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Top Spin 2

Developer: Pam Development | Publisher: 2K Sports
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Genre: Sports

Release Date: 03/29/06

Tennis is a sport that translates wonderfully to the video game realm. It's no small wonder that Pong was one of the very first games ever created. Games have come a long way since then, but Tennis games are still going strong. Games like Mario Tennis, Sega's Virtua Tennis and more recently, Top Spin, have stood out from the crowd and all have been not just good, but great examples of creating an entertaining game using a real sport as the source. If you're a fan of the latter, we've got some good news for you: Top Spin 2 is on its way to the Xbox 360 and it looks like a real contender.

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The gameplay remains remarkably similar to the previous Top Spin title, so you veterans out there should feel right at home when you pick up the controller. Mastering various shots and techniques may take a bit of practice, but your efforts will pay off as you are more easily able to lay waste to those who stand in your way to tennis superstardom. Speaking of tennis superstars, expect to see a few familiar faces in the game such as Venus Williams and Andy Roddick. You can show these real life stars up by creating a player of your own and advancing in the game's in-depth career mode.

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The career mode is taking shape nicely; you can train with coaches to better your game, take on contenders in individual matches and play in major tennis tournaments to make a name for yourself. The game's beefy character creation tool allows you plenty of customization and sponsors will provide you with money and new clothes to model for your adoring public. As you progress through career mode, you'll up your character's statistics and with any luck take the tennis world by storm. It's what you always wanted isn't it? Be warned though, the road journey is fraught with obstacles that you must overcome in order to rise to the top. Luckily the aforementioned coaches will hound you to keep practicing; if you start slacking off you can bet you'll be hearing from your coach shortly.

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Aside from the career mode, you'll most likely spend a lot of your time playing against other people via Xbox Live. Once you've had enough of smacking the cpu-controlled characters around, the next obvious step is to take you game online and see how you stack up against real competition. With Xbox Live you can choose to play in exhibition matches or put your rep on the line and play in ranked games.

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Utilizing the power of the Xbox 360, Top Spin 2 is looking amazing. The player models are incredibly realistic and the animations are superb. The environments are more alive than ever and will help to further immerse you into the experience. The game is scheduled to be released alongside the Xbox 360 this November, so gather your balls and get ready for the best tennis action to hit the gaming realm in years.

By Ryan Schaefer - 11/08/05
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Screenshots for Top Spin 2

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