PS3 Previews: Top Spin 4 Preview

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Top Spin 4 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

March 18, 2011

Publisher:

2K Sports

Developer:

2K Czech

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Sports

Most tennis aficionados will name Top Spin as the top franchise on the market; Sega’s Virtua Tennis has never been as authentic or realistic. Therefore, with 2K’s Top Spin 4 set to release in less than two months time, we’re interested to see how the series had advanced. Developer 2K Czech has promised a variety of upgrades and alterations, which should equate to the single most in-depth and rewarding installment yet. They’re also tossing in the biggest player roster to date; legends like Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi will be included, and the front of the box will feature Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic. Perhaps most intriguing is the team’s emphasis on pitting strength versus weakness in a player vs. player scenario. This is a step up in terms of simulation, as past entries were more about the ground game versus volleying; individual pro traits weren’t as recognizable.

For instance, while Andy Roddick has always had his laser serve, 2K has developed his game to the point where it’s easily recognizable; i.e., the tennis fan will go, “yup, that’s how Roddick plays.” Although he has come into the net a bit more often in recent years, he still prefers the baseline and likes to amp up the power to ridiculous levels. So when he sets out to play someone like Nadal, who relies on heavy spin and immense quickness, the two contrasting play styles will be in full effect. Roddick may pound the ball from side to side while Nadal plays defense, until he finally flicks one of those huge top-spin forehands – at a supremely difficult angle – past Roddick. In other words, not only will you have to understand the basics of the game, but you’ll have to do your homework; you’ll have to know how certain pros play in order to gain a strategic advantage.

In terms of gameplay, 2K has taken a more user-friendly approach to TS4. Perhaps one of the biggest complaints gamers had with TS3 was that while it was mostly realistic, there wasn’t much in the way of assistance. Basically, after grasping the controls and hitting the court, you’d just have to use trial and error to master your game. 2K has lowered the learning curve and provided in-game prompts that let a novice know where he stands; this includes a first-bounce indicator, a timing assist that tells you if you were late or early in striking the ball, and an enhanced fatigue gauge. The latter was included in past entries but it didn’t play much of a role, which is hardly authentic. From a tennis follower’s standpoint, I’m hoping this doesn’t mean they’ve dumbed down the entire production for the sake of newcomers. Assists are fine, but the hardcore will be able to turn ‘em off and play as usual, right?

Top Spin 4 will also boast a new emphasis on the Career Mode, and you can pick up valuable experience points by playing both online and offline. You can even hire different coaches depending on the skills you desire to have: if you’re more of a net rusher, you’ll want a coach who’s schooled in the areas of serve and volley. If you want to sit back and smack the ball, you’ll need a great groundstroke coach. The cool part is that you can switch up coaches at almost any time during your Career, thereby allowing you to become a diverse and dangerous player. All of this sounds great, although we hear that in terms of overall control, 2K may have changed a few things… For those who are used to the same mechanic since the original title debuted, that may sound like a bad thing, but we’ll have to wait and see. While I’ve always liked it, there was definite room for improvement. The game arrives on March 18 and we’re hoping a demo might show up on the Store some time before then.

1/24/2011 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
03/02/11 Top Spin 4 Ben Dutka

Comments (11 posts)

NonProphet
Monday, January 24, 2011 @ 10:12:32 PM
Reply

Thanks for the info, I'm betting there aren't too many big tennis fans on this site so I the preview is appreciated. I really enjoyed TS3 so I'm looking forward to this game. However, I found the last installment to be a little on the easy side so I hope that even if the learning curve is lower, there is still a lot of depth. I love playing tennis but in this insanely cold whether, I think I'll have to be content with TS4, even if I have to wait until March.

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Qubex
Monday, January 24, 2011 @ 11:28:14 PM
Reply

I have some interest in this game. I played tennis (racket ball) avidly as a kid and I enjoy the sport. Its not a day 1 buy for me, but sometime in the year, if the price falls off enough it would be worth a pick up...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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PorkChopGamer
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 12:33:34 AM
Reply

I really liked the controls of TS3. Having to release the button to swing seems more natural to me now. And I hope they nail the Move controls, as well.

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moeman636
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 1:03:01 AM
Reply

I know this has nothing to do with the preview but I have not found any other way to contact the people of psxextreme. I enjoy receiving your editorials by email each week. Howvever, I do not enjoy the ads that constantly pop up in front of them. They are not pop up ads. They are ads that are supposed to be next to the editorial and somehow end up in front of the editoral I am tring to read. I have tried using different computers and get similar results. Please help. It is probably a simple solution that I dont see. If that is the case, then I appoloigize for bothering everyone in advance. Thanks

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 9:21:12 AM

No other way of contacting us...? Are you serious?

At any rate, just get an ad blocker of some kind.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 9:44:06 AM

Use a different browser other than IE. IE always does that to me too. I never have any issues with Firefox or Safari.

And if you want to contact site admins, just click the "About Us" link. You can contact a site admin for support there.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 6:46:51 PM

moeman636,
Just to get rid of that very same problem, I switched my browser over to Firefox, and then installed the add-on called "Adblock Plus".

Poof....now there's no more of those stinking evasive ads popping up in any viewing area.
And I can keep turning AB+ off & on if I want, just to see if there's something I'm interested in from an ad.

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0_o
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 1:30:23 AM
Reply

Will it support Move?

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Weaverpsu
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 1:49:00 AM
Reply

I asked on previous thread if there is any truth to Agassi only being available w/pre-orders? I love tennis and I am definitely looking forward to this game. Too bad they can't include more players though. I mean Grand Turismo has 1000 cars, we can't get fifty players? What about Soderling, Berdych, Gonzalez, etc?

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___________
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 1:51:56 AM
Reply

kinda looking forward to this, and now that its got move and 3D incorporated should be a good test of the new technologies.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011 @ 7:20:59 AM
Reply

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