With the Wii MotionPlus release rising in the distance, Wii owners are anxiously anticipating the chosen device to bring 1:1 controls for the system. Images of lightsaber duels, realistic sword fights between Link and Ganondorf have lined many gamer’s dreams since the MotionPlus announcement.
We might have to wait a bit for some of the dreams to come true, because the first demonstration of the Wii MotionPlus technology will come by way of….tennis. That’s not to put down tennis based games, because I’ve enjoyed many of them in the past (Pong, Mario Tennis, Virtua Tennis). It’s just kind of funny that two of the first demonstrations of Wii MotionPlus are tennis games. Then soon after those releases we’ll have Wii Sports Resort.
So, if we’re going to have two options for MotionPlus based tennis action, which is the more worthy? It’s hard to say with certainty at this point, because neither are out yet. It’s fun to speculate though, so let’s take a look at what we know about them currently…
EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Wii MotionPlus Hands-on – IGN: “Playing Grand Slam Tennis with the device, movements are interpreted more accurately – for instance, delivery of serves can be controlled more by the speed of your swing. A gentle arc produces a gentle shot, while a strong, decisive push sends the ball spinning toward your opponent much faster.”
EA SPORTS Grand Slam Tennis Preview – Gamezone:“EA Sports showed off Grand Slam Tennis at its Season Opener event in San Francisco Thursday, and while the game plays intuitively enough using the motion controls of the Wii remote, it is when the motion-plus attachment is hooked in that the game becomes not only more challenging, but much more interactive.”
Sick of Wii Sports tennis? EA Sports to serve up its own flavor of the Wii sport – Gamedaily: “EA Sports finally heads back to Wimbledon with an officially licensed tennis game, due for release on the Wii this summer. EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis hopes to capture the authenticity of the sport, while still offering fun gameplay for all. We recently got a chance to go hands-on with it at an EA event and came away impressed.”
Dark Horse Factor: John McEnroe – Even after 17 years of retirement, you could still call John McEnroe the face of Tennis. He basically took this reserved sport which was adorned with golf clapping and silence, made it loud and approachable. With his antics on court to his savvy with the media; McEnroe was not only a tennis star, but a celebrity.
Virtua Tennis 2009
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Virtua Tennis 2009 Hands-on – IGN (Pre-MotionPlus Announcement): “Sumo’s lent an attentive ear to the rabble of forums and addressed several key complaints with Virtua Tennis 3, while some of the improvements elsewhere in the game also feed into the on-court action. Player’s propensity to dive for every shot has been toned down, meaning some of the exaggerated acrobatics that marred Virtua Tennis 3 are a thing of the past, and the often broken lob mechanics have been given a thorough once over.”
Virtua Tennis 2009 Preview – Gamedaily: “In addition, developer Sumo Digital tweaked the lob mechanics to make them feel natural and toned down the excessive diving that plagues Virtua Tennis 3. Now, instead of falling over, your selected player stumbles.”
Dark Horse Factor: Depth of Gameplay Modes – SEGA based sports games have always been heralded as being some of the deepest simulations around. Virtua Tennis 2009 is no different, as it looks to bring the goods. World Tour mode sounds like an entire game in and of itself. You’ll take a tennis player and bring him up through the ranks. Then you’ll be able to take them online. Being the deepest tennis game around will be what sells Virtua Tennis 2009.
Wii MotionPlus Compatibility : Since the topic of this post is these two games being the first Wii MotionPlus compatible titles, should atleast make a mention. It’s hard to judge one over the other because very few people have had hands-on experience. EA seems to be bursting with confidence as they’ve let many people preview Grand Slam Tennis sans MotionPlus announcement. Not so with Virtua Tennis 2009. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Grand Slam Tennis’ MotionPlus will be better, just that EA is bragging a bit more than SEGA.