#925 Grand Slam Tennis

Posted: 2nd October 2017 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

637th played so far

Genre: Sports
Platform: Wii
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts

So following the Legend of Zelda games I played earlier this week, it felt time to do something more active. In this case, as I really should play both a Wii game and a sports game, some tennis seems appropriate.

Tennis is well suited to the Wii, as seen in Wii Sports before, and a game fully focused on it while including motion controls seems like it would be a lot more fun.

Our Thoughts

Having kids move while playing really was a theme of the Wii, wasn’t it? Grand Slam Tennis includes a fitness mode and while it feels very platform-specific, I did feel like I was burning some calories while I was here (with my apologies to the downstairs neighbours).

To continue the earlier comparison, as you would imagine from a full game with some serious tie-ins, this game is more complex than the Wii Sports minigame. This manifests itself in several places, first of all the complexity of the controls that I think I forgot to memorize after a while. It implements more complex rules and you really have to adjust your playstyle to match.

The other place where this game adds complexity and justifies being its own game are the customization options. You can upgrade certain core stats, as you see more often in games with a career mode, as well as earning abilities from your opponents as you defeat them. There are also the usual cosmetic options, although it’s not hard to argue those are less important.

You earn these by playing all the tournaments in a Grand Slam. There are a bunch of different matches before the real tournament – both to let you earn some abilities and to show off some alternative game modes – which means that no matter how good or bad you play, you always get a fair amount of stage out of each section. It’s a nice concession and gave me more time to build my skills without feeling the game was over in five matches.

The game’s graphics are at an odd level. They’re a clear step above Mii graphics, putting more effort into recognisability and body shapes, but not that much. It’s probably because they had limitations with the Wii’s power, but it is a bit unsettling, I’m not sure what it is meant to be.

Final Thoughts

Grand Slam Tennis is a good tennis game, in that it made me feel most like I was actually playing tennis and came closest to giving me that workout on a fairly warm day. It feels like it includes a lot of what makes tennis tennis. At the same time, I didn’t get that far into the tournament and never quite got the hang of it – I started doing a bit better and winning some points here and there, but not too much. We’ll assume that’s just me, though, but it means I never got as much out of this game as I feel is in there.