1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
There are a lot of good things about this game. The technique is tough to master - I sat on the bottom rung of career mode for 4 hours before winning a tournament and going to bed, but when I came back to a it few days later I had lost the exact timing you need to play the great shots and was losing again. I found that frustrating, but I would rather have that than finding it too easy. Undoubtedly more talented Xbox-ers will grasp the skills quicker than I did, but it should still represent a good challenge particularly if you want to start as a poor player and build up to facing the top stars - I haven't even seen them yet as I don't want to spoil the surprise! The graphics and movement of the sprites is also good and the rendering of the stadia is also good. The weather and shadows in use can make it quite hard to see the ball, but then that is what real tennis players are facing too so it is a positive feature of the gameplay rather than a criticism.
A few bad points: the soundtrack in the menus is annoying, there are Daft Punk and LDC Soundsystem tracks on there (both great bands) but not much else from what I could hear, and these real tracks are always replaced by the single-bar intro tune whenever anything is loading. This gets very repetitive if you're playing for long periods - and as mentioned above, I have found you need to play for a while to get the right rythym going with timing your shots. I'm sure the music can be turned off but it should have been programmed differently in the first place.
Some shots don't seem to find the sidelines you're aiming for, as you use the same direction-stick thing (I actually use the d-pad for this game, seems less strain on the thumbs) to manouevre the player as to aim the shots which doesn't give you much time if you're racing across the court, so a lot of opportunities are missed as your sprite hits a tame return right down the middle where the opponent can get to it. Maybe I am doing it wrong or my player will respond better as he improves.
Lastly the scoring system in career mode is a bit odd, all the low-ranked tournament matches seem to be a single 'super tie-break' (first to 10). I don't want to play a full match but it would be more realistic to have a first-to-3-games set instead, for example.
Overall I am enjoying the game and haven't even played multiplayer, played any games with the top stars/venues or got very far in the career mode yet, so I would recommend Topspin4 as a good tennis title with some longevity. Certainly worth the low price for a new game to throw into a gift bundle.