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AO Tennis 2

Aribo n Ojo

League 1
29 July 2019
Been fighting with myself for the past year or two to pick AO tennis up or not, It looks good in the Youtube gameplay videos but then you read the reviews and read how the mechanics work and then im put off. Looking forward to see what they do with 2.

Strange that this full gen we have not had a good Tennis game.
 
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Chris Davies

Chief PESsimist
Staff
14 May 2003
Tranmere Rovers
Strange that this full gen we have not had a good Tennis game.
The original AO, patched, is fantastic. To the point where I'm not really looking at this second one, because I know how great the first is - I just haven't had time to play it!
 

Aribo n Ojo

League 1
29 July 2019
The original AO, patched, is fantastic. To the point where I'm not really looking at this second one, because I know how great the first is - I just haven't had time to play it!
I just watched this review by SIM UK that i had not seen before.


Sounds like serious amount of time has to be spent on it before it rewards you and before you get anywhere, Sounds like my perfect game 20 years ago or if i purely played Tennis games only but maybe not now with a Wife, 2 Kids, Job and Music Producer with not much time left for gaming. I have a feeling i'd prefer it a little more simpler like Top Spin 2 which got the sim/arcade balance perfect (the series was downhill after 2) Defo not going to discredit AO2 and will defo keep an eye on it as they have been patching AO alot and you would think AO2 will release close to perfection to their vision.
 
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dazzer169

League 2
13 April 2008
Liverpool
The original AO, patched, is fantastic. To the point where I'm not really looking at this second one, because I know how great the first is - I just haven't had time to play it!
If you like that they put curve onto most shots after some patches..................then you can thank me, it was me on the planetcricket.net site that badgered a guy called MikeyMerren to get rid of the shots that were ALL straight line shots except the Serves.

Right now, you see curving shots down the line that go out and bend back in...........I do love that my pushing for that made them put that in, surely a fundamental part of real tennis is that the ball always has sidespin on it!!

;)
 

dazzer169

League 2
13 April 2008
Liverpool
I jokingly asked Big Ant if they would give me a % of the profits after they implemented it as it transformed the game, but its one thing saying its something the game needed, and another coding it in with perfection, which they did. So many factors have to be taken into consideration, as they needed to have the receiving player judging where the ball would bounce not only from the speed and original direction, and height, of it, but also with the ball bending in flight. Similar to all sports games with after touch or natural curving flight of the ball I guess.

Its something that made me criticize Top Spin 4 (not a Big Ant game of course) lovers for............that game had 100% straight shots only (again except for the serves), and no-one seemed to notice. Funnily enough all Big Ants cricket games have the same issue, although in slight fairness to them they do have a subtle wind effect making the ball move in flight on occasions, but not from the ball spinning after it hits the bat..........because it doesn't, it always flies straight, pathetic eh? And yet their cricket games have really good ball physics when the bowl is bowled, spinning left right and centre.............its just when it hits the bat it all falls apart...............gloves, arm, leg, foot, helmet, yep, sidespin is on the ball and shows.....but not on ANY of the shots off the bat, not even when the ball is edged!!!
 
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rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
So much emphasis on the cosmetics like faces, exterior views and cutscenes in that video, but the gameplay looks as turgid as the first game in the few clips shown.
 

rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
Animations are fantastic! Ball physics are the best ive ever seen in a Tennis title.
As a fan of tennis and having put over 1000 hours into various tennis games, I find comments like this utterly bizarre.

The physics and animations are awful. The points play out absolutely nothing like a real match...

This is as crazy to me as praising PES 2008 animations or FIFA 20 passing physics.

Top Spin 3 was better in pretty much every department and that released over 10 years ago. PC indie games made by one person like Tennis Elbow and Full Ace have far more realistic ball physics and gameplay...

It's a bit sad to see that a game as shite as this passes as acceptable or, for some, even "fantastic" in 2019.
 

dazzer169

League 2
13 April 2008
Liverpool
No no noooo...

Top Spin games were overrated, the ball always travelled on shots (serves curved) in a straight line, so ball physics in those games were zhit...

I had a word with one of the Big Ant coders after AO Tennis was released and asked if they could include some ball physics correctly in it, where shots would bend in flight as in real life.........he said they would implement it, and voila, AO Tennis took off.

They have the same if not better ball physics in AO Tennis 2 judging by the videos.

