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Author Topic: Table Tennis Impressions  (Read 4341 times)
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Scott
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« on: May 23, 2006, 07:55:27 PM »

Picked this up at lunch today.  The box design is solid, and the manual is actually more then 2 pages thick.  I'll try it some tonight, see if its as fun as reviewed.

Anyone else grabbing this, up for a game later?
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 08:13:53 PM »

This actually has me very intrigued; I didn't even realize it was coming so soon.

I'm waiting for impressions on the game's multiplayer on Live, as that's going to either sell me on it or make it a pass.  Though I'll have to rent it to see if I enjoy it if it looks like a worthy purchase.
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Scott
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 08:19:52 PM »

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I'm waiting for impressions on the game's multiplayer on Live, as that's going to either sell me on it or make it a pass. Though I'll have to rent it to see if I enjoy it if it looks like a worthy purchase.

From what little I've read on it, it seems that its very, very good multiplayer.  Its one of the reasons I grabbed it.  Plus, at $40, its seems like a bargain.  Eurogamer has a very good review of it.
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 08:24:23 PM »

You can bet I'm definitely eager to read your impressions as well as those of anyone else here who tries it out.  smile
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 08:40:58 PM »

Don't buy this game unless you plan on playing it extensively online, the single player is worth nothing more than honing your skills.
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 09:04:09 PM »

I just finished reading the IGN review, and got a few things out of the review for people that want their synopsis:

1) Game has no extras.  It is barebones.
2) The tabletennis game is translated very well onto the 360.  There may not be much there, but what is there is done very well.
3) Controls are really good.
4) Single player game is short.
5) Multiplayer game plays very good with a potential bug that could be a big bummer.  (Something about one of the players arms locking up or somesuch thing).  Otherwise, playing over Live is where it shines.
6) Overall, they love what was done, but are disappointed in the overall package due to the lack of replay value and "depth".

I will probably rent it unless I see it in the store and cave.
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Scott
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 09:06:30 PM »

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Don't buy this game unless you plan on playing it extensively online, the single player is worth nothing more than honing your skills.

Why is that?  I don't see it any differently then any fighting game that's come out lately, like DOA.  Why buy a fighting game unless you are only going to play it online?

Does Table Tennis have a silly career mode ala Top Spin 2?  No, but from all accounts Table Tennis plays better, which is more important then boring mini-games, or buying a skirt that adds +10 to your spin...

I'll see how well it plays tonight, but give me gameplay any day over career modes that aren't terribly fun.  I mean, people play Mario all the time for the gameplay mechanics, certainly not for the exciting career mode or story.
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 09:42:43 PM »

So far loving it.  Not very good yet but that will come with practice.  Have had some insane volleys thusfar.
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 10:15:23 PM »

I picked this up at lunch am leaving the office now if anybody wants to play online I should be home in an hour.
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 01:07:00 AM »

I really want to hear some impressions of split screen play. Live play is great and all, but I want to be able to deliver the smackdown to some friends in the same room too.
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 01:44:03 AM »

Sweet game, just a blast to play.  It really feels like playing ping pong.  Control is just about perfect.  Played Arkon online, and it felt incredibly smooth.  We had some pretty sweet rallies, but his experience took the day, 11-9 in the final game of the match smile.
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 02:24:07 AM »

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I just finished reading the IGN review, and got a few things out of the review for people that want their synopsis:

Read the Eurogamer review too Lockdown.  I'd say that is closer to the truth.  The game feels very good, and is a lot of fun to play online, especially against Devil! smile
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 02:25:01 AM »

After playing about 5 point total in single player, I jumped into a tourney with Ark, Ping and Scott.

Got my ass kicked but it was fun.
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Arkon
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 02:30:24 AM »

Ok the tourney was a blast.  We need to get a full 8 player tourney going.  It feels like a game that will be pretty easy to pick up and play but tough to truly master.  I unfortunately play alone, unless on live so can't comment on split screen play.
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2006, 02:37:39 AM »

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After playing about 5 point total in single player, I jumped into a tourney with Ark, Ping and Scott.

Best way to learn though.  I was doing the training for a few minutes when I matched up with Arkon.  Great fun.  Easy to catch on to the game, but I agree with Arkon, it'll be tough to master.  I need to read the character bios to figure out which will be the best for me to use.
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2006, 11:31:44 AM »

Well, all you needed to do was mention tournaments online, and you would have sold me right there.

I will pick it up today at lunch.  (assuming I don't get a pm from Devil or Scott telling me it's not worth it)

And what is that "bullet time" effect I am seeing in the videos?  Is that part of the game, or is it a marketing thing to show off the spins and such?
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2006, 12:03:51 PM »

Quote from: "Lockdown"
Well, all you needed to do was mention tournaments online, and you would have sold me right there.

I will pick it up today at lunch.  (assuming I don't get a pm from Devil or Scott telling me it's not worth it)

And what is that "bullet time" effect I am seeing in the videos?  Is that part of the game, or is it a marketing thing to show off the spins and such?


It isn't in the multiplayer that I noticed.  In the singleplayer game on really close shots to the edge it will slow down and go in to a chase cam.  There is a "focus mode" where the outside world seems to go away and there is just a spotlight on the table, indicating you are extremely focused on the game, your reflexes get slightly better and you put a bit more oomph on your shots.
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2006, 12:09:15 PM »

Somebody care to describe the controls?
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Arkon
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2006, 12:15:42 PM »

Controls are very intuitive in my opinion.

When the ball is coming to you, you prepare your spin by either using the right analog stick, or the face buttons.  The face buttons correspond to a type of spin, so A = topspin, B = rightspin, X = Leftspin and Y = backspin.  You can instead use the analog stick and it is directional.  Up is topspin, down is backspin etc.  You can also combine spins to do say topleft spin by holding the analog diagonaly, or by holding in A+X.  You charge the spin, by being in position you can get maximum spin on the ball.  Spin will not charge if you are moving to get to the ball.  When you are swinging at the ball, the left analog stick controls directionality/aim.  The game makes great use of the rumble feature.  The controller will rumble as you aim closer to the edge of the table and will rumble out of control if you are aiming off the table, giving you a split second to correct.

Movement side to side is a bit sluggish, it really forces you to focus on being in position, as is the case in real life table tennis.  

The left bumber allows you to do a soft shot.  So for example holding the left bumper, while putting backspin on a shot will just dop it over the net, very effective if you have backed your opponent up.  The right bumper allows you to do a focus shot, basically a powered up shot, but uses some of your focus meter (your focus meter fills up by powering up spins pre-impact).

That is pretty much the gist of it.
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2006, 01:23:33 PM »

Yes great game.  I played about 5 games online, won 2 and had very good matches.  

I just have a problem of moving my guy when I am trying to place the ball. If you move the left analog before pressing the right analog you will be moving your guy and that constantly happens to me I guess I am getting too excited.  

Once you get a rally started the music starts kicking in and does that make you nervous.
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Scott
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2006, 01:23:55 PM »

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The left bumber allows you to do a soft shot. So for example holding the left bumper, while putting backspin on a shot will just dop it over the net, very effective if you have backed your opponent up.

I didn't know that smile.  I also read about combining the spins last night after the tourney.  It would seem the analog stick control would be much easier for this, then holding down to buttons.

What I found enjoyable, is that the game moves remarkably fast at times, yet, its easy enough to play.  As mentioned in the Eurogamer review, control is almost perfect for the most part.  Its very intuitive to play, and looks like there is depth to it.

Quote
I will pick it up today at lunch. (assuming I don't get a pm from Devil or Scott telling me it's not worth it)

I really enjoyed it last night, especially for $40.  I think I'd rather have it at $40 then at $60 with a career mode.

Quote
Well, all you needed to do was mention tournaments online, and you would have sold me right there.

The tourney mode was fun.  Its round robin, at least what we played, so everyone got to play each other for a set time limit.  It worked out pretty well.

Quote
And what is that "bullet time" effect I am seeing in the videos? Is that part of the game, or is it a marketing thing to show off the spins and such?

