Visually, Top Spin 2is not nearly as impressive as it should be when it ships at the end of 2005. Powered by an Alpha debug, which has 1/3 the power of the Xbox 360, there is aliasing and TS 2 runs at only 30 frames a second. Again, the aliasing isn’t allowed on 360, so it will be gone before this game ships and 2K is confident that we’ll see this beauty running at 60 frames a second once the Beta debugs arrive in July.
Though running at less power than the full build, the visuals are still quite a delight. You can see some incredible details in the background. Draw distance? Apparently infinite. Close up the faces look fantastic. There are freckles, stray hairs, you can even see the frizzy fabric on a shirt.
The controls are identical to the original. The shoulder buttons are used to express attitude, so you can pump your fist or toss your racquet when you feel it appropriate. You have access to a standard shot, lob, slice and top spin, with the Right Trigger serving to toggle a risk shot. Time the risk shot properly to get extreme shots that are difficult to defend.
Anyone familiar with the original will have no problems picking up Top Spin 2. It plays exactly like the original on the court. However, many things have changed off the court. We’ll have more details on these features later today.
Rest assured, Top Spin 2 is not radically changing the franchise. Unless 2K decides to suddenly monkey with the formula, this should be a solid title for (or near) launch on the Three-Six-Oh.