The demo actually plays really nicely. The controls feel just right. I guess the poor career mode and lack of famous pros let's this down.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 Review
Good visuals and accessible controls can't mask Grand Slam Tennis 2's weak career mode.
This progression in difficulty is hardly ideal. This system makes your first year so easy that even with a created character at a rating of around 35, you can easily beat the best players in the game, such as the highest-rated player, Novak Djokovic. Being able to win all four majors in your first year in real life should be impossible. But in Grand Slam Tennis 2, it's highly unlikely you won't accomplish this feat. In fact, winning all four majors in your second year is also highly likely.
Since you can more or less win eight majors in the first two years of your career--more than most real players have won--there are few reasons to keep playing. You might wish to keep pushing onwards if you long for a greater challenge: Once you move from amateur to pro, winning matches requires a lot of skill, not just a highly rated player. Nevertheless, had the difficulty been more related to your character's skill rating, then the career mode would have been more interesting.
Online play is also available and includes the ability to play in tournaments against others from around the world. Online connections are decent, but when you're playing with people overseas, there are some minor response delays; the ball stops mid air for a moment before the opposition makes its shot, and a few times, it got stuck on the net before the game signaled the stoppage of play. Your created players can also be used online, but because of their lower ratings, most people are playing with real pros instead.
Playing with the roster of real tennis players is available in the game’s ESPN Grand Slam Classics mode. Here, you can replay some of the most iconic Grand Slam matches from the last 30 years. Each match starts you off at a particular point--perhaps down two sets to one--and you must complete specific objectives. Completing the more recent matches unlocks older ones and the opportunity to play a few fantasy matches that have the best of today's players playing against the best from the past.
The roster of players is both incredible and lacking, depending on how you look at it. On the men's side, the roster of fifteen includes both current and former household names like Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Bjorn Borg, and Roger Federer. But on the women's side, there are only eight players included, four present and four classic. The roster of woman’s players does include famous players like Martina Navratilova and both Williams sisters, but of the current roster, only one of them is currently ranked among the Women's Tennis Association's top 10.
Thankfully, though, the entire roster has been incredibly re-created to replicate how those particular players act on the court. Rafael Nadal's backswing is wild, Maria Sharapova's signature grunt is there, and even John McEnroe gets visibly upset when shots don't go his way. Although only eight events are included, each of the four majors features three different courts, and outside of the plain looking judges and fans in the stands, looks really good.
There is also commentary from former tennis greats John McEnroe and Pat Cash. Both know their stuff and are interesting, but they end up repeating themselves after a short while if you tend to play a particular type of tennis. Because other tennis games don't include commentary, the advantage goes to EA.
As a first effort on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Grand Slam Tennis 2 is a fine introduction but could have used some more work. The virtual pros included have been implemented really well, and the varied control schemes are easy to learn. Unfortunately, the career mode lacks depth and fails to hold your interest for very long. Still, if EA Canada plans to make another tennis game in the next two to three years, as is the trend, there is potential for this franchise to have a long shelf life.
@finalcross Looks like someone is a little testy. Let people make their opinions and just deal with it. Can't please everyone so just move on. My Son loves the Demo and wants to play this big time. I wouldn't spend full price for this anyways so until it becomes a bargain bin game the demo he will continue to play.
@finalcross - Yeah because Gamespot has never put a review up before a games release! And I wasnt having a go at anyone, no need to take it so personal and start name calling. I was just expressing how much I value Gamespots opinion and I reference it a lot before I purchase games. But if you wish to take offence to my post instead of taking it as a complement so be it, I wont loose any sleep over it.
After seeing the demo footage that was leaked early, I'm surprised the game even garnered a 6.5 rating.
I'm excited for this game and really look forward to playing against people online especially at Wimbledon. Gonna have to pick up some strawberries and cream Tuesday.
@Poidad - the game launches in Europe on Friday and in North America on Tuesday...what you're asking for is childish.
Roster size is a little overrated on the men's side. I mean.. What modern players do people care about other than Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Hewitt? Nadal and Djokovic are going to meet in every Grand Slam final this year, so they're the only ones who really need to be in the game, lol.
Now you tell me! Just bought this game yesterday and looked forward to it after playing the demo, but like the review said it is pretty shallow. Still would've been nice to have the review up before the game was released.
@ZOD777 - I make mention of that in the video review but a few more classic players (eg. Graf, Seles, Hingis) could have helped too.
If the female tennis players were more consistent at the top like the men's side, maybe it would have been easier to include the right ones.