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The Winning Shots
Grand Slam Tennis is the Richie Tenenbaum of tennis titles, it shows moments of pure brilliant fun, but it also has a few moments of inconsistent control that can frustrate occasionally and make McEnroe boil over.
This game is more involved than Wii Sports and does give you more control over your shots when it works the way it's suppose too. You can control the movement of your player using the Nunchuk and hit the shots with the Wii remote.
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The Missed Shots
It's really hard to get any touch with your shots using any of the controls in Grand Slam Tennis, but you can learn to get a kind of feel for it. Unfortunately, while you can easily learn to time the ball off the ground or in the air, the accuracy of your shots is really a matter of chance. They still haven't perfected the controls with sports games for the Wii, but they are getting better at implementing them correctly.
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The Graphical Look
The graphical presentation of Grand Slam Tennis has a clean looking cartoon style that represents most of the players pretty well. A few of the well known players were a little hard to recognize at first, but their animations looked realistic, and they were smooth and useful in motion. The stadiums all looked good, with average details and textures, but the crowds were generic looking and kind of blended in.
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The Sounds of the Game
Grand Slam Tennis has outstanding on-court announcers and broadcasters that sound professional and knowledgeable and provide information on the tennis scene. Their voices are clear and easy to understand, and they blend in well with the understated song track that plays in the background but don't intrude on the energy of the action.
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The controls work well when you first start using them, but after awhile they suffer occasional lapses of control that will result in your player holding their racket at weird angles between shots and deciding to try to hit a backhand when a forehand would be appropriate. The concept is simple enough; you mimic forehands and backhands with the controller, while the controller reads the velocity of your swing and the angle of the controller to determine your shots pace and type of spin. Depending on the angle you'll hit a flat ground stroke, slice the ball, or put top spin on the ball. Swing early to go cross-court, wait a split second longer to go up the line. Finding the sweet spot for your shots takes practice, but eventually you'll get a feel for it.
The developers made this game a good work out if you like to really take a good swing at the ball and they even included a calorie counter to keep track of the energy you burn.
Grand Slam Tennis's Career mode is short, it only includes four tournaments, but EA did add exhibition matches and a few mini-games to help your created player improve as you progress. By defeating a pro like Pete Sampras or Roger Federer, you can unlock their special abilities and add them to your repertoire. You can also take your tennis game online to compete against friends, track burned calories in fitness challenges, or try any of the 12 tennis mini-games included.
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The Last Word
Grand Slam Tennis doesn't have the feel in its controls to hit with Federer or Sharapova for long, eventually you'll hit a period of inconsistency that will leave you screaming at your racket. Still a game that will entertain Wii gamers of all ages and tastes and a definite upgrade for anybody looking for a deeper and more realistic tennis experience than the one provided by Wii Sports.