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Grand Slam Tennis Wii Review - -

Gameplay 8.6
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.0
Value 8.6
Distributor: EA Sports
Kyle Sudukis


EA Sports
Grand Slam Tennis

The controls of the Nintendo Wii can either be a godsend or the bane of gamers and after the last tennis game to be released for this console, things have been looking a little shaky. In terms of accuracy on the Wii, the Wii motion controls have been a little off, however Nintendo have released the latest upgrade to this system called Wii MotionPlus that is truly a huge evolutionary jump for the console in terms of accuracy and overall enjoyment.

Thankfully EA are one of the first developers to release a game that supports this innovative new feature and needless to say, this may be the most accurate sports game on the console to date. Do I need a Wii MotionPlus addon to play this title? The answer is no, however if you want to play the game how it was meant to be played, the answer is definitely yes as the Wii MotionPlus is far superior than the standard Wii motion.

As per all good EA games, many of the worlds tennis stars are present in the game which include Roger Federer and Serena Williams with 23 stars to be exact. There are even some classic players such as John McEnroe, obviously still in his prime for this game.

Grand Slam Tennis is a game that supports all the bells and whistles of a decent tennis came which include a variety of gaming options that also supports online play and even career. There are even some interesting mini-games that serve as the perfect party-game food, even a calorie burner!

Jumping straight to the controls, the title is basically just a timing game with the standard Wii controls, however once the MotionPlus is connected, the experiences is probably as close as you can get to stepping on the court and having played tennis before, its quite virtual.

This means that when you hit the ball, you have more say in where you want it to go and how much power you hit the ball with. Although timing is still a vital element, the accuracy is tenfold. Best of all, gamers of levels will be able to pickup the controllers and start playing and for that added enjoyment, this game can even be played as a party game. Although the basics are easy to learn, the title does become a little complicated when you need to master the variety of hits so if you have some decent coordination, this should be no problem at all.

Even though were reeling with compliments, the new MotionPlus control system does have some issues which will hopefully be worked out as developers become more familiar with the system such as it becoming confused to what swing the player is doing or sometimes where the player is located which is dependent on movement. You need to train yourself to stop after each point as the unit automatically recalibrates itself.  

Most gamers will probably tackle the career mode first that allows you to start from the ground up and even use authorised branded merchandise. In the career mode, the gameplay is similar to a quick match, however as you progress in the various Grand Slam Tennis tournaments, your competitors do give you a run for your money.

You are also awarded medals and stars during play which is almost like an RPG sporting simulation. Although your character is quite average at the start, the more players you defeat, the higher your ranking becomes and your tennis prowess.

The question for Australian gamers is can I play the Australian Open? You betcha! What about our US readers and the US open? You betcha! And yes Wimbledon  is also there. The learning curve is a little higher in career mode but with the WiiMotion Plus, its definitely worth it. The game boasts some interesting special moves that can be unlocked through arduous gaming, however once unlocked it definitely assists with the overall gameplay and defeating your foes. By the power of Grayskull... err.. Wonder Twin Powers Activ... err, how about the Serena Williams Bash? :)

In reference to online play which is actually quite entertaining, the game features a great online mode that includes leader boards and even a nations list of the best online gamers and top 100 players in the world for both single and double tournaments. Although we did notice some speed problems on our ADSL2 connection, the majority of the time, the game showed quite decent connection speeds which is great news for online gamers.

Graphically, the title is a little sharper than most tennis games on the Wii with detailed gaming environments, especially the stadiums and some great character animations. For an EA games, its interesting to see the cartoony graphics on a sports game but it actually suits quite well. The sound effects go hand in hand with the gameplay and graphics, making this one of the better looking sport games on the system. Its a shame that there is not much in-depth commentary in the game, however its a small price to pay for such as accurate sports game on the Wii.

To sum it up, EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis is definitely one of the best sport games that we have played on the console, thanks to Wii MotionPlus. Although this new control system needs a few more tweaks and adjustments, its considerably better than what was previously available. With great gameplay modes, a truly epic online experience, Grand Slam Tennis is definitely the leader of the pack. Check it out!


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