I have always had a little trouble watching tennis on television. As excited as the people in the stands and the players on the court get about it all, that has never come across to me as a viewer – it all feels a little too cold, clinical, and lifeless. If nothing else, EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis 2 perfectly captures that feeling.
First off, the career mode, the main mode of the game, has oh so very little going on. Essentially, you're going to create a character and then run the character through the four Grand Slam tournaments and a couple of minor ones for 10 years. The goal is to be the number one ranked player in the world, and you do that by winning over and over again. Some training is allowed and there are some "rivalry" exhibition matches, but essentially you just start tournament, work you through the bracket, and then move on to the next. Forget the lack of tournaments and venues, although tennis courts can be made of different things, they're all the same shape and size and you just step out onto a new one over and over and over again. There needs to be more differentiation in what the game asks of the user.
Next, anyone who has ever played any of EA's Tiger Woods golf games knows that at the start of a career, the tournaments are hard to win. You have to slowly improve your player, get better equipment, and tweak what you're doing in order to be successful. It takes a few years of one's in-game career to really have things click and turn yourself into a golf god. Inexplicably and completely counter-intuitively, Grand Slam Tennis 2 take the exact opposite tack.
Yes, that's right, Grand Slam Tennis 2 makes matches easier to win the worse ranked you are and the earlier in your career you are. Start to move from 99 to one and get a couple of years into your career and all of the sudden things get truly hard. The players you're going up against don't change, but all of the sudden, Rafael Nadal (the roster of current and former stars is quite good), whom you beat in straight set without losing a single game to the first time out is hard the twentieth time you play him… and despite his getting harder, the game tells you that you're a much better player now then you were when he was easy.