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Games That Nobody Plays Anymore: Rockstar Presents Table Tennis

[Games That Nobody Plays Anymore is a weekly series written by Nathan Hardisty with a little title card help from Juan Houter. It’s an on-going series about the forgotten games of yesteryear, and doesn’t totally reflect the title. Remember; nobody stops playing these games; it’s just a title. Don’t make something of it or I will come down to your house and ask you politely to stop. If you have any suggestions for future titles to ‘GTNPA’ don’t forget to leave me a comment!]

Tennis.

Table.

Table Tennis.

One of the greatest line of developers to walk the Earth go by the name of Rockstar Games. They have delivered some absolute breakthrough innovations and are single-handedly responsible for the creation of ‘GTA Clones’. So, from a game about chainsawing people in the face to a game about… ping pong. Table Tennis. I think it’s one of the oddest turning points in videogame history, it’s as if Michael Bay make a good film. I can’t actually ever think of any gigantic turning points that have happened before… maybe DICE going from pinball games to the Battlefield franchise.

Table Tennis was the first game to show off the RAGE engine that Rockstar has used for the past five years. The game definitely shows its age, however, and it looks a little greasy around the edges. The faces are all… plastic looking and they generally look like autons (Doctor Who reference, winner winner chicken dinner), but that’s not to say the game performs bad at all. The graphics are only a small aspect, as a certain Nintendo said, technology is just a tool to tell experiences with. The same company who popularized motion gaming and initiated the casual market.

In all of my ‘PLAYING NO GAMES ANYMORE’… thingy, I have never encountered a game which I cannot describe. There’s been a few exceptions, but I honestly can’t put my finger on this one. It’s Table Tennis, the end, it’s similar to the time when I did ‘Pixeljunk Shooter’. It says it right on the box, Table Tennis. What else do I say? It’s a sports game? You go from left to right and hit a ball on a table, there’s nothing else to it. Now’s a good time to mention the fact that I do actually play ping pong/table tennis/hit a ball back and forth on a table. As an avid player, twice a week, it’s nice to see a game that is… about what I already do.

Adam Jagger (Krazy XP), a fellow Platform Nation writer, told me that the game is racist. Well, not actually benign racist, but it does discriminate against people. Blind people. You see, Adam is blind, he cannot see a thing. That is why he spends all his days playing Pong, losing 10-0 of course, and reviewing the constant iterations. I’m joking, Adam, but he is genuinely colourblind, and in his own words – “Yeah, the game has red, blue and green and yellow. I gave up because yellow/green= same for me. Kept losing.”, ouch. I have a friend who’s colour-blind himself, and now I have something to beat him at. Lovely.

So, Rockstar are still bad boys. Very, very clever. They are amazing at hurting people’s feelings. I remember playing the first Grand Theft Auto, and just feeling insulted as soon as I put the disc in the tray. I imagine colourblind people must have played this game and then remembered they are second class citizens. Which they are. Oh, sarcasm, you sexy thing! If there was a way for Rockstar to not hurt people, then it would probably be the day the world ends. Every game can offend somebody, even somebody picking this up who has the name of ‘Table Tennis’ would feel insulted.

It’s Table Tennis. I just nattered on for over 800 words about virtually nothing. Basically what I do every week, nice to know how dedicated I am. I think you could just basically label this as a tech demo, as Rockstar just didn’t really make a game. It’s very odd to even be putting this into the whole context of a ‘Game That Nobody Plays Anymore’, because, it’s a tech demo.

Before I go: Shut up about the title for the last time. It is not to be taken literal, and it just serves as a witty thing to put at the top of this article. Stop complaining, get a life.

Next week: I don’t know, go away.

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  • Brian Heitzenrater (FrehleyzComet)

    LOL. That was a pretty good article. Definitely made me laugh. 🙂