Everybody and their mom has played a variation of Pong – it’s right up there with Tetris as the de facto standard of the video game world. However, what if you threw RPG mechanics into the mix? In what is the strangest combination since the turducken, Blue Wizard Digital brings the tabletop format to new heights with their new title Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000. Does this unorthodox combination pay off, or does it prove to be an unholy fusion that should not be?
Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 Review
Players take control of a lonely paddle, looking to come out on top against a rival opponent. The first match might seem like par for the course – win a game of three against the rival paddle on the other side and progress to the next stage. However, things quickly take a walk on the wild side.
This is where the RPG mechanics come in. The inclusion of an HP meter for your paddle is strange enough as it is, but players can also learn spells that use MP and can maximize attributes like strength, height, intelligence, wisdom, and other attributes. These mechanics would be more at home in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, but the weird pairing works better than you think it would.
Successfully taking down one of the foes that awaits you in each stage gives players the chance to increase one of these attributes. Some increase the size of your paddle, some increase the chance of a critical attack, some grant new spells like fireballs, healing, and ice, and some offer more…charismatic approaches.
The whole idea is silly, and though the core action is fairly barebones, these mechanics help keep players coming along. It can get far too easy to get caught up in the rhythm of it all – it is Pong, one of the earliest games in existence, at its core. However, those who like to see numbers rise and characters grow will be absolutely thrilled with the feedback loop found here.
Just be warned that the challenge found here is a bit on the uneven side. In an effort to add some humor, some of the rival paddles vary by size. It’s pretty funny when a tiny little opponent comes out to play, but facing an opponent that takes up most of the screen sucks the laughs right out of the room. Certain areas have threats in the battlefield like bombs and lava too, making it tough to navigate certain areas.
Rounding things out is narration of the star paddle from the same voice actor that performed as Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard. He’s a man of many quips, and though lines like “swallow this” and “suck my paddle” come off as crude, there’s no denying that he really does get into this role.
Adding pizzazz to the world of Pong is a tall order, but the RPG mechanics in Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 largely pay off. The challenge may be uneven and the humor crude, but those looking for something new can certainly find it here.
This review of Hypergalactic Psychic Table Tennis 3000 was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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