Back on July 6, 1994, there was a movie that came out that won many awards from Best Picture and Favorite Drama just to name a few and starred on Tom Hanks. That movie was called Forest Gump. In the movie, Forest Gump learned how to play Ping Pong and he was really good at it. He had the hand-eye coordination down like no one else…
But after the movie and through the hard times, did Forest give up Ping Pong? What if he went on continue to dominate in the sport? What if now, he is up in space training robots to battle it out in an Intergalactic Ping Pong Championship? Anything is possible, but did somehow in someway did Developer 10Ants Hill fuse the gap from 1994 to the future of Ping Pong? Let’s find out with Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR for the PlayStation VR.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR is exactly that table tennis but with robots in space. At this time there really are only two modes. You have the practice and the championship mode. I would strongly recommend the practice mode as it will become a big help later on. I want to say this before going on so you will not start to question what is going on. When I first started playing every time I would go to serve I would lose a point and I had no idea why. Then I noticed at one time I stepped back and I didn’t lose a point. So make sure you lean in a little, hit the Start button so the table moves up a little, and you should be good to go.
Before you get into the competition, you may want to go to the options menu. Since you will be using both Move controllers, you will need to decide if you want to use your right or left hand and even the color of the ball you would like to use. The other Move controller is used to grab the ball and configure the table. Depending on how you play, you have the option to have the table at a certain angle which is a really nice option to have. It is nice to have some options I must say. So once I decided on my options, I entered the Championship. In Championship mode, you will need to win the most sets either by scoring the most points or winning two out of three sets. Since this is a championship, you are trying to be the champion but you will have an uphill battle on your hands once you get used to the controls (more on this in a moment). Without knowing what I was getting myself into, I entered the first out of four cups. I then saw my first opponent, Zen Jet. Zen Jet seemed nice and respectful. I mean for him to come over to almost my side and give me a friendly bow of honor, I respect that…you go Zen Jet…you go.
Let me talk about the controls here before I continue. The controls are spot on. From the physics to the spins to the swinging to the contact. I was very pleased that they worked this well. Even when I was not doing too well in the beginning, I kept on because of how well the controls worked and in a game like Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR, you want the most precise controls as possible. Then I started to get cocky and thinking I had this, I started to try and spin and spike the ball forgetting that this is table tennis and that ball in real life weighs nothing and the only points increasing was the robot across from me as he was laughing at me in his binary code of laughter that he had from the inside Needless to say, I had to stop, breathe and play smarter and not harder.
So I practiced…I trained…I practiced…I trained. Then this calm before the storm came over me. Something awoke from deep inside that I thought I put to sleep a long time ago. I had no choice…I had to release my Balls of Fury…
It was working…I was winning. Each bounce I returned only to have my opponent hit back followed by this red trace with a circle where I knew where to hit the ball. I started to work the corners and the sides as I could tell it was working. Then out of frustration, my opponent hit it a little too hard and a little too far and it soared past me allowing me to get a point and then I knew how to win against this robotic opponent and I won that match…I won it with pride.
Onto the next opponent and the next…I was on fire and I thought I would try the same thing. But this was different. This was not like the last opponent nor the one before it. Something was going on. This opponent was learning my weaknesses and using that against me. I mean I know this is Virtual Reality, but somehow it was like Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR was reading my thoughts and knew what I was and was not capable of. It tested me. It went for a shot that I should have hit with my backhand but failed. It did it again, but I hit it only to miss the table. This was happening with each new opponent and you know what? I loved it every hit, miss, every lob, and every spin of it.
The more you play the more you can level up which will allow you to go into the WORKSHOP where you can purchase different bodies, masks, armor and armlets which is a nice added bonus.
Sound wise hearing the ball hit back and forth sounds like it would sound in a normal game of table tennis. There is no music or sounds to distract you while you are playing and that is important as you want to concentrate on making that shot.
Graphically speaking the robots, table, paddles look very sharp. Since you are playing on this platform in space, it’s nice to see the planets and the stars all around you. One thing noticed is if you hit the ball past the platform and into space it just bounces…not float away or fall, but bounces. But when you hit that ball and see the fire, there is just something awesome about it.
Now there is one thing I wish that Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR had and that is multiplayer as this is only a single player experience. That is not a bad thing at all and as I mentioned, I had a blast. But the good news is that online multiplayer is coming and hopefully will be here before the end of the year. This will be awesome and I can see the competition now. Just add the ability to talk as well as the option to mute because sometimes competition may fuel more than others and I all about having some fun, we just don’t need somebody to take it to a level that it should not be taken to. So hopefully it all works out.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have a championship to win.