I still await my pay cheque from Big Ant for giving them the idea..........
 

rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
They added curve to shots, but that doesn't contribute anything to the overall gameplay depth. The shots don't even curve like they do in real life anyway, half the time the direction of the curve doesn't even match up to the animation.

TE and FA have far more subtle and sensible sidespin on shots, and again, those are each the work of one developer...
 

Aribo n Ojo

League 1
29 July 2019
As a fan of tennis and having put over 1000 hours into various tennis games, I find comments like this utterly bizarre.

The physics and animations are awful. The points play out absolutely nothing like a real match...

This is as crazy to me as praising PES 2008 animations or FIFA 20 passing physics.

Top Spin 3 was better in pretty much every department and that released over 10 years ago. PC indie games made by one person like Tennis Elbow and Full Ace have far more realistic ball physics and gameplay...

It's a bit sad to see that a game as shite as this passes as acceptable or, for some, even "fantastic" in 2019.
I played the life out of Top Spin 1,2,3 and 4, For me these animations and ball physics look better. Of course proof will be in the pudding when i am playing . The new game Tennis World Tour is basically Top Spin 5, Same dev team same engine same archaic animations and ball physics.

Having just watched Top 3 and now AO 2one after the other i'm still saying the animations and physics are better... Tennis Elbow im not really clued up on too much so watching a vid of that it looks decent the the physics looks alot more simple than AO or Top Spin but the one thing that stood out a mile was it didnt look like the racquet was connecting with the ball half the time when the AI was hitting it, Really jarring. But... it does look a really fun game more so than the other two i'd say and while the graphics are not good it does have a much more realistic colour palette than any Tennis game ive seen. (Why are Tennis games always made cartoony)
 
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rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
I played the life out of Top Spin 1,2,3 and 4, For me these animations and ball physics look better. Of course proof will be in the pudding when i am playing . The new game Tennis World Tour is basically Top Spin 5, Same dev team same engine same archaic animations and ball physics.

Having just watched Top 3 and now AO 2one after the other i'm still saying the animations and physics are better... Tennis Elbow im not really clued up on too much so watching a vid of that it looks decent the the physics looks alot more simple than AO or Top Spin but the one thing that stood out a mile was it didnt look like the racquet was connecting with the ball half the time when the AI was hitting it, Really jarring. But... it does look a really fun game more so than the other two i'd say and while the graphics are not good it does have a much more realistic colour palette than any Tennis game ive seen. (Why are Tennis games always made cartoony)
TWT is not the same dev team as TS3 or 4. Their claim that they "worked on the Top Spin franchise" was based on the company they rebranded from (Magic Pockets) having worked on the Gameboy Advance version of Top Spin 2... The only real member of the TS4 dev team involved was the producer (Pierre Andre) who was only there as a consultant. TWT was a big scam from start to finish, and they peddled this misleading "TS developers" story to get attention.

The racquet not connecting with the ball in TE sometimes is a gameplay feature really although it can look ugly - the player movement is almost completely free, and the shot quality is based on how accurately you position your player. If you watch videos of highly skilled players in online matches or the highest AI levels, the shots hit the middle of the racquet most of the time.

The physics are simple in TE, but they are at least convincing in terms of the speed/trajectory of the ball. I seem to remember the reason you prefer PES ball physics to FIFA's was for the same reason? Simplistic but made to look nice by using a limited set of nicer trajectories.

I don't think AO's ball physics are more complex anyway, at least not in a good way. I saw a serve hit the net and get backspin on it... May have to find and make a gif of it, looked ridiculous. Also the game decides errors and shots hitting the net in a very scripted way... It will go like 10cm out or zoom into the net at lightspeed because it was predetermined to go into the net at impact.

Full Ace is the best example of tennis game ball physics - that has much more variation than TE, and the shot's outcome are decided fully out of the mechanics/physics. The net is a proper physics object and shots pass it based on the mechanics and trajectory e.g. a hard flat shot down the line is much more likely to hit the net than cross court top spin.

I guess on consoles AO is about as good as it gets at the moment. The next TE game (TE4) is planned to release on consoles around December 2020.
 

