Grand Slam Tennis 2 Asks: Gestures or Sticks?

Geek Culture

The ebb and flow of franchises between platforms would make a good post-graduate study. The most recent trend has been to translate Wii games into a high definition PlayStation Move equivalent.

You can see the sense behind this: with Move you get the best of both worlds — motion controls and great graphics. The question is whether you get enough to warrant spending more on the high definition version.

I liked the approach of including a PS3 version of Dead Space Extraction for free on the Special Edition of Dead Space 2 ($40 Amazon) — it felt like a pleasant addition rather than something I had to quibble over buying. Even so, seeing how cheap the Wii version of Dead Space Extraction is now ($10 Amazon) made me wonder just how valuable this addition is.

Grand Slam Tennis 2Grand Slam Tennis 2

Grand Slam Tennis 2

The other approach is to sell the PlayStation version stand alone. House of the Dead Overkill is an interesting example here. Although not one for the youngsters, this is an excellent two-player shooting game on the Wii. The Move version adds in online leader boards and high definition graphics while keeping the price reasonable ($31 Amazon). This compares more favorably to the original Wii version ($20 Amazon).

Another way to slice the franchise pie in light of the PlayStation Move’s arrival is to create a new version of the game exclusively for the PS3. This means you not only have a clean slate for all those high definition features, but you can also accommodate a 360 version at the same time.

Grand Slam Tennis 2 does this. At first I was more than a little disappointed on hearing that there wouldn’t be a Wii version of what had quickly became my favorite tennis game. But the thought of a properly motion-controlled next generation tennis game is actually winning me over.

Grand Slam Tennis 2 ($49.99 Amazon) may have some stiff competition on PlayStation and Xbox 360 — the likes of Virtua Tennis and Top Spin — but no one else is seriously trying to include motion controls in the heart of their game. Just have a look at the mockery of motion controls in Virtua Tennis 4 if you don’t believe me. And in addition to all this they can include the Wimbledon tennis tournament to complete the set of grand slam competitions (the clue’s in the name, I guess).

Grand Slam Tennis 2Grand Slam Tennis 2

Grand Slam Tennis 2

The biggest test for this approach is how well the more hardcore audience on the PlayStation 3 (and Xbox 360) will take to Grand Slam Tennis 2. It maybe that motion controls are less important here. Perhaps testament to this is the inclusion of some (also quite interesting) Skate style “flick-it” racket controls where the right stick is used to control your swing.

Either way, if the PlayStation game does outsell the 360 version (which doesn’t have motion controls) it will open the flood gates for the PS3 being the lead platform for motion controlled games — which is no bad thing.

I also suspect that it will trigger a reverse engineered Grand Slam Tennis 2 back on the Wii. In the meantime Wii owners can always pick up the first game for a song ($22 Amazon).

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