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June 19, 2005
Top Spin - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
September 20052K GamesPower & Magic1, 2 $49.95

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On an indoor court.
One thing that continues to amaze us every single year here at Future Gamez is why Electronic Arts don't develop a tennis based title. I mean they already release games for Baseball, NFL, NBA, NCAA, Golf, Rugby, Cricket, NHL, boxing, soccer and snowboarding so why not Tennis. It's certainly not a hard game to develop, indeed one of the first games ever, Pong, was based on the sport. Whatever the case gamers haven't been starved. Sega has thier superb arcade styled tennis series in Virtua Tennis (about time for a third game guys) while Namco has their more simulation styled Smash Court Tennis games on the Playstation 2. A couple of years ago another contender came out for the XBox - Top Spin Tennis. A stunning game that look like never seeing the light of day on PS2 until 2K Games bought the rights to the series from Microsoft Game Studios.

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Graphics look ok at this stage.
So this is a tennis game, it has all the right ingredients. Different surfaces to play on, a range of shots including slices, drop shots, lobs slams and power serves, a nice roster of players, training drills and so on. It's all there but it was the gameplay that made the XBox version so special and we can expect an exact copy of that in this game. One neat feature is the ability to press the R1 button to perform a 'risk shot'. Much as they sound they provide an opportunity to pull off a big winner but also run a risk of a mistiming.

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On the grass court.
When it comes to players in the game Top Spin allows you to take on, play as, or team up with any of sixteen top ranked professionals, featuring tennis stars: Roger Federer (Switz), Carlos Moya (Spain) Lleyton Hewitt (Aust), Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil), Jan-Michael Gambill (USA), James Blake (USA), Sebastien Grosjean (France), Tommy Rebredo (Spain), Maria Sharapova (Russia), Venus Williams (USA), Martina Hingis (Switz), Meghann Shaugnessy (USA), Elena Dementieva (Russia), Daniela Hantuchova (Slovk), Amanda Coetzer (S.Africa), and Ashley Harkleroad (USA). In a Playstation 2 exclusive feature it is now possible, with an Eye Toy, to put yourself into the game.

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Playing in China.
In a first for Playstation 2 tennis games the title will include online gameplay. We're not sure yet if it will be 2-player or 4-player however the developers are promising matchmaking, sponsored tournaments, seedings, and player ladders. The graphics at this stage look a notch or two below the XBox version, but that's to be expected I guess. Still it's no slouch and certainly look a lot better when moving then these screens would indicate. At this stage Take Two have a July release listed however we believe that America may not be seeing the game until just before Christmas so a delay may be in order. Whatever the date tennis fans should be very excited by Top Spin which will be released at a lower price point of $49.95.