Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is all about one thing: focus! Focus concerning philosophy, focus on gameplay and focus on features. Table Tennis can be best described as the nextgen Pong, a realistic adaptation of the game on all parts including graphics, speed and intensity. Whether this all turns into a great game is the question we’ll answer below.
That of all devs it was Rockstar who took it upon themselves to fire ping-pong at you in such a way is surprising. Although no-one thought the current gamers these days were waiting on a virtual version of this sport, this gam prooves again that gameplay is more important than content or subject. Rockstar clearly succeeded to bring that o so important right “feel” onto your screen. The game is incredibly fast, demands full concentration of the players and the makers have ruthlessly sucked away any unnecessary fat.
Table Tennis is a sport you play with two and also that is reflected in the game. The single player mode is nothing different from a hardly dressed up series of games against the CPU, which lovers of the career mode of let’s say Top Spin 2 will find disappointing. Together with the very good tutorial the ideal way to get to know the game, but in the end with only one goal: kick ass in multiplayer. This can be done online with Xbox Live or offline with your friends next to you in the seat. And believe me, this is a kind of multiplayer that makes your hands sweat, lets you sit at the tip of your toes and where you’ll curse of frustration and sheer of joy.
Meanwhile, not only the idea and philosophy are right, also the finishing doesn’t let you down. Graphically things are really worked out fine up to the details, with nicely animated menus, beautiful player models (including realistically moving clothing, sweat spots and life-like animation), completely believeable ball behaviour, great sound effects and music that brings even more atmosphere to the game at all the right moments. When you play Table Tennis you really get sucked into the green table and also the minimal loading times manage to prevent any irritation.
This immersion is also easier due to the very good and intuitive controls. You can move and aim with the left stick, determine your effect (backspin, topspin, right or left spin) with the right stick or buttons and even force a soft or focusshot with the shoulder buttons. Only minor downpoint here is that you’ll sometimes move when you want to aim since both are controlled with the same stick. Easy to learn but o so deep and varied that you can spend hours and hours before you really perfect your game; just like in the real sport!
Of course there are some other downpoints. It’s hard to perceive the color around the ball to point the type of effect and it’s too bad you can’t design your own characters. Luckily the latter is compensated by the very fun pre-made characters amongst which you’ll quickly find your favorites that complement your own playing style.
Writing the conclusion for Table Tennis is easy. The game has a deep and truly extremely fast gameplay, excellent and intuitive controls, a presentation that’s finished off to the details and an unseen addictive multiplayer. Those that prefer and fat dressed sports game with tons of options and a single player mode that occupies you for hours on your own are at the wrong address here but seeing the price of this game I even dare recommend it to the most dedicated loner.