|System: Wii, PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: PAM Development||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Road to Glory mode, which attempts to extend the single-player experience due to the absence of a career mode, is very tedious. To complete this mode you will have to make your way through a plethora of incredibly similar events. There are slight differences such as who you will face, where you will play, the number of sets played, and how many rounds are required but they all end up feeling exactly the same. The Road to Glory mode also involves a major investment of time as each event can take an hour or more to complete. This is mostly due to Top Spin 3's impressively good A.I. opponents. Players looking for a challenge will definitely be pleasantly surprised by some of the game's more difficult adversaries.
The lack of features doesn't stop with the lack of the career mode, as there is no ability to create your own characters here either. Without this feature, players' choices are limited to just the included pros. Though there are a good number to choose from, the option to create your own player is sorely missed. The absence of Rafael Nadal as a selectable character is also worth mentioning, just in case one of the most popular athletes in the sport happens to have some fans out there.
Graphically, this version of the game is drastically scaled back when compared to its bigger brothers' versions but does an admirable job nonetheless. Although Top Spin 3's characters are far from photorealistic, they are well represented and smoothly animated. Backgrounds also look fairly good, with nice touches such as lighting effects and flying birds that help to add some realism to the visuals. The only glairing visible issue I witnessed in the game came from its terrible looking 2D sprite-based crowd.
While this game certainly has its fair share of issues, it is perhaps the best tennis game available on the Wii. With controls that add depth and complexity to the gameplay, Top Spin 3 honestly feels like the natural evolution of what Wii Sports Tennis has pioneered. Although it may be severely lacking in options and game modes, this game can be relatively fun and should please most tennis fans. As long as you can stomach the lengthy and repetitive events found within, Top Spin 3 serves up some great tennis action complete with good controls, decent visuals, and difficult A.I. opponents.
CCC Freelance Writer