Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rockstar Presents Table Tennis

If you're looking to buy a new Xbox 360 game, go get Rockstar's Table Tennis. Priced at $39.99, it's worth every penny. The game is pretty bare bones with only a few modes such as tournament, exhibition, and multiplayer on Xbox live, but the depth of the gameplay is incredibly deep.

I managed to get a copy of it and the gameplay is surprisingly addicting. Rockstar did an amazing job with the ball physics. The left analog stick controls the player and the face buttons/right analog stick control the type of spin you put on the ball, leaving you with right spin, left spin, top spin, or backspin. The left and right spins can be combined with the top and bottom ones, while the amount of spin applied on the ball can be varied by how long you hold the right stick or face button. In addition to this, you can pull off what Rockstar calls focus shots. Focus shots are pretty much powered-up hits. In order to pull off focus shots, you have to build up a charge meter which fills up when you pull off shots that have tremendous spin.

As if gameplay isn't enough, the audio is on par with it's Dolby 5.1 set-up. While playing in a match, I would hear different chants from all around the stadium as I rallied to win hard-earned points. Rockstar also did an awesome job with implementing music during matches. In addition to hearing certain crowd members yell out your name, electronic music will start to play after rallying for long periods. The timing of all of it is right and it heightens the intensity of the match. Call me crazy or not, I found myself raising my fist after winning 40+ rallies.
To top it all off, the graphics are on par with what next generation gaming should look like. If you've played Fight Night Round 3 for the 360, you could probably make comparison to it. With clothing swaying from left to right and shirts getting darker from sweat, the cloth physics are on point. From actual gameplay to replays, there is a great amount of detail in the stadiums and characters. It truly is next generation in terms of gaming.

So all-in-all, it really is a title worth picking up for the Xbox 360. I've never really played Ping Pong before, so I'd imagine those into the sport would really fall for it. To be honest, the first 15 minutes(pretty much the learning curve) was enough to convince me. It's a pretty bare game that doesn't include a career or create a character mode, but the gameplay is really that deep where it will tie you over. It's easy to learn how to play, but it may take a while to master. For $39.99, you really can't go wrong with this title.

Check out Rockstar's site for more info and screenshots.


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