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Smash Ping Pong

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Released: 1987

Genre: Sports

Format reviewed: Famicom Disc System

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

Some time or another during the history, every sport has been ported onto a video-game console. From football to baseball, hockey to boxing, golf to snooker, nearly every sport has had some form of game produced after it. And not wanting to be left out of this club as well as tradition of sports being made into video-games, Konami's Smash Ping Pong came to join the fun as well.

Smash Ping Pong was originally an arcade game created by Konami back in 1985 in Japan, which then later got ported to the Famicom Disk System in 1987. The premise is simple; choose either to play against the computer or a friend and play table tennis. It is as simple as it gets and is essentially a cosmetically updated Pong, with colours and a vertical view of the table as opposed to the traditional horizontal view and B/W presentation of Pong.

While the game is very simple, with no real modes or campaigns to speak of, the gameplay is more than meets the eye. The player can perform slice shots, defence shots as well as smash shots, helping to keep the game exciting and strategic, especially when playing against a second player. It is very basic gameplay, but as an arcade port what do you (or can you) expect.

The graphics and sounds are decent for an early game of this type. While the crowd do not move and just flash when a player knocks the ball off the table for a point, they do react to the gameplay and clap when appropriate. The colours are bold and the animations on the bats themselves are fluid.

Overall, Smash Ping Pong is a traditional 80's port of an arcade game. It is as basic as it gets and while it is fun to play, it soon loses its novelty quickly. The game originally was only released in Japan, but game would be ported to the Wii's Virtual Console in 2010 (under the name Smash Table Tennis) so it could be experienced worldwide, along with being updated into a mini-game on Wii Play. I would say unless you are a fanantical fan of video-game table tennis simulations, just stick to the traditional real table and bat, as it is more fun and a good form of exercise as well.