Point Blank Review: Table Tennis

If you have read some of last gaming rants titled, XBusted360 and XBusted360: Part Deux then you know I have said many good things about Microsoft’s latest offering to the console world. While I can understand being first is a big plus, as consumers will put a run on new product, causing high demand and even higher prices. Case in point, look at the first Christmas XBox 360 was available. You couldn’t find one, except on Ebay for both your arms and legs, plus your first born if you wanted a few other games. And that is the direction I head today.

The games XBox has offered so far have been shit. No seriously, while the graphics are much improved, game play and that “6th sense” as I termed it long ago on my levels reviews, that something that made a game special or kept your interest. It was something you could not really put your finger on. But all is not lost…yet. There is hope, thanks in part to Rockstar Games Table Tennis. In a genre all it’s own really, this game has been the most impressive so far.

The game focuses on a 1v1 style of play that has some amazing graphics and dynamic animation. It’s as if the characters actually come alive in game! When I first too control of ‘Jesper’ of Sweden, I was a bit overwhelmed by the controls, but after played a three round match, I was beginning to get the hang of the controller layout and how to spin my balls.

As you rally back and forth the crowd seems to come alive with cheers on hard charging shots or a lunge save to score a point. The musical score is also pretty rocking, at least it kept Zachary, my 5 month old entertained long enough for me to play a few games.The game physics are absolutely spot on, you have total control of the spin you put on the ball based on how the paddle strikes the balls. The different players have different characteristics such as power, serve and spin. It still takes a bit of time to learn just how much you can move the left stick to get a killer corner shot, or how far back to get some nice backspin, in order to drop the ball over the net.

A few drawbacks for Rockstar Games Table Tennis, most notably, you cannot create your own player. Most games I have played come with a ‘Career’ option as well, neither of these can be found. There are two game modes, ‘Exhibition’ and ‘Tournament’ for you to choose from. You also have a practice mode in which to learn the different aspects of the game in order to make you a champion player.

Overall, this is the best offering I have seen and if that is not enough, this game even makes you sweat! Okay, not literally, but as a match progresses you player will have a sweat ring build up on his shirt. Now how cool is that? I give table tennis an 8 out of 10 and would recommend it. It was also cheaper [$39.99] than many other XBox360 games usually priced at $59.99. So if you want to bang some 40mm balls around, Rockstar Games Table Tennis is the way to go.