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Net Points: Top Spin 4 Play Styles

Posted by: Peter Skeritt at 2/11/2011 2:04 PM
Top Spin 4 is getting close to its release date, and the game's development team has been gradually filling everyone in on what to expect in this upcoming tennis title. This most recent Developer's Diary discusses a few of the different play styles that the athletes will have in the game, such as baseline play and serve and volley. More serious tennis fans will identify with these terms and what they mean, but more casual fans may benefit greatly from checking out some of the explanations that Gameplay Designer Remi Ercolani put together in his piece. 

Baseline play, for example, takes place towards the rear of the player's side of the court. This is usually strategic for strong athletes with big hitting potential. Setting up at the back of the court gives a player time to judge an incoming shot or volley and then set up a return shot with some real zip on it, as well as accurate placement. A more defensive baseline player uses more accuracy and thinks a bit more about where to put shots, while offensive baseline players, like Andy Roddick, just pound the ball. Serve and volley players attack closer to the net, and this strategy is usually associated with big servers. If a serve puts the opposing player in a defensive position, rushing to the net and using a volley or drop shot can easily win points. 

The diary also discusses the importance of player statistics and how they influence each player's style. Players with less power but more accuracy usually tend to play a more defensive baseline strategy and pinpoint their shots, much like a baseball pitcher who favors hitting his spots around the plate instead of blowing hitters away with a fastball. Some players may have better speed and quickness, so playing at the net despite the ever-present threat of a lob would work better. These are all styles of play that even the most casual of video game tennis players use, sometimes without even knowing it. 

For those of you with even a passing interest (excuse the pun) in Top Spin 4, check out the full Developer's Diary over at Facebook to read more about these styles of play and how they'll impact the game. Look for a full review from courtside shortly after the game arrives here at GamingNexus HQ.