STAFF REVIEW of Table Tennis (Xbox 360)


Saturday, May 27, 2006.
by Yellowlab

Table Tennis Box art Two thoughts went through my mind when I heard about Rockstar?s Table Tennis. First off, I was shocked they were making a Ping Pong game on the Xbox 360. The most powerful gaming console seemed like an odd choice for a game like this. Even more curious, this rather tame sounding game was being developed by Rockstar ? the bad boys of the video game industry. But, the biggest surprise was what I found out after I played the game. It?s good? real good.

This game could not have come at a better time. After nearly 30 years of Pong/Tennis video games, I was thinking there wasn?t much left to do with the game type, and that it might be growing a little stale. Rockstar?s Table Tennis puts a whole new spin on it, and breathes some new life into the oldest video game genre.

The game works so well largely because of fast paced frantic action on a relatively small playing field. The physics behind the lightweight ping pong ball is another thing that makes it stand apart from your standard tennis game. The spin on the ball is a lot more exaggerated, and there are a wider variety of hits. The gameplay tweaks go a long way to creating a gaming experience that is just pure frantic fun.

While most games in this genre make you build up a character through monotonous training exercises, Rockstar gives you a cast of characters from around the globe that require no training. It?s a welcome change and adds to the pick up and play fun nature to the game. Much like a fighting game, the characters each have their strengths and weaknesses, and a unique style. Unfortunately, there is a downside here. The players are fairly uninspired stereotypical representations of whatever region they hail from. Worse yet, there is no player create mode, and with a very limited number of given characters this would have been a very useful feature.



While the characters may need a little work, the star of this show is the gameplay. The controls are tight, very satisfying, and easy to pick up after just a couple games. There are four basic shots mapped to each of the main buttons on the 360?s controller ? top spin (A), back spin (Y), left spin (X), and right spin (B). Not only can you visually see the spin on the ball just by the trajectory, but the ball will also glow the color of which button was used to hit the ball. So, if you hit a right spin (B button) shot, the ball will have a slight red glow. If you can react quick enough and hit the same type of shot back at the player, you can make the spin even more effective. Aiming of a shot is done with the left thumbstick. The rumble feature of the controller is put to very good use by rumbling slightly to let you know your shot will be near the edge of the table. If you hold the direction too long it will start to rumble even harder, letting you know your shot may be off the table, unless you quickly change direction.

As you connect with solid, fully charged shots, a focus meter will fill up. The focus meter has three stages (red, yellow, and green), and can be rather confusing at first. In the first stage it is red, and upon filling it up it will automatically kick in to focus mode for a short time, in which your shots are much more effective. Upon depletion, the meter will turn to yellow, and eventually will build up to the green, which is the most powerful, longest lasting of the three. If both player?s meter fill up in the green, the surrounding area around the table will go dark and both players can hit some fast and wild shots back and forth.

While the gameplay is nearly flawless, if this game has one problem it is that it has very few frills. It has the standard tournament and exhibition modes. It also has a very nice Xbox Live component, complete with a Tennis Network in which you can watch others play. While all those are well done, that is pretty much it for the game. There are only a few unlockables, such as characters and clothing, but what is there is fairly boring. The unlockable costumes are essentially just a different colored T-Shirt of the one that was already unlocked. There is a lack of any customization (no player create, player edit, etc?). There are no mini games and no story mode. Some of this can be expected, as it is not a full priced title, but it was a little more stripped down than I had anticipated.



You won?t be buying this game because it shows off the power of your Xbox 360. While the visuals are serviceable, I couldn?t help but to think it was not a game that really needed a next generation platform. It probably would have been just as fun on the original Xbox.

The character models are light years ahead of anything we?ve seen before from Rockstar, but then again they?ve never been known for having spectacular character models. However, these were on par with what we?ve seen on the 360 in other games, and it gives hope to what we may see in Grand Theft Auto IV.



In the audio department everything is simple, but effective. The basic ping pong sounds are captured faithfully, and there are some added sound effects for when you are hitting focus powered shots. The sound changes nicely to fit the arena you are in ? such as there being more of an echo in the barren warehouse venue. As for the voice work, there is not a lot of dialogue, but all of the characters speak in their native tongue, and the PA announcer is non-intrusive and fits in nicely. There is some subtle use of background music - such as it starting to play during a longer volley ? but overall the music is very sparse and unnoticeable. You?ll likely be using the custom soundtrack feature with this title.

The bottom line is that while there are not a lot of extra bells and whistles to this title, Rockstar?s Table Tennis is a tremendously fun, fast paced game that?s tough to put down once you get started.





Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.8 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

Comments

Site Statistics

Registered Members: 44,000
Forum Posts: 725,234
Xbox One Titles: 690
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,084
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 583
Xbox Titles: 847
Staff Reviews: 1,476
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 13,171
Screenshots: 29,031
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News




Furi Available Now on Xbox One

Furi Available Now on Xbox OneSaid to be a combination of a sword fighting ’beat’em up’ and a classic "bullet hell shoot’em up’, fans may want to take a look at this game. Check out the trailer inside.


Ubisoft's Steep Now Available

Ubisoft's Steep Now AvailableLooking for your ’virtual’ ultra-winter sports fix? Well Steep might just be your answer. Check out the trailer inside for a comparison of real life vs. the game.




See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

Know your enemy, Watch the Atriox trailer for HaloWars2
Post by Nato King
1 Replies, 77 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Ken Block
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 65 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Recore
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 85 Views

Expensive Xbox One Edition Limitee Batman Vs Superman
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 87 Views

Xbox 360 Controller Stokholm 2008
Post by oryanphine
4 Replies, 119 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Top Gear
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 80 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Final Fantasy XV
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 74 Views

Cross Platform with Ps4 and Xbox One (Is this True)
Post by Nato King
2 Replies, 101 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Suicide Squad
Post by oryanphine
2 Replies, 114 Views

Xbox One Edition Limitee Ravel
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 107 Views

Battlefield 1 gameplay, whats everyone's thoughts?
Post by DABUC
7 Replies, 169 Views

Happy Thanksgiving!
Post by Shawn-XBA
1 Replies, 109 Views

December's Games with Gold - Thoughts
Post by TheOutcast-XBA
0 Replies, 106 Views

Watch dog 2 releases
Post by Nato King
11 Replies, 277 Views

Play Overwatch for Free Weekend
Post by Nato King
3 Replies, 195 Views

© 2000-2016 XboxAddict.com - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. XboxAddict.com is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics