When Rockstar declared their intent to bring games to Wii, the first thing practically everyone thought of (after discounting GTA) was a conversion of their excellent Xbox 360 Table Tennis. The accessibility of Wii Sports married to the precision of a complex sim - what a prospect!
Now that it's here, we can't help but feel disappointed by a title that doesn't sit comfortably in either the casual or hardcore arenas. And the reason for its comparative averageness is the control system we had such high hopes for.
The remote-only setup makes it ridiculously hard to hit the ball where you want it to go. Not in a 'challenging' sort of way, either. More like 'random'.
You're supposed to swipe towards the part of the table you're aiming for, but it hardly ever works as advertised. Several people had a go at it in the office, and the moments when somebody thought he'd finally got it down were usually followed by several inexplicable failures.
The players move automatically and are always in a position to hit the ball, negating one of the main tactical aspects of the original game.
Two alternative nunchuk-based controls are provided - one where you use the analogue to move the player, thereby reinstating the tactical positioning that enables you to make best use of your character's stronger side, and a second that restores the precision aiming missing from the other methods, in which case any twitch of the remote becomes a shot.
Put the two together and you've got the original, solid control system that dual analogue sticks and a traditional pad provided - the reason Table Tennis was rated so highly in the first place.
With each of the game's three Wii control methods being slightly crippled in a different way, the moments when you become lost in a ping pong trance are rare. And as this is a bare-bones sim with no extras, no new modes and no online play, it lives or dies by its playability, which is spoiled by those controls.
If you think of it as a kind of a spin on Wii Sports Tennis, then you might enjoy elements of this. Unfortunately, with the disappointing controls you should probably give it a miss.