Top Spin 4

Top Spin 4 is a tennis simulator from 2K Sports, that is available on the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3. The reason why I say that it’s a simulator and not a game is because it feels as if you’re actually learning to play tennis while you’re going through the tutorial. The tutorial, which lasted a good hour and a half, left me with absolutely no uncertainty on how to carry out the 40 odd shots in the game. Not only that, I knew exactly when to use them, how to identify them when the computer or internet opponent used them and how to counter them. No mean feat for someone who isn’t actually a tennis fan.

In fact, the tutorial is so good, that while I was in a pub and the tennis happened to be on, I was telling some friends the shots that where being used and if they were good or bad and what those professionally trained tennis players should be doing better; that’s the level of understanding you get from the tutorial mode.

The tutorial sets the pace of the game. Everything is well polished; it all looks fantastic. It’s all too easy to spend two to three hours playing with friends without wanting to change to another game, which in a time where people seem to have a decreasing attention span, is an excellent achievement.

The only down side to this well polished aspect is that it’s too clean. There is no one in the crowd shouting, there are no outlandish moments of frustration from the tennis players who have just missed a ball, it’s all very clinical.

However, if you consider this a Tennis simulator rather than a game, then this title  is fantastic. It reminded me what I loved about Tennis, for the most part. The balance is right, the control system, once you have mastered the tutorial, feels fluid and responsive and you will always know what to do and when it’s needed.

The PS3 and Wii versions will feature support for the Wii controller and Playstation Move, and while I loved Wii tennis, the complexity of Top Spin 3 made me immediately question whether or not this was a good idea. The Top Spin 4 promotional video made me think differently about that, though.

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This is really a game for everyone. The action is always there; you will always be at the edge of your seat making sure your able to hit the dipping right drop shot or next lob, but if you’re coming into this game looking for something that was as much fun as Mario Tennis for example, you may find that the lack of life within the tennis players themselves puts you off what otherwise is the best tennis title I have ever played.







4 responses to “Top Spin 4”

  1. Kirsten avatar

    See that video? That’s EXACTLY what I look like when I’m using the PS3 motion controller. ‘Cept, I am usually sitting down. Also I’m wearing a crumpled grandad shirt nighty. My hair isn’t usually that shiny and smooth, in fact it’s like a filthy birds nest. A lot of the time I wear my glasses too, which have a chain on them so I don’t lose them. Oh and my fluffy bed socks ’cause I get cold from lying in heap not moving on the couch.

  2. paul avatar

    Man, there should be more PVC corsets and glitter in tennis. Like, a LOT more. Getting this on PS3 soon, great review.

  3. Lauren avatar

    Soft porn always works to push sports games lol XD

    Im not a sports person, you can tell by looking at me, but Ive always wanted to play a sporty action game. Fifa bores me to tears, so I may go ahead and try Top Spin. And the fact I can customise my tennis player makes it more fun for me!

  4. Kirsten avatar

    Yeah I played debug code of this game for a review at a magazine a while back and spent ages making myself in the editor. It looked EXACTLY like me… although my idea of what I look like might be a little off.

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