Friday, 27 November 2009

Wii Sports Resort: Table Tennis

Part 3 of my extended, rambling Wii Sports Resort Review that has absolutely nothing to do with poetry except that it helps to compose the mind during creative droughts - apart from, of course, when I'm shouting blue murder at it and convincing my housemates I'm somewhere between psychotic and five years old.

This has started happening a lot with the Table Tennis. It's OK until I start caring about winning, and then I get gradually more and more irritated with it. More on that in a moment.

Wii Sports Resort Table Tennis is possibly the best demonstration of the Wii controller (with Motion Sensor Plus accessory!) yet. You wield it exactly like a real table tennis bat, even down to your backhands and topspin. There are two major respects in which you don't have the sort of control you might like: 1) the way your Mii moves round the table is completely down to the AI, and 2) the actual left-right direction of your shots, as in Wii Sports Tennis, is decided by how quickly you hit the ball after the bounce. Hit it quickly, and you strike across your body. Wait a moment and you'll hit it in more of a straight line.

Apart from that, it's more or less like playing real table tennis, except without (a) those annoying moments when your hand-eye coordination completely fails you, and (b) having to go get the ball from a gutter, or a roof cavity, or a fast-flowing river, or from underneath another table in the middle of someone else's game.

Playing against another human, as far as I've had the opportunity to do that, is hunky dory. I suppose that's the whole point of it, which might explain why the single player experience is such a drag. It follows the general Wii Sports Resort rule: the more you win, the more your experience goes up, the harder your opponent. Lose, and your points go down, and you'll face someone more within your ability range. The result is that I casually thrashed everyone silly for my first umpteen games, and now I find myself ping-ponging (ha!) between opponents I can beat blindfolded and others that seem to have some kind of telekinetic control of both the ball and my Mii's body. I might have them stuck on the far side of the court, then smash it with ample topspin onto the extreme other side - it don't matter. They'll not only get a bat to it, but remove all my spin and replace it with some sort of foul incantation that makes the ball bend into a near-orbit. With the limited depth perception the television screen offers, I frequently run foul of returning the ball before it's bounced on my side, losing me another point.

There's one particular character who keeps coming up. His name's Akira, and I'm sure he's some kind of programmer surrogate. If I have the audacity to get a 2-0 lead at the start of the game, Akira uses his mind-powers to force my Mii to stick to one side of the court while he bats to the other, or replaces my ability to smash with a sort of 'keepy-uppy' movement. I can almost tell that behind his stoic 'concentration' expression, he's laughing at me. That's not relaxing! That's not what I go to a sports resort for! I want opponents who are tricksy, sure to get a point if I let my guard up, but will ultimately fall if I put in a killer performance. Instead, Akira stares at me with his Dragonball Z eyes and says, "You just don't get it, do you? Your table tennis chi is so pathetically weak that I have to hold back 90% of my power just to keep from crushing you like a bug." He's worse than the Champion, who at least has a weakness you can exploit.

The only other way you can play table-tennis is in a sort of rallying game, where you simply have to bat back as many balls as possible without messing up. Occasionally, a tin can is put on the table and you have to hit that for extra points. After returning 100+ balls though, I tend to get sloppy out of boredom.


Big said...

Because of Akira I was almost to
break the Wiimote+plus onto a wall!
He's irritating, takes all shots
and smashes.
He makes points because of my
errors. Endless exchanges, very boring.
I quitted playing with
table tennis in Wii Sport Resort.

Anonymous said...

I've only had Wii Resort for couple of months. Love the Table Tennis game, but it cheats blatantly. I'm usually maxed out at 2500. So I know how to play the game. I'd like to hear if anyone else has noticed this (specially if you've maxed out at 2500 too), and if there's a trick to snap Wii out of this cheating phase.

I don't mind playing tough AI (online option would be way better though). But to make the game harder by disrupting your game is just plain childish... grow up Wii!

Like you've written, I've noticed these happening constantly when Wii's cheating ...

- Your bat turns soft. You can't top spin anymore.

- Kill shots become giveaways. You got the AI cornered. And you got a clear smash across the table. But your smash turns into a fluffy ball of cotton and flies high in the air.

- Your bat keeps getting stuck in forehand or backhand evevn though you're standing in one spot and keep recalibrating often.

- Unreturnable edge balls. The AI will keep scoring points by bouncing the ball off the edge of the table.

- Wii changes your bat position. Suddenly your bat drops by a bat length and you've missed the shot. Be sure to watch the replay cuz you'll clearly see the bat's position suddenly change.

Wayne Barker said...

I have also started noticing some issues. The remotes worked perfectly for the first few games. Im currently 1t around 1500 and Akira is my usual nemesis. Lately the backhand and forhand motions have been getting stuck, i have recalibrated the controls and replaced the batteries but the problem persists. I have even gone into the wii sensorbar settings and adjusted its sensitivity but nothing works. My bat will get stuck in a backhand position and then thats the end of the game and i can forget to try and recover from it.It is really sad cause it is the best game of the Sports Resort game and the only one of the games i enjoy playing? Is Patch even possible or am i stuck with my bat in backhand position from this point on?