Grand Slam Tennis 2 online play
Rockman McAwesome is confused. He spent his rookie season destroying everyone who stood in his path on the way to an unprecedented Grand Slam, dispatching legends with ease. Yet he’s being summarily crushed when venturing into ad-hoc online tournaments against supposedly similar competition, even though his attributes in that arena are vastly superior. It’s enough to make a long-haired, sunglasses-at-night-wearing American tennis pro baffled.
Therein lies the conundrum that is Grand Slam Tennis 2, EA’s first current-generation venture onto the tennis court. Depending on your point of view – or, more importantly, your mode of playing – it’s either an addictive tour de force or a colossal waste of time.
How can that be possible?
Easy. If you’re looking for terrific multiplayer (online or offline), Grand Slam is potentially your ideal tennis game. With innovative controls, all four major event locations and surface types, a deep character creator, and decent selection of top players, it features a unique brand of options for you to head online and engage in epic tennis battles. Thanks to well-implemented systems, you can instantly jump into online tournaments against multitudes of players; if you’re looking for straight-up head-to-head matches, they’re easy to find too. All your key stats are tracked individually as well as in the Battle of the Nations, and you’ll get a special sense of accomplishment when you’re able to beat a real-life titan like Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic with your own version of McAwesome.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a spectacular single-player experience, Grand Slam isn’t the place to find it. The career mode could have been tremendous but winds up mostly strange. For starters, it’s virtually impossible not to win all four major tournaments your first season. The difficulty is set so low that you’ll demolish everyone you see, even legendary heroes of the court like Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe who don’t seem to understand how to react to a simple net rush and volley. While it may make sense to take it easy on someone their first go-round, having us eligible to enter – then easily win – all of tennis’ crown jewel tournaments right off the bat feels utterly implausible.
Yes, the difficulty ramps up in later years, and what was once easy becomes challenging. However, there’s no magic in battling Roger Federer in a 5-set match in the Wimbledon Quarterfinals when you’ve already won the tournament twice before. Even with all the great design decisions – a streamlined calendar with clear direction and simple-to-understand goals, for example – we couldn’t come up with a reason to keep slogging away with no real goal in sight.
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