Hands On: Rockstar Presents Table Tennis (Wii)

Hands On: Rockstar Presents Table Tennis (Wii)

By Joe Paulding - Posted Sep 20, 2007

Recently, the good people at Rockstar Games had TheFeed over to their swank room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. At a place normally reserved for celebs or the social elite, Rockstar set up two large TV’s and a couple of Wiis rocking their new version of Rockstar Presents Table Tennis for us to play.

Once we remembered Lindsey Lohan was still in rehab and wasn’t going to be making an appearance at the poolside bar, we grabbed a Wii-mote and began slapping some balls around. And since the readers of TheFeed have been good little boys and girls, we’re going to let you know what we thought and show off some in game footage.

First off, Table Tennis seems like a game that was meant for the Wii. When it was released last year on the Xbox 360, it looked like a glorified tech demo for what we all hoped the character models in GTA IV would look like. On the Wii, the graphics are toned down, but the controls make a lot more sense. Swinging the Wii-mote feels natural here, as you can adjust your power based on how hard you swing, and aim at whichever part of the table you want to send the ping-pong ball towards.

In addition, you can add any direction of spin to the ball by pressing on the D-pad, and you can attempt a drop shot by holding A. If you really want to get fancy, you can choose to attach the nun chuck and move your player around with the analog stick (or beginners can just let the computer control your movements around the table).

Since Table Tennis is shipping on its own for $40, many people will wonder how it stacks up to Wii Sports Tennis. The truth is, they are fairly different games. One significant difference is that in Table Tennis, you have to pre-load your shots. In other words, when your opponent hits the ball back at you, you need to make your swing before it gets there, or your character will miss. So while your swings don’t need to be timed perfectly like in Wii Tennis, you do need to be quick, as the ping-pong balls come back across the table quickly.

In addition, the game features a focus mode, which is activated by charging a focus meter by applying good spin to your shots. When in focus mode, you can hit faster, more accurate shots and better keep your opponent off balance. When both players enter focus mode, the lights go dim, and the action is furious. Well, for Ping Pong anyway.

While Table Tennis is best played with a friend, it also features a solid single player campaign, with a number of unlockable characters and outfits. The characters all have different strengths and weaknesses, so finding one that fits your play-style is essential.

Overall, Table Tennis might end up being a decent competitor to Wii Tennis. It’s intuitive and fun. However, if you want a full review, you’re going to have to wait for X-Play to get its greasy little paws on the game once it ships in late October. In the meantime, satiate your hunger for fake table games with this direct feed video.

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