Review – VR Ping Pong Pro

One thing I constantly discuss with my fellow VR-loving colleagues is that the PSVR didn’t have as fantastic of a year as it did last year. Although it got some really good games, like Sairento and Blood & Truth, 2019 didn’t see the release of a mind-blowing killer app like previous years. We didn’t get a new game as good as Astro Bot, SUPERHOT VR, or Resident Evil VII. VR Ping Pong Pro… is not the killer app we’ve been looking for, but all things considered, is much better than expected.

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Took me half a few attempts before I could win my first match. On Easy…

A sequel to 2017’s VR Ping Pong, this is a very straightforward VR title. It’s ping pong in virtual reality. It’s the oldest genre in video gaming history, but in VR. The gameplay and the rules are as simple as you could imagine. You play against another flying, sentient racket located across the table (I like to think that this game is set in an alternate reality in which Earth has been taken over by sentient rackets). You play two sets of eleven points each with a two-point tie-breaker requirement if you both reach ten points. Each player serves two points in a row, regardless if they had won or lost the previous point. Win the match, get a new skin for your racket. Lose a match, and all you can do is either ask for a rematch or rage quit like a sore loser.

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This ping pong table is full of holes. Reminds me of the one I used to play on during my high school years.

With the exception of a few wacky minigames, including one in which the ball destroys whichever part of the table it touches, VR Ping Pong Pro is a fully-fledged table tennis simulator. The developers have done their best to make the ball and racket physics feel as realistic as possible. They did their best, that I can say, but the gameplay can feel a bit weird at first. You will need to do a lot of height and racket tilt adjustments before you begin playing. You will also need to get used to the game’s ball feedback, as it can occasionally feel a bit too unrealistic. Those are issues that you will start ignoring after a while. It won’t take long before you start winning matches. I thought it would be impossible at first, as my first match resulted in me losing both sets 0-11 on Easy. Ironically enough, I earned a gold trophy by doing so. I learned with my mistakes and ended up winning the next game. I also earned a gold trophy by doing so. If you’re craving for gold trophies, VR Ping Pong Pro doesn’t offer many of them, but all of them are made of shiny gold.

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Defeating Dimitri on Japanese soil.

I wasn’t expecting for VR Ping Pong Pro to be the next VR killer app, and while I was right, I also wasn’t expecting to have as much fun with this simplistic game as I did. Sure, the visuals are bland, the sound design is nonexistent, and looking at flying rackets onscreen gets tiresome pretty quickly, but considering how shallow this sport is, Merge Games did a pretty good job. The physics are decent, the amount of modes is solid, and for a game based off freaking ping pong, it’s surprisingly entertaining. It’s also a pretty decent workout app if you think Just Dance and Creed are too hardcore for you.

 

Graphics: 6.0

Nothing special in here. There are some varied backgrounds, but they don’t look very exciting. The textures aren’t that great as well. Thankfully enough, the framerate is excellent.

Gameplay: 8.0

The physics are a bit wonky and you will need to do a lot of height and racket tilt adjustments before you begin playing. Once you do however, you’ll be greeted with the best ping pong gameplay VR has to offer.

Sound: 4.0

The sound department is comprised of one main menu tune, ball sounds, some 8-bit sound effects when you’re playing on the arcade mode, and the occasional background sound effect.

Fun Factor: 7.5

VR Ping Pong Pro is a lot more robust than what you would imagine from a game with such premise. The gameplay is fun and the amount of modes is impressive. Granted, it does get tiresome after a while, but it will entertain you until then.

Final Verdict: 7.0

VR Ping Pong Pro is available now on PSVR and PC.

Reviewed on PSVR.

A copy of VR Ping Pong Pro was provided by the publisher.

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