I'm not sure what bullet time effect you saw, as I've only played the multiplayer.  However, the pace of the game switches up a lot when you're online still.  I think it has to do with going in the zone, or not, and the spins as well.  But you'll have a rally that goes at 'normal' pace (which is pretty fast), then it'll really speed up, and sometimes slow down further.    Its a neat effect.  The backgrounds fading in and out as you get into the zone, as well as the sounds changing (ball and racquet sounds) are great as well.

Quote
I just have a problem of moving my guy when I am trying to place the ball. If you move the left analog before pressing the right analog you will be moving your guy and that constantly happens to me I guess I am getting too excited.

My biggest problem too, as well as trying to hit a bumper and not hitting the shot button at the right time, and missing some easy ones, which makes a difference in tight games.

I didn't get a chance to play spilt screen either, so I can't comment on that.
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2006, 01:27:31 PM »

I actually recommend reading th manual for this game, it is a well done manual, even has a history of table tennis as a "forward".

Soft shots really can be devastating.  Once you start really getting in to this game you realise just how much strategy is involved.  I just wish I could pull off some of these shots in real life.
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Scott
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2006, 01:44:50 PM »

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I actually recommend reading th manual for this game, it is a well done manual, even has a history of table tennis as a "forward".

Soft shots really can be devastating. Once you start really getting in to this game you realise just how much strategy is involved. I just wish I could pull off some of these shots in real life.

I agree.  I flipped through the manual last night after we played, it was amusing, and helpful.  I need to figure out how much of a difference the different players really make.

I miss playing ping pong.  When my kids get older I'll have to get a table.  Fun game, played to much in college.
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2006, 01:46:17 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Quote
I actually recommend reading th manual for this game, it is a well done manual, even has a history of table tennis as a "forward".

Soft shots really can be devastating. Once you start really getting in to this game you realise just how much strategy is involved. I just wish I could pull off some of these shots in real life.

I agree.  I flipped through the manual last night after we played, it was amusing, and helpful.  I need to figure out how much of a difference the different players really make.

I miss playing ping pong.  When my kids get older I'll have to get a table.  Fun game, played to much in college.


Aye, I have a desire to buy a table now, but sadly have nowhere I could put it.
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2006, 02:05:51 PM »

I played alot in college too.  A-L-O-T.

It's funny the things you remember.  Here's a quick story...

I had a councilor who played alot also.  He was an older gentleman from Peking, and he and I would play pingpong during his lunch hours.  Our matches were almost always classic offensive (me) vs. defensive (him) type ones, with him winning more often then me.  But we would have these rallies that just lasted forever at times.  Crowds gathered around when we played, stuff like that.  After we became friends (so to speak),  he taught me how to play with the classic asian grip (I think we call it penholder in the US - I have no clue what they call it).  It was fun as hell playing back in those days, when I had so much time to kill and a place to play whenever I wanted.

Anyway, he leaves on a trip back home for 2 weeks, and when he returns, he calls me into his office and presents me with this cool asian box.  He said it was a gift.  I still remember this so vividly.  I thought the gift was the box itself, as I love asian stuff and it was beautiful.  He said something like, "No Tony, the gift is inside the box."  I open it up, and it is a paddle from Peking, and it is made specifically for people who play with the penholder grip, as the handle is very, very, short, thicker than the normal paddles, and the hitting surface was made of some really interesting material.  

That paddle made me change the way I played the game, and I started playing much more like him at that point.  I still have it too, somewhere, packed away in that box, in storage somewhere.  I haven't played in so long, it isn't funny.  

Hmm... sometimes memories are good.   biggrin
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2006, 03:24:58 PM »

Quote
I also read about combining the spins last night after the tourney. It would seem the analog stick control would be much easier for this, then holding down to buttons.


I was using the analog stick in training and practice, until I found out about returning the same color hit.  It seems that's an extra step in the brain for me, so I was missing shots.  Also, it seems that you have to do the opposite on the stick compared to the buttons.  Just got too confusing.  However, I've only just started doing combined spins, whereas I was doing them a lot with the stick.  Probably should have stuck with the stick and gotten used to it.

