I received my copy of this game and the motion plus controller today. Now, before I talk about the game at all, you should know that I’m probably the must uncoordinated person…ever. I’m dyslexic and often find myself trying to hit a backhand when the ball’s on my forehand side. In short: I fully expected to suck at this game. And, well, I do. I will say, though, that I had oodles of fun while sucking. Three hours of fun, even.
The graphics are very Wii-like – cartoony and not realistic at all. If you want realism, this isn’t the game for you. If you don’t mind chunky cartoons, you’ll be okay. With some exceptions, the players’ and game movement were pretty fluid. They did, however, get jerky from time to time.
Playing with the standard controller gives you a game that works a lot like the tennis game in Wii Sports. You can gain more control over your shots (well, if you have any skill…unlike yours truly) by adding the MotionPlus unit to the controller. This gives you more control over the spin and is supposed to react better to your movements. I will say that there were quite a few times I was swinging away while my player was just standing there and doing nothing and twice my player was swinging while I was perfectly still. I’m not sure if this was due to operator error, my very small living room (I’m less than the recommended distance away from the sensor bar) or what. You can gain even more control over your player by adding a nunchuck to your other hand. I didn’t give that a try since I was having enough trouble just getting one thing right. According to the instructions you can hit a lob or a drop shot while holding one of the controller keys while making your shot. Once again, I wasn’t coordinated enough to manage that. I’m sure the average person could do it. ;)
You can create your own character in the game, but your choice of faces, hair, etc are fairly limited. You have no choice on body since I guess all tennis players are tall and skinny. (I really want my character’s legs.) You can also choose your outfits by picking from different manufacturers (Nike, Addidas, etc) and then picking a top, bottoms, shoes, racket, etc. Once you get your player ready to go, it’s time to jump in the game. (You don’t have to create your own player – you can play using the pros.)
There are a few different options for play: you can practice on a practice court, play exhibition matches against pros, go online and play other Wii owners, or play on the Grand Slam tour.
The practice is okay, but a bit boring – hey, it’s practice! A ball machine shoots balls right at you so there are no angles or running things down.
This gives you quick exhibition matches against a pro player of your choice. You pick from one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the court and your opponent. I picked center court Wimbledon and Rafa for my first match. (Hey, might as well go for broke, right?) I smacked a ball very well on my first point and managed to get Rafa face down on the grass! That was, however, one of the few points I won. To win the match you have to win 2 out of 3 games. Rafa bageled me and won 3-0. *sigh* He did console well at the net, though. Next up, I played Federer at Roland Garros. I got the first game off him (hey, it was the French), but then knowing it was the proper thing to do, I caved after that and lost the next 2.
You can go online and find other people to play against. I played one online game and it was a lot smoother than I thought it would be – it felt pretty much like playing any of the other games.
You can go on a “tour” of the Grand Slams starting, appropriately enough, in Australia. You have to play some exhibitions and pre-tournament stuff that are meant to help improve you skill levels. (Ha!) After you finish with those, you can start in the actual tournament. I lost in the third round to Nishikori. (Did I mention you start playing in the third round?)
The most annoying thing? The announcer is Pat Cash. Pat Freaking Cash. Oye. And the “banter” is quite repetitive and frequently had nothing to do with what’s going on on the court. Oh. Just like real tennis!
I’ve only had the game one day (tonight), but can say it was a fun 3 hours and feel okay recommending it. If you get it and want to stomp on a player for easy win, drop me a line and we can play online!
Get your copy from Amazon.