PRO_TOO

Team Heffernan
25 May 2003
Rego Park, Germany
Team Heffernan
TWT is not the same dev team as TS3 or 4. Their claim that they "worked on the Top Spin franchise" was based on the company they rebranded from (Magic Pockets) having worked on the Gameboy Advance version of Top Spin 2... The only real member of the TS4 dev team involved was the producer (Pierre Andre) who was only there as a consultant. TWT was a big scam from start to finish, and they peddled this misleading "TS developers" story to get attention.

The racquet not connecting with the ball in TE sometimes is a gameplay feature really although it can look ugly - the player movement is almost completely free, and the shot quality is based on how accurately you position your player. If you watch videos of highly skilled players in online matches or the highest AI levels, the shots hit the middle of the racquet most of the time.

The physics are simple in TE, but they are at least convincing in terms of the speed/trajectory of the ball. I seem to remember the reason you prefer PES ball physics to FIFA's was for the same reason? Simplistic but made to look nice by using a limited set of nicer trajectories.

I don't think AO's ball physics are more complex anyway, at least not in a good way. I saw a serve hit the net and get backspin on it... May have to find and make a gif of it, looked ridiculous. Also the game decides errors and shots hitting the net in a very scripted way... It will go like 10cm out or zoom into the net at lightspeed because it was predetermined to go into the net at impact.

Full Ace is the best example of tennis game ball physics - that has much more variation than TE, and the shot's outcome are decided fully out of the mechanics/physics. The net is a proper physics object and shots pass it based on the mechanics and trajectory e.g. a hard flat shot down the line is much more likely to hit the net than cross court top spin.

I guess on consoles AO is about as good as it gets at the moment. The next TE game (TE4) is planned to release on consoles around December 2020.
Can you please explain that in detail to me?!
 

rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
Can you please explain that in detail to me?!
Sure :).

In TE, you hit the shot by holding one of the buttons, during holding the button your player will "auto-position", meaning they move towards the ideal position to strike the ball. The strength of the auto-positioning can be adjusted as a setting, and chosen in online games.

The ITST mod which is the most commonly used online (and used in many gameplay videos you would see), limits the auto-positioning to a low level, so that the player movement becomes more skill-based for competitive multiplayer.

The player movement is completely free, with each small tap of the keys affecting the player's momentum, and the quality/accuracy of your shots is dependent on how close to the "sweet spot" you strike the ball with the racquet (among other factors), so being able to consistently middle the ball is the biggest skill in the game, especially on the run, on serve returns or inside-out forehands.

Hitting outside of the sweet spot will produce worse shots, with less power, less consistent depth and higher chance of errors. For the sake of playability, the game allows some shots that look like they are into the body, hit the frame or slightly out of reach to be struck (but with the aforementioned worse results). There is a setting for this as well, "Elite" difficulty, which results in more shanks and errors from these out of reach shots, but it's not commonly used.
 
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PRO_TOO

Team Heffernan
25 May 2003
Rego Park, Germany
Team Heffernan
Sure :).

In TE, you hit the shot by holding one of the buttons, during holding the button your player will "auto-position", meaning they move towards the ideal position to strike the ball. The strength of the auto-positioning can be adjusted as a setting, and chosen in online games.

The ITST mod which is the most commonly used online (and used in many gameplay videos you would see), limits the auto-positioning to a low level, so that the player movement becomes more skill-based for competitive multiplayer.

The player movement is completely free, with each small tap of the keys affecting the player's momentum, and the quality/accuracy of your shots is dependent on how close to the "sweet spot" you strike the ball with the racquet (among other factors), so being able to consistently middle the ball is the biggest skill in the game, especially on the run, on serve returns or inside-out forehands.

Hitting outside of the sweet spot will produce worse shots, with less power, less consistent depth and higher chance of errors. For the sake of playability, the game allows some shots that look like they are into the body, hit the frame or slightly out racquet of reach to be struck (but with the aforementioned worse results). There is a setting for this as well, "Elite" difficulty, which results in more shanks and errors from these out of reach shots, but it's not commonly used.
Thank you mate. That was detailed. :)

Sports games should learn more from each other!
 

rojofa

Championship
15 September 2017
Thank you mate. That was detailed. :)

Sports games should learn more from each other!
IMO player movement should be the most important aspect of a tennis game next to ball physics... Seems to be so automated and clunky in AO.

Anyway, here's the recently released Career Mode video;

Hopefully one of these episodes will actually talk about gameplay.
 
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