Grand Slam Tennis Review

Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: June 8, 2009 Available On: Wii


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Tired of running around a sweltering hot tennis court in the summer? EA Sports has just the solution for you. Play at home instead with Grand Slam Tennis for the Wii. The motion controls are so real that you will forget that you aren’t even playing real tennis. At least that is what I imagine the marketers would like you to think. Back in reality it’s a different story – at least if you don’t own a Wii Motion Plus.

Grand Slam Tennis is EA’s response to Virtua Tennis, which at least in recent years, has been off its stride. Sega released a Virtua Tennis game right around the time of Grand Slam’s release to directly compete with its new competitor. While I haven’t played that game, I can say that Grand Slam Tennis does a fairly good job of being both an accessible tennis game as well as a relatively deep one. One of the reasons is simple: the controls.

The developers were smart to offer three control options. The first is your standard Wii Remote with no attachments. This is basically for casual gamers that don’t have the coordination to swing a remote and use an analog stick at the same time. The second control option is the Wii Remote and analog stick, which allows for movement of your character. Finally, the third and most exciting option is Wii Motion Plus, which adds nearly 1:1 control support.

The game supports a number of different game modes, multi-player options and online play. The developers clearly put a lot of effort into making this a multi-player experience as a number of party game options are available to choose from. Unfortunately, not many of them are very interesting or fun to play. Traditional old tennis matches against friends in split-screen are the most entertaining, although I have to say that I don’t see why they even needed to use a split-screen. Most other tennis games have one screen for both players and it works just fine.

Most of your big name tennis players are present. From modern powerhouses like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick to classic players such as John McEnroe and Pete Sampras, the tennis world is well represented in Grand Slam. There are even a decent number of female players represented with both Serena and Venus, Maria Sharapova and five others. While you can tell who the players are, the graphical style is very much on the cartoony side. I don’t particularly care for it, especially the over-sized tennis ball that is about as big as the player’s head.

I came into Grand Slam Tennis with relatively high expectations. I walked away disappointed that the motion controls are incredibly unresponsive if you use just the Wii Remote and nunchuk. If you don’t own the Wii Motion Plus there is no point in buying Grand Slam Tennis. You are better off just sticking to Wii Sports Tennis. That said, if you are a fan of tennis and are looking for a reason to buy Nintendo’s new peripheral, Grand Slam Tennis will more than satisfy you.


Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 7.2
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review


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