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Top Spin - anyone else excited?


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It's probably premature to start a thread about this game, since it's not due for several months yet. But I'm wondering if I'll be able to look forward to playing some tennis with any of you on Live (provided the game is good)?


I really enjoyed Sega Sports Tennis (i.e. Virtua Tennis) on the PS2, loads of fun. I still play it from time to time. I hear that TopSpin won't have the same simple control system, as this quote from IGN demonstrates:


Tennis games have always succeeded when keeping a very simple control scheme. Microsoft and developer PAM are taking a bit of a gamble by making every button on the controller useful for something. Take a look at the control scheme and keep in mind how simple both Pong and Virtua Tennis were:


A - Return shot

B - Topspin

Y - Lob

R trigger - Hold down and press a face button for a risk shot with power meter included

L trigger - Hold down and press face button for various drop shots

White button - After a point: Pump fist, nod to your success, and try and get the crowd on your side

Black button - After a point: Argue with umpire, slam racket down, look around in disgust


While it's not hard to control at all, it does take some time to get used to using the right trigger for kill shots. In the second or two it takes to hit a ball, you'll need to hold down the trigger, gage the power meter, and hit one of three face buttons. The first few times I tried it I was smacking balls into the net.


This sounds good and bad to me. I love the pick-up-and-play aspect of SST, but I do think it's a bit silly that it's all but impossible to hit the net (with the exception of serving), or hit out of bounds (unless your opponent smashes the ball at you). So if this game requires a bit of skill to keep the bal in play, maybe that's good.


The "McEnroe" anger expression system sounds iffy, and the ability to argue calls implies that the game might make mistakes, which I'm on the fence about. From IGN:


On the plus side, the black and white buttons offer the ability to show some emotion with your player. The buttons are analog, so the harder you press the black button, the more agitated you become. As the match progresses the more you press the button the more McEnroe you become.


I like the sound of this:


For those wanting lots of dives, shots between the legs, and fast-paced open tennis, this is it. There's a lot of movement, a lot net play, and some cool baseline rallies to be had. And all 16 licensed pros have their own animations and are intended to play and look just like the real deal. The close-up cut-scenes do show off at least Lleyton Hewitt's mannerisms.


I watched the trailer video on IGN (if there's enough interest, I can post it to my site for others to download) and was impressed, the motion capture looks great, and I assume the Xbox graphics will rock.

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shots between the legs




Who is making Top Spin?

I'm always amazed how fun good tennis games are (I still play and love Virtua Tennis and especially Mario Tennis). It's just pong but they make it so fun.


Anyone else see a correlation between old-school 16-bit shooters and fast-paced sports games? It's all about twitch play and learning (and "seeing") the patterns. I've always thought tennis games and hockey games are shooters with different graphics.

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So, as long as we're talking Tennis games, you guys that have played Virtua/Sega Sports Tennis, how far did you get in your career? I don't remember exctly, but I think I got ranked up to #60 or so...but I never got any further.


Does anyone have hints or tips on how to play better?

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