
I provide this background as I found myself faced with the same feeling when playing Grand Slam Tennis 2. The short answer is that it is a really good tennis game, if not the best one available on the current consoles. The long answer is not quite as straightforward. The things I liked about Grand Slam Tennis 2 are more or less the same things that people like with all major EA Sports releases, which is the slick presentation, the advanced graphics, the abundant commentary, and the licensing of famous athletes.
In those areas, Grand Slam Tennis 2 excels, as the graphics are on par with other EA Sports releases. The commentary by famous commentators is well recorded and adds to the feeling of immersion. While the well designed menu system deserves a special mention, the real highlight of the game is the inclusion of renowned tennis players from the present and past. Federer and Djokovic are in there, as well as tennis legends Sampras and McEnroe. Even local Wimbledon winner, Pat Cash, gets a nod in the game, complete with his trademark black-and-white bandana.
I had the chance to play Grand Slam Tennis 2 on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, though this late in the console cycle, I predictably found the games to be identical in content and presentation. While I did not have the opportunity to compare the graphics of both consoles side-by-side, I can confidently say that EA has done a good job in ensuring that the gaming experience is the same for either console. The only differentiator is PlayStation Move support for the PlayStation 3 edition of the game. As with Top Spin 3, which had Move support implemented, I found the decreased accuracy from just using the Move controller to limit the enjoyment of the game. However, using the Move together with a navigation controller adds further control to the player and overcomes this.
The only drawbacks that I could find with the game was that it is not much of an evolution over the earlier Virtua Tennis 3 and Top Spin 3, which makes me wonder if developers are starting to hit a wall with what they can achieve in this generation. The graphics, while detailed, are still let down by the zombie appearance of the players. Games such as Uncharted and Infamous have consistently shown how human movement and facial expressions can be accurately conveyed in games, both in-game and in cut scenes that make use of the game engine. While a lot of the players in Grand Slam Tennis 2 retain their real life counterpart's signature moves, such as Edberg and his unique serving style, the emotionless facial expressions stick out like a sore thumb. This is not an issue just with Grand Slam Tennis 2, but with most tennis games since the original Virtua Tennis.
Overall, Grand Slam Tennis 2 is a great package that captures the thrills and spills of the game. It will be interesting to see how EA will try to improve the formula if and when it starts work on a sequel.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTLevel 3 Systems EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCSharePoint Service ManagerNSW
- CC.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTService Delivery ManagerWA
- CCICT Strategist and AdvisorNSW
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst - General InsuranceNSW
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!WA
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSystem Support ConsultantNSW
- CCNetwork EngineersACT
- TPTechnical Analyst - 6 Month Contract - Great Rates Of PayNSW
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSystems AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC