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Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis

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Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
The game's cover art. The words "TABLE TENNIS" (with the smaller "ROCKSTAR GAMES PRESENTS" above) are written inside a table tennis ball.
Developer(s) Rockstar San Diego[a]
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Director(s) Daren Bader
Producer(s) Darion Lowenstein
Designer(s) Benjamin Johnson
Programmer(s) Wil Paredes
Artist(s) Joseph Pileski,
Ted Bradshaw
Engine RAGE
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Wii
Release date(s) Xbox 360
  • NA May 23, 2006
  • EU May 26, 2006
Wii
  • NA October 17, 2007
  • PAL October 19, 2007
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is a table tennis simulation video game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. The game was first released for the Xbox 360 on May 23, 2006 in North America, and on May 26, 2006 in Europe. It was later released for the Wii on October 17, 2007 in North America, and on October 19, 2007 in Europe. The game is a realistic simulation of the sport table tennis, with the main objective to make the opponent fail to hit the ball.

The game features various methods of serving and returning the ball, designed for players to beat their opponent. Players can compete against the game's artificial intelligence, while the game's multiplayer mode lets two players compete in matches, either through local multiplayer or online. Initially developed specifically for the Xbox 360 console, the development team took advantage of the hardware's graphical power, allowing the game to play at a faster pace than with previous hardware. 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.

Its announcement in March 2006 led to confusion and surprise, due to its significantly different style from Rockstar's previous projects. It received generally positive reviews upon release, with praise particularly directed at its simplicity, replayability and detailed visuals.

Gameplay[edit]

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. The goal of the game is to make the opponent fail to return the ball.[2] Players have the ability to challenge a multiplayer partner, either offline or online, or can select to challenge the game's artificial intelligence.[3] Players can select from a roster of eleven characters, which are unlocked as they progress through the game; each character has particular skills in different areas.[4] The game features two modes: Tournament, which involves players participating against a variety of players in different circuits; and Exhibition, which involves players challenging individual opponents in non-ranked matches.[5][6]

The player character competing against an opponent in a game of table tennis. The head-up display elements are visible on-screen.
Players challenge opponents in competitive matches, serving and returning the ball in order to score points.

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.[7] 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, in which their shots are faster and more accurate.[8] Players can also perform soft shots and smashes, respectively decreasing and increasing the speed of the ball,[9] and Focus Shots, high powered returns that help players counter difficult shots.[10]

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.[11]

Development[edit]

Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis was developed for the Xbox 360. The development team took advantage of the hardware's graphical power, and found that it allowed them to develop games at a faster pace than with previous hardware.

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.[12] 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 felt that Rockstar San Diego was a suitable developer for the game due to their demonstration of skill in developing advanced engines, particularly early in a console generation, citing Midnight Club: Street Racing and Smuggler's Run (both 2000), which were launch games for the PlayStation 2. Houser also 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.[13] In developing the game's concept, the team was fascinated with concentrating the entire power of a particular hardware into one activity.[13] The game runs off the proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), and is the first game to do so;[14] the engine was later used for other projects such as Grand Theft Auto IV (2008), Red Dead Redemption (2010) and Grand Theft Auto V (2013).[15]

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.[16] When discussing the possibility of porting the game to the Wii, the team agreed almost immediately, as they felt that the console was a "perfect fit" for the game.[17] While developing the Wii version, the team particularly considered how to serve all types of players, thus allowing a range of different control schemes.[17]

The game was first announced by Rockstar Games on March 3, 2006. Journalists noted the surprised reactions that the announcement caused within the gaming industry, which they owed to the game's significant difference when compared to Rockstar's reputation of developing mature titles.[12] The game was released for the Xbox 360 on May 23, 2006 in North America, and on May 26, 2006 in Europe.[18] On July 18, 2007, Rockstar announced that the game would be ported to the Wii, taking advantage of the motion sensing Wii Remote. The Wii version was released on October 17, 2007 in North America, and on October 19, 2007 in Europe.[19]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (X360) 82%[20]
(Wii) 70%[21]
Metacritic (X360) 81/100[22]
(Wii) 68/100[23]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer (X360) 9/10[24]
(Wii) 8/10[11]
GameSpot (X360) 8.5/10[25]
(Wii) 6/10[26]
IGN 7.8/10[27][28]
VideoGamer.com (X360) 8/10[29]
(Wii) 7/10[30]

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,[22] and 68 out of 100 based on 36 reviews for the Wii version.[23] GameRankings assigned it an average review score of 82% based on 85 reviews for the Xbox 360 version,[20] and 70% based on 36 reviews for the Wii version.[21] Reviewers particularly praised its gameplay, detailed visuals, simplicity, and online multiplayer.

