Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
|Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis|
|Developer(s)||Rockstar San Diego[a]|
|Release date(s)||Xbox 360
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is a table tennis simulation video game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on May 23, 2006 for the Xbox 360, and on October 15, 2007 for the Wii. The game was the first to be developed using Rockstar's proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine, later used in games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption.
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is a realistic simulation of the sport of table tennis. In the game, two players hit a ball back and forth from one another. Like the sport of table tennis, the goal of the game is to make the opponent fail to return the ball. Players have the ability to challenge a multiplayer partner, either offline or online, or can select to challenge the game's artificial intelligence. Players can select from a roster of eleven characters, which are unlocked as they progress through the game. The game features two modes: Tournament, where players participate through various circuits against a variety of players; and Exhibition, where players challenge individual players in non-ranked matches.
When preparing to serve the ball, players enter a stance. During this stance, players aim the ball, followed by selecting the amount of spin and power to place on the ball, as indicated by the spin meter. Players can also place a level of spin on their ball, curving it in a different direction. After the opponent returns the ball, players have the ability to "charge" their shots. As the shots are charged, the Focus meter increases; when the meter fills, players enter the Full Focus state, making their shots more effective and faster. Players can also perform soft shots and smashes, respectively decreasing and increasing the speed of the ball, and Focus Shots, high powered returns that help players counter difficult shots.
The Wii port of the game offers three different control schemes: Standard, using the Wii Remote; Sharp Shooter, which uses the Nunchuk's analog control to place the ball; and Control Freak, using the Nunchuk's analog stick to control the player's position.
Preliminary work on Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis began in 2005, prior to the announcement of the Xbox 360, which the game was developed for. Rockstar San Diego, the core team behind the game, found that the hardware allowed them to develop games at a faster pace than with the previous hardware. Rockstar president Sam Houser said that, though the game's physics were achievable on the old hardware, the team waited for the possibility to develop for the Xbox 360 due to the "different level of production and technology" that it allowed. In developing the game's concept, the team was fascinated with concentrating the entire power of a particular hardware into one activity. The game runs off the proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), and is the first game to do so; the engine was later used for other projects such as Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) and Red Dead Redemption (2010).
Network programmer John Gierach found the development of the online multiplayer mode challenging, due to the level of realism the development team attempted to create. In addition, the speed and accuracy required for the game was also a challenge for the team, due to the fast pace of the matches.
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis was released to generally positive reviews. Metacritic assigned a average score of 81 out of 100 based on 75 reviews for the Xbox 360 version, and 68 out of 100 based on 36 reviews for the Wii version. GameRankings assigned it an average review score of 82% based on 85 reviews for the Xbox 360 version, and 70% based on 36 reviews for the Wii version. Reviewers liked its simplicity, replayability and detailed visuals. However, the difficulty of obtaining some of the multiplayer achievements (such as one requiring the maximum TrueSkill rating possible - only achievable by the top few players on the world leaderboard) - was one of the criticisms of the game. Another problem exclusive to the Wii version is the lack of a left-handed player amongst the characters lessening the controllability for left-handed users. Some reviewers have criticized its lack of features, such as a career mode, the ability to create your own player, and other elements available in many other modern sports games. Table Tennis features only exhibition and tournament play (for both single and multiplayer). Most reviewers, however, were able to overlook the omission of these features owing to the game's budget price (Table Tennis was priced new at $40/£30, $20/£10 cheaper than most Xbox 360 games).
- "Rockstar Presents Table Tennis Review". IGN. 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
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The Rockstar reps explained that the game [Table Tennis] was running on RAGE, the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine. This is the graphics technology gamers are to expect from future Rockstar games, including the next "GTA."
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- IGN: Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis Review
- Rockstar San Diego (May 23, 2006). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis". Xbox 360 and Wii (v1.0). Rockstar Games. Level/area: Credits.