Movement can take a litle getting used to
|Time Played||2 hours|
|Game Progress||Pretty far in career mode|
Anannya Sens Review
All the thrills and spills of the greatest tennis tournament in the world
Wimdbledon season is upon us which means strawberries and cream, dodgy weather, dodgier outfits and Ana Ivanovic. Well, I was going to say Sharapova but she got knocked out today.
So in timely fashion Gameloft has released Wimbledon 2008 which aims to please parts other tennis games can't reach. Now, being a Gameloft title there are plenty of modes. They are fairly self explanatory so I won't go into detail but you get exhibition mode, Wimbledon and career mode. In career mode you progress through various tournaments and training exercises while unlocking players for the Wimbledon mode.
Now the graphics aren't state of the art 3D vectored polygons, but what they are is nice and well presented. They are 2D and suit the game to some extent, allowing better visuals for the player pics in Wimbledon. During the match it's easy to see the court and players and they are reasonably identifiable. To make things a bit easier, on career mode you can customise your player down to their skin colour and wristband colour.
As with all career modes, you have to build up your player from scratch. This involves taking part in various training exercises to improve your skills. For the exercise you have to score a certain number of points by the quality of your shots to unlock the next level. As your stats increase, so too does your shot making during the actual tournaments.
Some of the exercises were a bit strange and unresponsive at times, but I'm not sure if this was my phone or the game. Still, once you get the hang of the serving exercise, that's all you need to win your first few tournaments.
During the game the play is reasonably easy, you have to move your character around with the D pad. Get to the point where the ball is being returned to and your character can concentrate on returning the ball to a specific area. This is achieved through the number keys 1-9 so using a D-pad is out. Still, this doesn't really pose too much of a problem as once you get the hang of moving around the court, you'll notice you are in the best position to return the ball as the marker for where it will land changes colour.
So, once you're there you can pick your return and the longer you hold down the button the more powerful the shot will be. The graphics show a few speed lines appearing when you do this so you know the shot has come out how you wanted. For the first few tournaments a few simple cross court shots and you should be winning the point. Breaking serve is easy as well, just make sure you get to the return spot quickly and the same rules apply. As you progress it does get a bit tougher but it depends on which of the 3 difficulty levels you have the game on.
I started off with junior so moved onto the next one reasonably quickly. With more tournament wins your rank increases and you aim for the top. But you have to remember to keep playing the training exercises. The Wimbledon mode is fun too as you get to play as one of the 'unlicensed but clearly based on their real life counterparts' players. You can save progress and come back to the match which is great.
During the loading screens, a few interesting bits of trivia are passed on. Why loading you say? Because Gameloft are one of the few companies who take sound into effect. A reasonably good atmosphere in the game has definitely been heightened by the sound and speech effects. Hearing the scoreline being read out and squinting your eyese almost convinces you that you're there. Well, maybe not.
In addition to the difficulty level you can set the number of mathes and sets to play. This is great for ensuring that you can get things over with pretty quickly as on later / harder levels the rallies can get pretty long.
I forgot to mention that you can lob (press zero) and slice the ball (double tap) but you don't really need this with powerful base line shots as long as you get to the return marker quickly. Two nice little touches are the shot replays when it hits close to the line detailing whether it was out or in. And you also have 3 contested calls you can make which mirrors real life. For some reason you don't seem to be able to do this at any time, but it adds a little class to the game.
Overall a fun game to play which, while not spectacular to look at, certainly has enough to keep you entertained until the real final in a few weeks.