The technical aspects of the game, such as the graphics and animation, received acclaim. IGN's Douglass C. Perry felt that the graphics and motion capture are "exceptional", and the animation is "beautiful", as well as praising the stable frame rate.[27] Ryan Davis of GameSpot wrote that the characters were designed with "phenomenal detail", though felt that "there's not much else to look at".[25] GamesRadar's Dan Amrich commended the game's player models and lighting effects, stating that they "put the hardware to impressive yet playful use".[31] Tom Orry of VideoGamer.com felt that the visuals improve the gameplay, particularly applauding smaller details such as the player models and ball physics.[29]

Many reviewers found the gameplay simple yet effective. Perry of IGN found the gameplay "deep and addictive", and the controls intuitive.[32] GamesRadar's Amrich echoed similar remarks, writing that the controls "feel accessible without alienating 'serious' sports gamers",[31] and Orry of VideoGamer.com called the controls "slick".[29] Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell also praised the game's simplicity.[24]

The game's multiplayer mode was commended by many reviewers. GamesRadar's Amrich felt that the multiplayer mode extended the game's replayability, giving players a reason to return to the game "long after [they've] learned the weaknesses" of the playable characters.[31] Orry of VideoGamer.com and Bramwell of Eurogamer both named the online multiplayer "excellent";[24] the former noted minor lag but wrote that the "performance was generally very good".[29]

When the game was ported to the Wii, the additional Wii Remote controls received positive reactions. IGN's Mark Bozon felt that they were an improvement over the original controls, calling it a "huge testament to Rockstar's design".[28] Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson found that the altered controls work "perfectly", finding them intuitive and "easy to grasp".[11] GameSpot's Davis wrote that the controls "work pretty well", though felt that they fail to complement the gameplay.[26] Conversely, Orry of VideoGamer.com felt that the original controls "have more depth" than those on the Wii.[30]

Following its previews at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game won Best Sports Game from GameSpot,[33] and received a nomination from IGN.[34] At the end of the year, the game received nominations for Best Sports Game from GameTrailers.[35]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Additional work by Rockstar NYC and Rockstar London.[1]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 20–22
  2. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 6
  3. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 19
  4. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 12–17
  5. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 18
  6. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff; Kasavin, Greg (May 10, 2006). "E3 06: Table Tennis Hands-On". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 7
  8. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 8
  9. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 9
  10. ^ Rockstar San Diego 2006, pp. 10
  11. ^ a b c Gibson, Ellie (October 24, 2007). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on May 17, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (March 3, 2006). "And Now for Something Completely Different...". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 1. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (March 3, 2006). "And Now for Something Completely Different...". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ Staff (July 18, 2007). "Rockstar presents Wii Table Tennis". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ Boyer, Brandon (June 29, 2007). "Product: Grand Theft Auto IV Using NaturalMotion's Euphoria". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ Miller, Jonathan (May 17, 2006). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis Interview". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Kayser, Daniel (August 27, 2007). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis Video - GC 2007 Wii Controls Interview". GameTrailers. Defy Media. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  18. ^ Adams, David (May 23, 2006). "Rockstar's Table Tennis Ricochets to Retail". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  19. ^ Burman, Rob (July 18, 2007). "Rockstar Serves up Table Tennis on Wii". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis for Xbox 360". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis for Wii". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c Bramwell, Tom (May 23, 2006). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Davis, Ryan (May 24, 2006). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Review". Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Davis, Ryan (October 18, 2007). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (May 22, 2006). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 2. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  28. ^ a b Bozon, Mark (October 15, 2007). "Rockstar Presents Table Tennis Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b c d Orry, Tom (June 2, 2006). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Review for Xbox 360". VideoGamer.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Orry, Tom (October 27, 2007). "Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Review for Wii". VideoGamer.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b c Amrich, Dan (May 23, 2006). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis review". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  32. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (May 22, 2006). "Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  33. ^ "E3 2006 Editors' Choice Awards". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. May 20, 2006. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  34. ^ "IGN's Overall Best of E3 2006 Awards". IGN. Ziff Davis. May 19, 2006. p. 3. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  35. ^ "GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2006 Video - Best Sports Game". GameTrailers. January 5, 2007. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 

Bibliography

External links[edit]