So, I was chatting with my new taskmaster and fellow Uno addict, Chris Grant, on Friday. I was informing him that I had experienced a power outage that zapped one of my posts. The outage effectively obliterated the first rendition of this post, if you must know. That's really a shame, as the first draft exuded a perfection that cannot be retold. Had you seen it, there's a good chance you would never have known sadness again.
Anywho, in response to my story, Chris -- bastion of wisdom that he is -- told me I should get a UPS for my computer (no, not PSU, a power supply, silly). This would protect both my valuable computer and my posts. Now, it just so happens that I do own a UPS. It's just not connected to my computer. Read on to sneak a peek at my inner fanboy.
Is there any chance we might see Tommy Vercetti both pinging and ponging?
We know Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis is no joke. Apparently there's a pretty good game to be had once you get over the whole ping pong thing. Check out the HD trailer Rockstar is hosting on their site if your computer can handle it.
Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis HD trailer [.wmv]
Ping pong hasn't been this interesting since 1972.
If you're a ping pong addict, this is another opportunity for you to deepen your involvement with a hobby you already love. This game will satisfy you because -- at least to this ping pong amateur and the two legit ping pong players I brought along with me -- it feels authentic.
...About four hours after the event started, the three folks I had dragged along with me were still eager to continue to play, and none of them consider themselves gamers; none of them own an Xbox 360 or any prior-generation console. If this admittedly small sample size has any predictive power, Rockstar's got a hit on their hands.
Vlad's sentiments seem to echo the IGN hands-on we saw last week. This game already looks like a Gump-like smash with ping pong addicts, however many exist, and apathetic wives. Now what about the hardcore gamers who haven't played an "authentic" game of table tennis since 1993 and can barely feel their own pulse if a game doesn't involve sex or violence?
Rockstar has taken enormous heat the past few years, as evidenced by this recent petition signed by Wailing Mothers Against Playground Cruelty. One has to wonder if the accumulated bad press, not to mention the disaster brewed by a certain incident involving overly-warm Folgers, played a role in the company's sudden enthusiasm for competitive table tennis. Maybe Rockstar is eager to prove that they don't need mature content to capture our imagination. Or maybe they're just relieved that Hillary Clinton can't make Pong 360 an election year issue.
Far too many of us have praised the joys of classic arcade gameplay (and complained about the idiocy of edgy-for-edgy's-sake fare like True Crime: NYC) to prematurely bitch about a game that could turn out to be the King of Ping. That said, I would hate to see Rockstar trade in its bloody chainsaw for a pong paddle just to appease a few grandstanding pols and clueless parents. Somebody has to carry the torch for embedded sex and violence.
You can't help but think that Rockstar is a little less Billy Idol these days and a little more Drew Lachey.
It's been revealed unto us: the "unexpected" new 360 game that IGN promised to unveil is none other than... Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis! Yup. The bad boys behind Grand Theft Auto are intent on delivering a game experience that puts you inside the seedy, gritty world of underground table tennis... actually, it's not like that at all. Rockstar's Sam Houser says:
"We wanted to create a sports game with the intensity of a fighting game and the sense of speed and control that would make playing it a more intense and more visceral experience than has previously been possible with sports games. It's not just about looking better, feeling better or animating better but about using the power of the hardware to make a game that engages with you on a different physical and emotional level."
We knew they were working on a new franchise for the Xbox 360, but this isn't quite what we expected from them. Wait--franchise? There're going to be more than one. I can see it now: Table Tennis 2K7. The first version of Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is due in May for a refreshing $39.99.