This is another port for the Wii that we've basically reviewed before in its Xbox 360 incarnation, so now that Table Tennis is out for the Wii the only thing that needs to be talked about is the control scheme. Everything else, sans online play, is the same as the Xbox 360 version. Sure, the graphics are downgraded, but almost everything you need to know about the game can be found in our big review of the original title.
A Table Tennis game seems like a natural fit for the Wii, but other people have gotten Wii controls wrong before. Luckily, Table Tennis hit this one over the net. There are nice tutorials that allow you to practice each technique, and you'll need them; it takes some practice to learn how you're supposed to move the Wiimote to aim the ball correctly. The game does not feature 1:1 movement, you basically swing in different directions to aim the ball. If you want the ball to go to the upper left hand corner, you swing up and to the left. Close to the net on the right hand side? Swing down and to the right. I had problems when I tried to control the game with large, sweeping movements, but once I started to hold the Wiimote like a Table Tennis paddle while making tighter movements it all became clear. Give yourself a few minutes to get used to the controls, and you'll see that while they're not instantly intuitive, they do work very well.
Holding the Wiimote in front of you to make these short swings sounds easy, but with volleys getting longer and longer as you play don't be surprised if you break a sweat. With the Wiimote-only control scheme you add spin with the d-pad, and the computer moves your player for you. If you add a nunchuck you can move your character yourself, but that gets hard to keep track of very quickly. In a third control setup you can use the nunchuk to add fine control of where your ball lands, but that's only for people with insanely talented hands. These are the three control methods, and while I prefer the default Wiimote-only controls, the other two with the nunchuk can be fun if only to test yourself.
There is no online play (boo!), but playing with another person in the room is a great time as you knock the ball back and forth. It feels oddly like an actual game of Table Tennis, and things can get intense very quickly.
At $40, this is a little less expensive than your average game. So if you're looking for something a little more in-depth than Wii Tennis, thenthis is a great buy. And it isn't a bad workout, either. It's good to turn on the Wii again.
System: Nintendo Wii
Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Take 2
ESRB Ratings: Everyone
Other recent reviews:
Mercury Meltdown RevolutionFolkloreFinal Fantasy Tactics: The War of the LionsMySimsEternal Sonata