OK, I bought this game used as part of a twofer at GameCrazy. Apparently, it was part of an included game package with NCAA Football 2004 to get more people to buy an Xbox. When I bought my Xbox I got Jet Set Radio Future and Sega GT 200…something or other. Both those games really suck, but I’ll tackle them some other time when I’m cutting a deadline even closer.
So, let’s see. It’s tennis. Everybody knows what tennis is, but most people can’t, don’t or won’t play in real life (kind of the basis of almost any videogame, isn’t it?). Anyhoo, I was expecting to want to play this game. I grew up playing (yeah so what of it) and watching tennis. What do you want from me? Agassi and Sampras were reinventing American tennis, and it was exciting to think that hitting a ball could get you knee deep in ass.
Anyhoo, if you just start playing in the arcade mode and play one of the 16 real characters, you’re going to get you ass kicked and want to throw your controller out the window and then get in your car so you can find it and then run it over.
After buying a new controller, I decided to give the career mode a try. In the career mode you are a young and aspiring tennis player who is desperate to get better and gain sponsors. But, more importantly, you want to finally get laid (that could just be my own interpretation, however). To get into top form you must enter tournaments and earn money. Why money, you ask? Well, you need money to pay for lessons from some of the top coaches. These coaches “train” you and give you stars in whatever discipline you choose: serving, volley, forehand, backhand and smash shots.
As you progress the opponents get more difficult, the coaches become more expensive and the girls get much hotter (OK fine, there aren’t any groupies in this game—but there should be). The controls can sometimes be a pain in the ass, but they tend to be fair in their treatment of your opponent as well. The audio is pretty repetitive and they won’t let you play your own music. One of my favorite features with Xbox is loading my own music and listening to whatever the hell I want.
The loading in this game is certainly not on par with current Xbox games. I found myself making snacks and grabbing beers while waiting for a match. I guess the main fault I can find with this game is that it doesn’t take much to become the best. I did it in about four or five tournaments (feel free to be a bigger geek and flex your pocket protector or cell phone clipped to your belt and beat it in less time).
Once you’ve become the best and are sleeping with supermodels (again, my own imaginative license) you can only fall, not rise. You slowly go the way of Andre Agassi: You start to lose your hair, you shun Brooke Shields and eventually settle down with a top 50 rating and Stephi Graf. Would I buy this game again? Sure—it was five bucks used.
So there you have it folks, my first review that I wasn’t too happy with. Top Spin was fun…while it lasted.