Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 10/02/06

A fine title but lacking in a few areas

For my second Xbox 360 review I decided to go with the big title this past summer and rent Table Tennis. Simple in concept and mechanics, how does a game about Table Tennis hold up? Well, to be honest I'm not a fan of Rockstars games outside of Grand Theft Auto. I must say they did surprise me with this title! Read on for the review.

Table Tennis has some of the best graphics so far on any console. Just a quick glance at the game doesn't do it justice. Yeah, the characters are very realistic looking but it goes much deeper than that, on a visual level anyway. The clothing moves and sways with the characters movements. Not just left and right but in a realistic manner. Very impressive. The characters also start to sweat as the match goes on and slight sweat spots appear on their clothing as well. A lot of detail went into this game.

Sound wise the game is bland. I really don't remember any music. Sound effects are spot on but really, its table tennis, how hard is it to get the sounds wrong. No voice acting to be seen here. Some grunts and stuff. Sometimes the invisible crowd will let out a yell, but it sounds more like a whisper.

The control is a bit overwhelming for such a simple title but after beating the training, and getting an achievement for doing so, I was set to take on a tournament. Your character moves with the left analog stick. You can use the right stick or face buttons to hit the ball, each one causing the ball to spin differently. You notice after training that a tiny color circle is around the ball and for best results you should match that button with the color of a face button hit. The shoulder buttons do different things as well and I never found too much of a use for them. When aiming for a shot, hold it and hold the direction on the left analog to aim it. The control will vibrate violently if it's going to miss the table all together.

In all seriousness, Table Tennis is so simplistic that it's not funny. You have tournament mode, practice and just matches. Very simple and it feels like the game is more of a tech demo than anything else. You can a mild selection of characters to use. None of them are set up well. The guy from China has such absurdly godly stats that there is almost no reason to use anyone else.

I found that the AI in the game can be hit or miss. In tournaments I've played some of the dumbest AI while after 4 of those dumb ones I'll get an AI character that knows how to dish out a beating. Seems a bit uneven and unfair at times but oh well.

Besides that stuff the game doesn't offer much. It has a number of unlockables like new clothes and other stuff. Cool if you're into that kind of thing but I'm not and I'm not big on sports either. The biggest draw of the game is its online features. As usual I can't access it so it's a big pain in the butt but I hear besides cheapness (using the guy from Asia all the time) that the online portion is fantastic and the best reason to own the game.

This is one of my shortest reviews but what more can a person say about this game. Graphically the game is amazing, a great showoff title. I even hear the online is top notch. The problem comes in the fact that rest of the game feels empty, for lack of a better word. Physics are great and it is a fun game to play, even if it's just tournament mode. What's nice though is that you can throw the disc in, mess with the settings and play a real quick game. While the game is a budget title, $40, that just feels like too much for it. I could see paying $10 for the title but it's lacking in depth and actual game mode choices.

Story - N/A
Graphics - 10/10
Sound Effects - 7/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 8/10
Replay value - 8/10

Final Score: 8/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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