Product Type: Take 2 PS3 games
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Top Spin 4 - Be a pro
Top Spin 4 (PS3)
Member Name: bhayanid
Top Spin 4 (PS3)
Advantages: Great single player mode, more realistic than Virtua tennis
Disadvantages: Offline mode is flawed, unrealistic shots can be exploited
Having played this game for a few months now, I think I am in a good place to review this game, mostly everyone so far who has reviewed it, has awarded 5 stars, and I can see why this would be. Sometimes a game can seem amazing at first, but only once u dig a little deeper do the real flaws start to come to the surface, this is what I will be focusing on in this review.
So for those of you that don't know much about tennis games, it is similar to Fifa with how there is Pro Evo and Fifa, as in Tennis we have the Virtua tennis franchise, and the Top Spin franchise. I won't go into a deep comparison but just make a quick summary which most fans of the games out there will agree with. Virtua tennis is more arcade style, and definitely has its own plus points on that front, whilst Top spin is all about realism and hence most fans of tennis are likely to side with Top spin as is myself.
Usually I tackle price at the end, but I just want to get this out of the way now. I purchased this for £34.99 on offer at GAME, still seems quick expensive right? Well it was only a £5 discount. This game now is dead cheap and can currently be purchased for £19.99 on Amazon including P&P, however you must realise that prices are subject to change, and when you read this the price could be higher or lower.
Let me talk about the good points first. The game play itself has a very quick learning curve, it seems difficult at first, but there is extensive training which takes you through all the basics. It does prepare you slightly technically as anyone who plays tennis knows that only 50% of the game is how you execute the other shots, the other 50% is tactics. Especially in top spin 4 with two very similar players a lot of it comes down to a game of chess. The question often comes down to who is going to crack first.
The game play is quite realistic, considering how it doesn't have a budget the same as other games, and they have created the most realistic tennis game to date. The roster includes all of the top four players in the world, although the inclusion of Del Potro and Soderling would have added a little extra to the game. There are a few legends also in the game with the likes of Chang, Borg, Sampras and Agassi although other legends like Mcenroe and Laver are missing.
The single player offline mode really does shine, and is on another level compared to the equivalent in the latest Virtua Tennis game. You start of as a rookie and have very low stats, and as you win matches, your experience points increase. Before I go on I must mention that the experience points can increase through playing any game mode, whether it is online or offline which is a nice touch.
Now with these experience points you can reach higher levels, as you can improve the statistics of the players ranging from speed through to power through to your forehand, backhand and many more. There are three categories to improve which are serve and volley, offensive play, and defensive play, so depending on what type of player you want to be, you can adjust your style. There are 20 levels, so if you want a highly offensive player, you could put all 20 levels on to the offensive player category, but then this would mean that your serve and volley and defensive statistics are not as good.
As you win more matches and complete the set objectives you then move up the rankings and new objectives are set. Of course the game play gets harder especially when you play on the hardest setting which is the 'expert' mode. I haven't completed all the objectives yet, but that's because I have started to play the online mode a bit more, which I will move on to next.
Ah so to all these people giving this game five stars, please explain to me how you can give a game with a severely flawed online mode a top rating? Surely a game should be based on all aspects, and if one of those aspects has a severe flaw then it simply does not deserve give starts, simple as that.
For a good four months the online mode did not work, however just to be clear I am talking about the PS3 version, I am not sure if there were problems with the Xbox version. What made it worse was that 2k, the makers of this game, gave no update up until two weeks ago, when they finally said they were releasing a patch. So the customer service was terrible, and to be fair they did finally release a patch a few days ago, and although not perfect, at least it is possible to now play a few games online, but even playing online, there are many cheats the players have used to get statistics that are not possible for their players.
Having played online I see that even in the game play there are problems, it is far too easy to just stand five feet behind the baseline and hit defensive shots that are not possible in real life. On top of this drop shots are far too easy plus hitting wide angled power shots over and over. Don't get me wrong there are many great things about the game play, but online this gets exploited by players, that offline the CPU never exploits.
Overall, bar the problems with the online, this is still a very good game, and definitely the best tennis game of all time to date. Unfortunately there are not enough people playing it, and less than 1000 players online. I would still give this game four stars due to the excellent single player and the fact that the online mode is now working, but if the online starts failing again, I may be back to re-adjust the rating.
Summary: Best tennis game to date
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