I’ve always enjoyed playing table tennis. I’m not that good at it, but I’ve always wanted to be. ‘Practice makes perfect,’ they say, but the problem with ping-pong is that, eventually, if you don’t want to smack a ball against a wall all day, you’ll need someone to play with who also wants to practice and be good at it. If you’re lucky enough to have a budding ping-pong aficionado in your friend group, then you can expect to spend probably fifty percent of your playing time chasing down your errant balls and yelling at your buddy to pay attention and focus. Who’s got that kind of time? We just need a good table tennis simulator in VR, right? No need to search Craigslist for fellow ping-pong lovers and risk getting murdered in some strangers garage.
That’s why I was so pumped when I saw that 10Ants Hills Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR was finally coming to PSVR. It’s been out on PCVR for a while, with near-universal acclaim. I expected good things but did they let me down? Did it bring the fury, or is it just another letdown like the VR Ping Pong that we got last year?
I could get into the game’s presentation, which game modes it has, and which game modes are missing, but none of that would matter if the tracking and game physics didn’t work. Thankfully, all of that works great. The Move controller tracking is flawless, while the ball and paddle physics seem spot on. I’ve played for hours so far, and I remember no more than one or two instances where the ball or racket didn’t react the way I thought they should.
With that out of the way, let me tell you what you get for your hard-earned twenty dollars; besides the closest thing to real-life table tennis on planet earth. There are only two modes, Practice, and Championship mode. In the practice mode, you can fine tune everything, from where your opponent’s return lands, to how hard and how much spin they put on the ball. It allows you to practice every nuance of your game, letting you go from terrible to pretty good in record time. With a click of the button, a new ball is ready to serve, allowing you to practice the exact swing you wanted to perfect.
The Championship mode consists of four cups with four players in each one. With a little practice, you’ll plow through the first cup pretty quickly, but the degree-of-difficulty spike comes at you fast, and you better be ready for it. They quickly started returning most of my best shots and charging the net to smack the ball down my throat. This is probably a good time to remind everyone that Racket Fury will need some space. I was routinely stretching further left and right than in other games to return shots. Thankfully, there is a quick and easy way to adjust the table to account for the needed space and put it exactly where you want it. Simply hold down the left Move button and you can pivot the table, move it forward or backward, or change its height. I also had to adjust the angle of the paddle in my hand. Thankfully, the number of adjustments available are plenty. The fact that they are easy to implement is even better.
10Ants Hill went with a robot in space motif for the game. You’ll play as a robot against other robots in space. The robot animations look great, especially when they’re angry, and the space motif looks cool as well. Maybe I would have preferred to play in an actual arena with fans, but that’s just a style choice, and once I’m playing, that mostly ceases to matter.
The lack of multiplayer is disappointing, especially since it’s on the PC version at half the price. The good news is the fine folks at 10Ants Hill promises the mode is coming and should arrive before Christmas of this year. An arcade mode would have been welcomed as well for the gamer that doesn’t enjoy the fine-tuning of each and every nuance of the game. I personally like all the inside adjustments, but I’m sure many gamers prefer to jump right into the fun and skip some of the minutiae. Finally, I have some bad news for the trophy hunters out there, Racket Fury has no platinum trophy to collect.
I personally think there is enough meat on Racket Fury’s bones to justify a purchase right now, but some may choose to wait until the multiplayer is patched in later this year. I’m not going to argue that point, but if you do pony up the cash now, I can at least guarantee a fun and intense table tennis experience.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR PSVR Review
Racket Fury is the closest thing to real-life table tennis you're going to find, and it's a blast to play. The Championship mode presents a great challenge, but waiting for the multiplayer patch to come later this year is a bit of a letdown. As it stands now, a near must-buy for ping-pong and/or sports fans. Add in a decent multiplayer mode, however, and it's an easy recommendation.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.
When Jeremy isn’t writing books or playing video games, he’s living his life one random movie references at a time.