Read our review of VR Ping Pong Pro on PSVR. Does it score an ace or miss for a fault?
VR Ping Pong Pro is the follow up to VR Ping Pong, first released on PSVR in 2017. I am a massive fan of real-life ping pong and table tennis, I have been eagerly awaiting a ‘decent’ simulation of this fun pastime since PSVR was first released. I have not played a fun, accurate game of this ilk since Rockstar’s Table Tennis on the Nintendo Wii. What a game that was.
When I first booted up VR Ping Pong Pro, I did have a weird issue, in fact, I had the issue throughout my time with this game. If I booted up the game with only one Move controller turned on, I could not start the game as it registered this controller as my throwing hand and I could not select anything in the menu. I would have to boot up with two then select one-handed. The game would always select the first turned on Move controller has the throwing hand. It was slightly irksome.
The worst thing about this issue was at the end of my first day of play, one of my move controllers was low on battery. It was quite annoying to get the game to use the other as the bat, I have to turn on the one that was on charge first, then turn on the other and then finally select one-handed. It should not be that difficult, the game should see you have one controller turned on and default to using that one in a one-handed configuration. Hopefully, this can be patched at a later date.
After I got all that nonsense out of the way I could finally get into the actual nitty-gritty of this ping pong simulation. Straight off the bat, I noticed that the physics were nothing its real-life counterpart. The ball, contact with the paddle and movement through the air all seemed very light and floaty. I also found it very difficult to apply any spin whatsoever. I tried slicing, using topspin, chopping and all sorts with very little success.
I played for hours and hours and after a very long time, I got used to the game physics and started enjoying it more. I could serve consistently, score points consistently and produce some great shots. Unfortunately, I still could not produce a lot of spin, I could get the ball to move a little but I was expecting more from a game like this and it is a real shame. It did not stop my enjoying myself though and I just used what tools were available to me to succeed.
The tracking on VR Ping Pong Pro was very good, as well as all the options for changing your stance and height. I could even configure it for my two young boys to play and they thoroughly enjoyed it. It all works very well, I just wish there was a better physics engine in the game so I could spin the ball across the table. One of the defining features of a game like this is its physics, a game with good ball physics will keep players returning. It is fun, you just have to get past the lack of good ball control.
There are a lot of modes to try, various arcade challenges that were varied and fun to play. Lots of stages to challenge the AI at different skill levels and a suite of multiplayer features, including a World Cup. Regrettably, I could never find anyone to play with online, so I cannot really comment on the multiplayer side of things.
Along with the various modes to play there are some unlockable balls and paddles to customize your avatar with. It is definitely something I was not expecting and a nice surprise to have something to unlock and work towards. You had paddles ranging from standard looking ones all the way through to paddles that looked like food and other frivolous things. All in all, there is a fair bit of content for your table-based tennis needs, with more to come in the future I am led to believe.
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