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Rockstar Table Tennis Review

No, not GTA - Table Tennis. Yes, we're gutted too. Although...

We'll admit it, not every developer seems to have worked out how to use the Wii Remote effectively. Between unnecessarily frantic arm-waving and badly implemented tilting, there are some shabby examples of how not to use the Wii Remote, so it's no surprise that we approached this with some trepidation. It's not that we don't have faith in Rockstar; we're just very good at being pessimistic, that all.

Ping Your Pong

Were we right to worry? Thankfully, no. In fact, the motion controls (spread over three different control schemes that range from simple-but-effective to precision aiming) work a treat; providing you accept that it's not Wii Sports tennis, that is.

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You see, the movement of the Wii Remote and your player's paddle arm aren't actually linked in real-time. Instead, swinging the Remote merely determines the direction of the ball and, if you're holding a direction on the D-pad, the spin applied to it.

The sooner you perform this action after your opponent has struck the ball, the harder your return will be, while late swings result in fluffed shots. Essentially, the trick lies in swinging to initiate your shot and then watching your player do it a brief moment later. We can understand why most people would see that as a failure of the Wii controls but, as this is how it worked on the superb Xbox 360 version, it really couldn't be any other way.

A Bat Out Of Hell

Once you appreciate that minor quirk, Table Tennis becomes incredibly playable very quickly. Playing in multiplayer is where the real reward lies, although there's plenty of enjoyment to be had in the single-player mode too. There's plenty to keep you coming back for more as well - unlocking all the players and arenas is actually very rewarding, thanks to the skill-based way the secrets are revealed.

Our only real gripe is that it makes no use of Nintendo Wi-Fi. The 360 version had it, so the Wii's lack of it is noticeable. Still, at a budget price and jammed with playability, Table Tennis is one of those sleeper hit titles you shouldn't miss out on.

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