Top Spin 3 gone gold

Tennis games have always been a blast to play. My own first experience was with the awesomely detailed NES Tennis from 1986, which really put on a challenge (Is it just me, or does Mario make an appearance as judge?). Tennis games sure have come a long way since then, and today 2K announced that their most recent title in the Top Spin series, Top Spin 3, has gone gold and will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS and PSP in North America starting June 24th.

From what it seems, Top Spin 3 will have some really umm… neat features — we’ll enjoy improved graphics, new controls, signature player animations and a new player creator system which contains a face sculpting editor, customizable swing animations, selectable hair and so on. Other features include enhanced crowd reactions, improved sound, and the new “Evolutionary Visuals” which show sweat, grass and mud stains as well as realistic fatigue (Why do I think of outdoor sex?).

Players will be able to control current tennis pros as well as old school ones (on selected consoles), such as Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg. Hopefully, you can also choose to play as John McEnroe and customize his swing so he throws his racket at the judge when anger builds up.

The battle between the Top Spin and SEGA’s Virtua Tennis series has been going on for years. Each game has its own supporters, and it’s hard to say which one collects the prize as best tennis game because of the different approaches they’ve taken. Virtua Tennis tends to go the route of simplicity and arcade-feeling, and is my personal choice because of it, although the constant diving (those who’ve played the game knows what I mean) makes it kind of frustrating. Top Spin on the other hand suffers from being just a bit too complicated for my tastes – you don’t want to think about complex button combos when you barely have enough time to reach the ball. But hey, at least we have a choice in the matter. *cough* Madden *cough*