When I look back at my sporting side of my life, I arrive at a relatively long football career that never got going and a few years of tennis, during which I actually ran my lungs far from my body. However, tennis has always interested me and it was a positive experience. It’s mostly an individual game where you don’t depend on others (unless you’re doubling), but above all you can get a satisfying feeling from nice forehands or well-placed drop shots. I have not been able to make many successful steps in the village tournaments that I have participated in, but fortunately Nadal and Federer have built up a greater track record in recent years. The top players now shine on the front of this new tennis game from 2K Games together with top tennis player Maria Sharapova.
To be clear, Top Spin 3 as a whole is a tennis game that takes a more serious approach. So it is not constantly diving for the ball as in Virtua Tennis, but very professionally worked out. Feeling for the ball is important in the game. If you are not in front of the ball and the footwork is incorrect, you will notice that you will see the necessary balls coming against your body in the beginning, but practice often makes perfect. That is certainly the case in this game. You do not need to be able to deal with complex controller techniques, but you will soon be able to handle the 4 right buttons of the PS3 controller in this case. With this it is possible to hit hard (circle), hit high or to make a drop shot (triangle) and to realize some nicer balls, including slices (cross and square). With the analog stick you can move yourself further. Aiming mainly has to do with the position of the left analog stick, with which you also run and the timing. In fact, you don’t really need any important buttons, although there are certainly nicer special shots that you can hit. For example, you can combine the L2 and L1 shoulder buttons with, for example, a round to hit hard and to run more risks with your stroke. This way you have even more interesting combinations, which you will undoubtedly try out in the game.
Plays as it should…
It can be said that aiming and hitting in the game has been worked out with a lot of feeling. It soon becomes an automaticity to give a ball direction with the analog stick and in the beginning it immediately seems as if you are not used to anything different from a tennis game. The game makes it a sensitive chess game between 2 players where it doesn’t even matter what type of game you play; Service volley, or act constantly at the baseline? It doesn’t matter, you can fight any player your way as long as you get the feel of the hitting technique. And that’s what makes the gameplay so beautiful. You start in the career mode in your little one where you will have to compete against relatively simple opponents in the amateur class and then progress to the challenger, junior and pro tour. Ultimately, the goal is to reach the Legends level to play grand slams there. You can determine which tournaments you will play via a calendar. You can choose between an easy or difficult tournament which contrasts with different prize money categories and where you can gain XP points. The character, which you can put together yourself, basically starts at a low level where 8 properties are only filled for 30% qualitatively. By spending XP points on, for example, the backhand, hitting power, service and volley, you can slowly but surely improve some aspects and thus also defeat more difficult opponents of level 60 or higher.
To start all this you first need to create a character. This has been worked out in great detail, as it soon becomes apparent. Not only can you determine the face, hairstyle and outfit, but you can also determine the adjustment of enthusiasm with a won point. You can also indicate details such as two-handed or one-handed backhand. The way of hitting can also generate a more special feeling in the player. Just play with Roger Federer, for example. In addition, you will see that his hitting technique is almost identical to his actual shot as we can see it on TV. You are undoubtedly familiar with his famous one-handed backhand. However, this has been worked out in great detail for all professional players. We will come back to this briefly in the graphical aspect.
All you need
In addition to the Career mode, you also have a training mode where you can improve various aspects of yourself. For example, I personally had some service problems and I was less able to complete the net with the better CPU opponents. Besides that there is also the tournament mode where you can play a tournament and there is the Exhibition mode where you can double with 4 actual players or single with 2 players. Online you can get started with the World Tour and player matches. So plenty to do, although it is sometimes irritating that players just leave player matches so that you will regularly see a match cut off, but of course there is little that can be done about that.
In terms of gameplay, Top Spin 3 feels extremely professional. Real tennis players who have experienced that feeling of hitting a ball in the past will actually be able to relive that feeling with this game. The game plays very nicely and remains challenging. The level of realism is also further stimulated by the beautiful graphics. The fields, both hardcore and on grass or gravel, look overwhelmingly sharp. The audience, ball boys on the side, the players themselves, it looks extremely high-quality. You would almost demand that everything should also be broadcast on the TV in HD format as standard. The animations of players, including when expressing joy or frustration and during play-in also look very good. Faces of Federer, Nadal, Haas and, among others, the somewhat older Becker, look very good and everything is kept as beautiful as possible in the animations. The hitting techniques are often different per player and correspond to the real hitting style of the players, making the feeling just a bit more positive than usual in tennis games. 2K Games really looked at every detail, worked out the jobs well and kept everything razor sharp. The same applies in principle to the sound, although the audience sometimes comes across as very static and wandering exaggerated. However, they do react differently to the action moments with their cheering per ball, although it often sounds a bit unexpectedly overconfident. The sound effects of the ball and the surface it slides over, as well as the moaning when hitting it sounds very good.
Qualitatively almost unprecedented
Top Spin 3 is arguably the best tennis game yet for next-generation systems in terms of quality. The game is extremely realistic, and comes into its own with both the novice tennis players and the people who actually practice the sport, although the former will probably have trouble positioning the player in the beginning, which is very important in this game. is important. The feel of the gameplay conveys a very good picture of the real tennis and that is only enhanced by the other good aspects in the game. Good footwork and timing is rewarded with brilliant strokes. So it is certainly not a one-sided game where after 3 games of tennis you are already looking forward to another, more exciting game, given the addiction factor that both the offline and online modes entail. Top Spin 3 has therefore come out very well.
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Author: Jeroen Janssen | Genre: Sports | Release: 23-06-2008 | Publisher: 2K Games | Developer: 2K GamesGraphics: 9.0 † Sound: 7.5 † Gameplay: 8.5 † Controls: 8.0 † Playback: 8.0 8.2