You start ranked 100, bottom of the barrel. Start off by playing in Minor Pro-Am tournaments to climb the ranks and line your pockets, you move from tourney to tourney on a cool world map that features North and South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the Middle East. Each local has its own Tournaments, Coaching Camps, Sport Shops, Air Ports, and Sponsors. During your early career you can also be sponsored by someone if you pass there tests and they feel you fit the image they are looking for. Big names such as Adidas, Prince, Wilson, Yonex, Oakley and K-Swiss are available for you to pursue. Once sponsored your new friends have all sorts of goodies for you as you perform well, but make the company look good in commercials and other extra curricular activities. All the extras in Top Spin play out as mini-games testing your accuracy and power in a wide array of challenges.
Top Spin also has plenty to un-lock ranging from new tournaments to new clothing and accessories. As you grow from an Amateur to ?Young Gun?, ?Star? and ?Legend? status more and more will be available to you. Building your characters skills is just as challenging. You are assigned 14 Career Stars to assign to your 4 Masteries?Serves, Forehand, Backhand, and Volley. This is much like building stats on an RPG. The Coaching Camps are also divided into 3 tiers, Bronze, Silver and Gold, adding to your strengths and Skills. With each hurdle you pass, a new item is unlocked, and so it goes. Top Spin also throws in some nice touches such as a Scrapbook where you can look over your trophies, your sport bag which has all your digs and gifts from your sponsors, along with the usual rankings, stats, earnings and such.
Custom Tournament allows you to set the parameters to your specifications. Men/Women, Singles/Doubles, Human Players, Games Per Set, Sets Per Match, Number of Rounds and the difficulty level. As in Custom Tournaments, Exhibition Mode lets you set some of the same parameters, and in both Modes you can choose from Grand Slam venues all the way to 20 playground courts. In these 2 modes you also get to choose from random players to some very familiar names such as our favorite darling of the tennis world Anna Kournikova. Lastly, Tennis school is a tutorial level to help you get the feel of the game, which to be honest with you isn?t hard to pick up and go with, but if you?re serious about hitting that Number 1 ranking you may want to practice, practice, practice.
Coming from someone who doesn?t follow tennis and never played except in gym class, I was surprised the game kept my interest and offered up a nice learning curve without making me feel like a true ?Rookie?. Top Spin offers plenty of game play and the XSN Sports package will only make this title more interesting. I just hope that the more ?Main Stream? sport titles don?t overshadow this well designed package.
Tannenberg brings authentic First World War combat on the Eastern Front. Accurately recreated weaponry, uniforms and sound effects combine with maps inspired by real battlefields to immerse players in intense combat.