Viveport Review: Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
Step into the future and experience hands down the best table tennis game for the HTC Vive.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
In an all-robotic future after two millennia of fighting, the ultimate sport of table tennis has evolved into the peace-keeping Racket Fury Tournament, which also represents the best cyber-simulation of ping pong to date. Do you have what it takes to keep the peace in the Crown Galaxy by dominating lesser beings along with your team of cyber-champions from the Division of Steel? Game on, human!
All of that, of course, sounds ridiculous. The absurd premise of why these robots are playing table tennis, however, is completely beside the point. Racket Fury is hands-down the best digital representation of the sport in virtual reality. Be sure to crank up the haptic feedback in the settings menu and prepare to feel the ball as it clicks and clocks across the table against some of the most sophisticated physics and A.I. in the genre.
In single player, there are two modes to choose from – Full Simulation and Arcade, which will allow you to lean towards a more realistic physical experience or a more enhanced and exaggerated version like you’d play in an arcade. Throughout the single player experience, you’ll be up against 16 opponents that will get progressively more difficult while also having their own temperament and play style, all based on some sophisticated performance capture from several of the real world’s best table tennis professionals.
The level of shine and polish on the game stands out in its handling and visual presentation. Every robotic opponent sparkles with a fresh coat of metal and their pacing never slows down to go easy on you. If you’ve ever played ping pong in real life, your muscle memory for the rhythm of the game will kick in instantly as you adjust to returning the ball to your mechanical adversary across the table. Few game experiences can feel as seamless as this, and it’s fair to say that playing in VR will inversely also prepare your reflexes to be a better player in reality as well. The physics and the sensation of the sport is incredibly well represented here, even if it does carry an unrealistically sci-fi theme.
Some additional customization features are a nice touch, allowing you to reposition and turn the table any way you like and adjust the color of the ball, spin, light trails, and power shots as well. There’s also a workshop that allows you to custom build the aesthetic of your own machine with any of the cash that you earn by playing either the single player campaign or the multiplayer mode online. You’ll also find an incredibly useful practice mode that allows you to tweak the A.I. to monstrous proportions, prepping your reflexes for the absolute hardest the game has to throw at you.
In all, while it may have an incredibly silly sci-premise for such a realistic table tennis game, this is still the most impressively lifelike representations of ping pong in the medium. Developer 10Ants Hill has set a new standard in the genre, and you don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate the level of realism achieved in recreating a sport with as much subtlety and speed in its back and forth as Racket Fury does within seconds of picking up a virtual paddle.