Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR, already available on PC-based VR platforms, has just been released for Playstation VR. Here’s our look at the console version of game.
Racket Fury certainly isn’t the first VR table tennis game, as we already had VR Ping Pong on Playstation VR – a sim-approach to the sport that wasn’t received too well. The idea to do table tennis in VR feels like a good one though, so we’re glad that developer 10Ants Hill brought Racket Fury to Playstation VR as well. You see, while regular tennis may be far more popular, it’s not a great fit for VR as it’s a sport where you’re constantly running back and forth. Table tennis allows you to stay more or less stationary, as leaning left and right should put you in range of most of the shots that come your way.
While VR Ping Pong aimed to be more of a simulation of the sport, Racket Fury walks the middle ground between arcade and simulation with an approach that is a bit like the classic eighties videogame Shufflepuck Cafe (which got a VR version as Shufflepuck Cantina). As in that game, you play a series of unique non-human opponents with their own personalities and styles, though in Racket Fury they’re all robots.
The actual table tennis gameplay is surprisingly accurate and authentic in light of the sci-fi setting you’re playing in. I enjoyed playing my matches with a pair of Move controllers (you’ll need a second one to hold/throw up the ball when serving), as the ball movement and the ball’s reactions to me felt lifelike enough – although it definitely helped to spend half an hour in practice mode before engaging with real AI opponents.
The bulk of the game lies with its championship mode, where you play a series of robot opponents. Over time, Racket Fury should also receive an online multiplayer update, but that’s not currently included in the game – which is therefore, unlike its PC original, a single player-only game. There’s a campaign mode of sorts, where you start off with an easy cup and progress to increasingly difficult opponents as you start winning matches.
As with VR Ping Pong, the sound is a fairly bare bones affair in Racket Fury, but at least the backdrops are more detailed, lively and varied – as are the opponents you play. The gameplay is intuitive as well, and the game makes good use of color (trails) to illustrate how fast or slow a ball is hit – which helps in judging how to position yourself and hit the ball.
A solid and fun table tennis experience in VR, Racket Fury is currently the best simulation of the sport you can get for Playstation VR. It’s a no frills game despite its futuristic robot setting, and the current lack of multiplayer hurts it in the short run.