Tennis games are becoming increasingly more abundant, largely thanks to the success of Sega's Virtua Tennis. Tennis games have existed for a long time, clearly. But in the past their releases have always been few and far in between. Today, there's a number of tennis franchises, some arcade, some simulation, such as: Mario Tennis, Hot Shots Tennis, Smash Court, Virtua Tennis, and, of course Top Spin. Top Spin is widely regarded as the definitive tennis experience, if you're looking for a simulation effort.
For a while, the series has been kept to only the Xbox, but 2K Sports has secured the game's developer, and thus secured the franchise, bringing Top Spin to the PS2. Now we'll be seeing the third game on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As is standard with this generation, Top Spin 3 will feature gameplay precision unlike the series' past.
With consoles boasting more horsepower than before, that equates to more number crunching, which in turn means that consoles can perform much more complicated calculations. What the hell am I saying? Expect Top Spin 3 to feature tennis realism above anything else out there.
The game is set to have dynamic weather changes, so at any given point during a match, rainfall could occur. Moreover, 2K touts "evolutionary player visuals", which I can only suspect means that your player will change form and shape throughout his/her career.
More importantly, playing a game like Top Spin is the best when you've got a few pals to join in on the fun. And with Top Spin 3's online functionality, that's exactly what you'll be seeing. PAM is developing a slew of online offerings for the game, so expect to find a lot of features in that respective category. One of the online components allows you to gain rank with your custom player regardless if you're playing online or offline games. Speaking of custom athletes, Top Spin 3's creator enables you intricately form your own athlete to your own liking.
"This game transcends the boundaries of what has previously been achieved in the acclaimed Top Spin franchise by ensuring every detail is accurate, from the cloud cover to lighting, from sweat to dirt on clothing, to every drop shot, slice, lob and backhand," said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K.
Top Spin 3 is already looking great, from what we've seen. Player detail is pretty solid, and if PAM can exceed Sega's efforts with Virtua Tennis 3, then we've certainly got ourselves a great looking tennis title on our hands. As of now, it looks like Top Spin 3 is well on its way to being the best looking tennis game, as well as the best playing tennis game. Its release is scheduled for Spring 2008, and the day of its arrival cannot come soon enough. Keep your eyes peeled for screenshots and whatever news on the game that comes our way.