Top Spin 3

Key events

22nd September 2008

DS Roundup

25th June 2008

Top Spin 3

12th July 2007

E3: Top Spin 3 announced

DS Roundup

DS Roundup

Civilization, Race Driver: GRID, Top Spin 3, Doodle Hex and Pirates.

Race Driver: GRID

Developer: Firebrand Games

Publisher: Codemasters

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 13

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 13

UT3, Bourne Conspiracy, Top Spin 3, Iron Man, Battlefield: BC.

Our groins suitably girded, we return once more to the great cross-platform console development debate with the latest in our ongoing face-off comparison coverage. As if you didn't know by now, the aim here is to supplement existing Eurogamer reviews with console-specific commentary, backed up with a range of 'assets' losslessly extracted from the hardware during our testing.

This is achieved with the now ubiquitous Digital Foundry TrueHD capture kit, the only equipment in the world capable of ruthlessly plundering the HDMI ports of the respective consoles at full 24-bit RGB precision. Literally every single piece of digital information pumped out by the hardware is ours - ours I tell you - and from there we can supply ultimate quality screenshots and comparison videos.

Flash's support for h.264 combined with Eurogamer TV technology allows for video comparisons that actually work, with as much detail retained as possible. One pixel in the video is one pixel on your HDTV, and we've manfully done our best to sync up the two versions of each game to provide the best comparison coverage.

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Top Spin 3 demo available now

Alastair Campbell not available for comment.

A demo of 2K Sports' fancy new tennis game, Top Spin 3, is available now on Xbox Live, says Major Nelson.

Top Spin 3

Top Spin 3

Love at first service.

First they giveth, then they taketh away. Last time around, PAM slightly overcooked Top Spin 2's controls with layers of added complexity which appeared to add depth at the consequence of making it far less intuitive and playable than its deadly rival, Virtua Tennis. As good a game as it undoubtedly was, there was always the nagging sense in the back of your mind that you'd rather be playing SEGA's ageless offering.

At the same time, though, online play was always Top Spin's ace in the hand - and still is, thanks to SEGA's utterly botched online implementation in last year's otherwise excellent Virtua Tennis 3. To rival or even usurp the mighty VT, all PAM had to do was refine a few key areas in the playability department and the throne would finally be theirs. Strangely though, PAM has almost gone back to the drawing board rather than merely tweak a few things, and manages to make an equal number of good and bad decisions along the way. Initially, the refinements to the control system feel like a terrible decision.

For the first time in possibly the history of tennis titles, Top Spin 3 is almost impossible to simply pick up and play. Even against the rookies in career mode, you'll struggle pathetically and wonder what on earth you're doing wrong. Serves will fly limply off target, returns won't go anywhere near where you want them to, and you'll lumber along like a complete chump struggling to win a single point. It's the anti Wii Sports Tennis - a counter-intuitive tennis game that only the committed hardcore player will be able to play.

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FeatureTop Spin 3

We'll be the judge of that.

Often a kick up the arse is exactly what the doctor ordered. Top Spin 2 was rushed; French developer PAM has no qualms about admitting it, suggesting at least something had to be offered on the new batch of consoles sooner rather than later. Still, this sort of behaviour has come to be expected from games machines finding their feet, as developers fiddle with new creation tools and begin to get to grips with the fresh grunt on offer. So, you may say we understand why Top Spin 2 was a flimsy and incremental offering in the series then, but ask fifty pounds for it and our sympathetic nature soon disperses.

E3: Top Spin 3 announced

E3: Top Spin 3 announced

Customisable tennis.

Top Spin 3 is coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 in Spring 2008, 2K Sports has revealed.

The follow-up to the 2006 Xbox 360 title once again builds on the successful Tennis series, with the usual expansive offline career mode and online play.

New to this version will be dynamic weather changes - useful if you want to postpone play all day due to rain and get Cliff Richard singing in the stands - and a host of customisation options so you can sculpt the image of your player. There's a free form body slider to adjust your shape, and you can even plaster yourself in tattoos and make-up.

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