In a nutshell: A next generation game of Ping Pong doesnt necessarily sound like the best use of your Xbox 360s abilities no matter how good the graphics are. Just a few quick plays though will turn apathy into addiction.
The lowdown: You might come for the budget price but youll stay for the gameplay in what must be the most engrossing new sports game in years. Although the realism is probably going to be beside the point for most people this looks and plays exactly like the real thing. That means the controls basically work like a normal tennis sim, with four basic shot types on the face buttons and some easy to apply aftertouch available on the left stick. You can mix and match shots by holding down multiple buttons and theres a handy warning rumble when you starting getting your returns too near the edge of the table. Although the presentation is a little dry, especially for a Rockstar game, sports games dont get much more fun than this.
Most exciting moment: Although its a shame theres no doubles matches the game is still at its best online in multiplayer mode. If you dont have Xbox Live though youll find the computer players are very realistic, with their own quirks and specialities that make them seem far more like real people.
Since you ask: The game features seven extra playable characters to unlock by beating the single player tournaments. The nationalities of these players are Brazilian, Irish, German, South Korean, Japanese, English and Egyptian.
The bottom line: It may sound an odd idea but this could be the most addictive game yet for the 360. Harrison Dent