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E3 09: Burch n' Davis play Grand Slam Tennis

7:14 PM on 06.04.2009 // Destructoid Staff

As E3 comes to a close, we present the last of our "Burch n' Davis play..." segments. One would typically try to send such a series off with a bang, but we were too tired and had played too many high-profile games in the last several days to actually find anything bang-inducing.

Instead, we played Grand Slam Tennis for the Wii, which will be one of the first sports games to utilize the Wii MotionPlus.

I briefly discussed the MotionPlus's efficiency in a previous post, but what did Ashley Davis and I think of the game as a whole? 

Hit the jump to find out.

Ashley: What made you want to go play Grand Slam Tennis so bad? I, admittedly, glossed it over until you made it a point to give it a shot.

Anthony: Samit told me that it utilized the MotionPlus in a really accurate, interesting way.

And having Wii Sports tennis to compare it against, I felt like I'd really be able to determine what the MotionPlus improved or didn't improve.

Ashley: Thankfully, I have the same experience with Wii Tennis, so I got a pretty good idea of how much better the motion controls can make such a game.

Anthony: Samit got chased away by a bee before he could fully explain what the game afforded, but I remember reading (possibly from EA itself) that it's almost like holding a real racket.

Did you feel that it was almost like holding a real racket?

Ashley: It feels a lot more like holding a real racket.

I felt like the way that I held the Wiimote actually mattered.

Anthony: Yeah. Forehand and backhand swings do actually feel different, because the game takes your character's position on the court into account when you make a swing.

If it's coming to the left but you swing coming from the right, you'll miss it.

We didn't play with the analog sticks attached, so our avatars (I was McEnroe) moved to the ball for us, but there was still potential to miss.

Ashley: Every time he lost, he would throw his racket down in anger, and I wanted to shout, "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!"

Anthony: It was a cute touch, to be sure.

Ashley: But yeah. I've had experience playing actual tennis, and I felt like the game was much more realistic than any other Wii tennis game I've yet to play.

Anthony: Yeah. I was kinda bummed that lobs and drop shots were mapped to button presses, and that I couldn't really put a bunch of spin on the ball just by flicking my wrist, but it's unquestionably the most realistic tennis game I've ever played

Ashley: As was I. I kept wanting to swing my Wiimote downward to make dropshots, because the rest of the game just felt so natural.

The button pressing felt very out of place.

Anthony: Unfortunately, you can't hit the ball at any place you want, either. I kept trying to intentionally hit a ball way out of bounds just to see how well the MotionPlus could notice my swings, and it kept sort of correcting me.

Like, I tried to hit one waaay to the left, and when I swung it made the shot I attempted much less extreme so that it wouldn't go out of bounds and piss me off.

Almost as if they were worried about being too realistic, or if they didn't know quite how to implement every possible swing. I'm not sure which.

Ashley: Would that full realism still be fun, though? I think it might make the game needlessly hard.

Anthony: It'd be more satisfying, to me. I mean, if you've got the possibility to create a 100% faithful, 100% realistic tennis game on the Wii, why not do it? You could put those little safeguards in as an option or something, but I'd love to be able to actually screw up and win thanks to my own skill rather than being protected or nudged in the right direction by the designers.

Ashley: I just don't see something like that working well, not at this point, anyway.

Anthony: That's definitely a possibility.

Ashley: That being said, I don't mind those boundaries.

I still think the game is good for what it is, and it's a good example of tthe MotionPlus done right.

The game itself is a little bare bones, but feeling like I'm holding a real racket lends a lot to the experience.

Anthony: Yeah. I mean, I'll definitely rent it. I'd buy it if it were 100% realistic or something, but a rental's not bad either. If nothing else, it's a good step forward for the motion control technology.

Ashley: I think we are pretty much agreed.

Anthony: I think you're pretty much a stupidface.

Ashley: The quality of your insults has declined drastically since the beginning of this series.

Anthony: I'm fucking tired.



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