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A Pretty Ace Tennis Title
Top Spin 2 (Xbox 360)
Member Name: rleigh
Top Spin 2 (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Fun to play, strong career mode.
Disadvantages: Poor menu music, online play could provide more options.
In real life I have trouble winning a game, let alone a set or a match; tennis games have always provided me with a fine opportunity to impress on the tennis court though, and for that I thank them.
Developed by Indie Built, Top Spin 2 is a very entertaining tennis game, and one that can be incredibly fun to play. Although certainly not perfect, Top Spin 2 still has a lot to offer, and playing the game in Career Mode definitely provides for some strong entertainment.
Career mode is the main attraction with Top Spin 2; you create and name your own player, and can spend as much or as little time as you like getting the player to look just the way you want them to. Everything about your player is customisable, from their gender right through to the length and colour of their hair. You can make your player as tall or as short, as fat or as thin, and as muscular as you see fit. Specific facial features can be determined, and you can therefore make your player look just like yourself, or even like your favourite singer/celebrity. There's plenty of fun to be had before your on-screen tennis career has even begun, but the strength of the game certainly doesn't stop there.
Starting the game ranked 200th in the world, you have to take place in regional tennis competitions and training practices also in order to build up your player and get them experienced enough to enter major tournaments. The more regional competition matches you win, the higher your world ranking will rise. Complete the training games and you'll be provided with attribute points which can be used to increase the many different talents of your tennis player. Some of the training games can be quite tedious; others are great fun though, and it's all part of the gaming experience to build success, rise through the ranks, and ultimately earn big money in winning major tennis tournaments.
Career mode with Top Spin 2 really is fantastic fun, and watching your player rise up through the ranks is always excellent to see. It's a hard graft participating in all the different training games and regional competitions, it's worth it all in the end though as you watch your player improve, gain experience, and rise towards the top.
Although Career mode is the main feature of the game, there are also several other game types you can take part in; you can play Party Games, take part in a Tournament, or even enter Exhibition mode. In Exhibition mode you take part in singles or doubles matches whereby you choose who'll be playing who, Tournament mode is pretty self-explanatory in that you enter a tennis tournament, whilst playing Party Games requires company. There are three party games (Time Bomb, Wall Breaker, and Splash Court), and the Party Games just provide a fun way to kick back with friends, relaxing into an activity that isn't too serious and stressful.
All in all the gameplay is excellent, and with so many different options; there's certainly plenty to keep you entertained with Top Spin 2.
The game's graphics are reasonable, certainly not pushing the boundaries of the XBOX 360s capabilities, but nonetheless the game can still be quite nice to look at. The attention to detail with tennis professionals facial features is not great, overall the game's graphics work well though, and when given the full view of the court the match action always looks incredibly slick. The quality of animation is strong, and in this respect Top Spin 2 most definitely can't be faulted.
In terms of sound you get everything here that you'd expect from a tennis game; the thump of the ball hitting the racket, and of course the grunts of the players as they run across the court smashing shots at their opponents. It's all pretty standard sound, nothing too spectacular, and nothing to get too excited about; it does the trick though, and the authentic sounds of a tennis match are provided.
I've no problems with the sound that is provided in-game, what I do take issue with however is the background sound that features in the games menus. When playing the game for sustained periods of time the music in the menu can become quite frustrating, and I definitely feel that more variation could be provided. It'd just add a little more energy to the gaming experience, whilst as it stands the sound provided with Top Spin 2 is just a bit bland.
Conventional multiplayer action with Top Spin 2 is of course excellent; there's nothing better than beating your friends at video games in the flesh, but online is where multiplayer action is generally at its best these days.
There are only two options in online play; to perform in ranked or non-ranked matches. With ranked matches you'll only be able to play as your own created player, in a non-ranked match however you'll have the option to perform as one of the game's many tennis professionals. More than two options would be a welcome addition to the online multiplayer function, although options are limited though the actual quality of online play is strong, and games will generally run without lag so long as you have a semi decent broadband connection.
All in all I'd have to say that Top Spin 2 is a very good quality tennis game, and whilst it does have its faults; it's still a lot of fun to play, and it's Career mode is certainly very extensive. A lot of work has obviously gone into the creation of the game's Career mode, and this is something that has worked out well for Indie Built as this element of the game truly is excellent. More online options would be beneficial, single player mode is brilliant enough in itself with Top Spin 2 though, and this is most certainly the main focus of the game.
The fact that the game was released back in 2006 has both an up and a down side; the plus side of the game being five years old is that you can pick it up from eBay for about £2.50 or so including postage, the downside however is that the game is obviously going to be rather outdated. If you're not a massive tennis fan and are picking up this game purely for purposes of game playing fun then that probably shouldn't be much of a problem, if you're big on your tennis and are looking for an up to date, modern tennis game however then you're probably best investing in the 2011 title Top Spin 4.
Creating a career in tennis is simple with Top Spin 2, and if you're a fan of sports games then Top Spin 2 is definitely a game that is well worth owning for its Career mode.
Summary: A tennis game that is well worth owning.