[2 Minute Review] Top Spin 3

Should I break a sweat playing a sports game?

Well, I maybe didn’t break a sweat, but I did cramp my brain.

DO: Play possibly the most realistic tennis game ever. Overhand smashes, drop shots at the net and grunts that would make Maria Sharapova proud. (Okay, maybe that was just me)

TYPE: Tennis (hopefully that’s obvious).

PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (also available on everything else but the PC).

PRICE: $59.99 on the 360.

MEAT: On the surface, it’s another sports game. Where Top Spin 3 really shines is its complexity. At times it can be extremely difficult and hard to get used to, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly. The tutorials are very well done, and get deep fast. It may be a surprise, but I’m not a professional tennis player. So I can’t say if this “feels” right, but some of the shots definitely feel like they should.

There’s a career mode, of course, which I spent most of my time in. There’s nothing new here. Play some matches, get some points to get better skills, rinse, repeat. It’s fun, it’s addictive and I’ll be playing this much more. Oh, and the character creator? My daughter could have played with that for hours. Yay for electronic paper dolls!

PERKS: We’re getting dangerously close to the uncanny valley. Not sure if that’s a perk?

SCREAMS: Nothing new? Even though this is the first Top Spin game I’ve played, I’ve played enough sports games to know there’s only so much improvement can be made. It also can be insanely complex if you want it to.

VERDICT: For most gamers, this is a rental. Tennis fans and sports fans know what they’re getting and are more likely to pick it up. It’s a good buy for a specific group of gamers. You know whether you are in that group or not. If you’re not, you probably won’t be playing this.

Is Too Human Any Good?

I know that one of the games (released today) has been on some of our readers minds for a while now. It’s just recently come up on mine. I’m actually in the process of playing through some 360 games so I can trade them in (NEW RULE: one game at a time—more on that later). I was even thinking of using the credit for Too Human. Things are not looking bright with the mainstream hardcore press.

From Gamespot—who gave the game a 5.5—a surprisingly low score for a AAA developer. Here’s their opening salvo:

Too Human drops a juicy plot development at the most inopportune time: its very end. It’s the obvious manner of setting up a sequel, the infamous “to be continued…” we’ve come to expect from television shows and, yes, even some modern video games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it exemplifies the core experience of this action/role-playing hybrid. Too Human is a game of false starts and unrealized potential that infiltrate almost every aspect of the game, from story, to combat, to balance. Its elements feel stitched together, making for a patchwork quilt of a game that’s fraying at the seams.

Probably of all the mainstream reviewing sites, I trust Gamespot the most. Only once or twice have they ever steered me wrong. This does not bode well. I had mentioned on other forums that the lack of pre-release reviews was not a good sign. It usually never works in the developer’s favor.

After playing the unispiring demo, and like I’ve mentioned to others, I’m not paying $60 for this game—in credit or cash. Unless there’s some hidden ecstacy or bliss that the reviewers are overlooking. Sites like Gamespot, Gamespy, and 1up are being the most critical. Metacritic seems to raise the average (67), but it doesn’t look promising.