And Lockdown, that was a great story.  Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2006, 03:43:41 PM »

You're welcome.  I hadn't thought of that in quite some time, and it has me smiling right now, just thinking of it.

By the way, I hear you guys (and the reviews) speaking of games to 11.  Is this adjustable, or is this the standard?  Are the games the classic "win-by-two" or is it first person to the winning score?

Also, regarding the tournaments, the IGN review mentioned a time limit, then you switched up people.  The winners move to one "bracket" while the losers move to another.  Did you find this to be accurately written?  If so, is there a warning that the time limit is coming up, or does it just kind of spring up and show the winner and loser?

Also, when the tournament is over, does it list the winner and give you some type of summary of everyone's records and such?

Example:
Scott : 4-1
Arkon: 3-2
Devil: 0-5
Lockdown: 2-3

Tournament Winner: Scott.

Thanks.
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2006, 03:45:29 PM »

It does take a bit to associate the stick with the colors of the spin, and easier to do this with the buttons as the color corresponds to the color of the button.  I don't think either stlye offers advantages (unlike FN3), just a matter of preference.
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2006, 05:07:24 PM »

Quote
Also, regarding the tournaments, the IGN review mentioned a time limit, then you switched up people. The winners move to one "bracket" while the losers move to another. Did you find this to be accurately written? If so, is there a warning that the time limit is coming up, or does it just kind of spring up and show the winner and loser?

Also, when the tournament is over, does it list the winner and give you some type of summary of everyone's records and such?

There may be warning bells before the time limit is over.  I'm not sure.  If there was, I missed it, or some other display.  I was focusing on the action to much.

You definitely see a nice summary in between games and the end, and the winner does flash up.  Its a nice display, with tons of ranking information per game, more then you'd need.

Quote
It does take a bit to associate the stick with the colors of the spin, and easier to do this with the buttons as the color corresponds to the color of the button. I don't think either stlye offers advantages (unlike FN3), just a matter of preference.

Holding the stick for a power shot seemed odd to me, much more natural using the buttons.  But combining spins probably is easier with the stick.  I think I'm going to practice using the analog stick now, see what happens.

The tournament we played, the winning score was 5, so it must be adjustable.  It seems whoever hits the magic number first wins as well, no win by two.  Again though, that may be adjustable as well.

Nice story Lockdown.  I used to play at a job that had a table, against a guy from China.  It was the same basic thing, I'd attack and he'd defend until I screwed up, and he'd pounce or I'd shoot the ball long.  He used the butterfly grip as well, though he tried to switch at times for more power.  I remember he got upset for a few weeks when I started winning consistently, until he fixed his problems and got the upper hand again.  He also bought me a nice paddle, though in normal grip that I was used to.

There were three of us in college that always used to play.  I usually beat one of them, who beat the other, who beat me.  It was an odd triangle, just different play styles beating the other I guess.  The good old days smile.  I just need to find room for a table some day.
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2006, 05:33:27 PM »

In exhibition mode, you can adjust how many points you play to, and it is win by 2.  The tournament mode we played (I just used default settings, don't remember if there was much to change) was a round robin style.  No winning bracket/losing bracket, everyone played everyone else once.  It does give a decent amount of stats.  I believe the reason for the time limit is that if you have two evenly matched opponents you could take forever just to win one game.  Knowing there is a time limit it made me play a little harder/more aggressive for the points.
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2006, 08:51:15 PM »

Got it !!!

Off to practice.
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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2006, 11:41:36 PM »

Just spent some time doing the training mode and part of the first tourney.  So far, I love it; simple to pick up, but I can tell there's more just lurking around the corner.  With any luck, this will become the standard form of conflict resolution in my dorm next semester (as Smash Bros. was last semester).
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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2006, 07:31:57 AM »

Ok, I just couldn't pass up the $30 price tag at Fry's Electronics today, so I got my copy.

I'll answer my own question now, just in case someone else wants to know. Two player on on system play is done on one screen. The person who is serving is close and the other person is on the far side. I haven't actually played this way, but it looked like it would work just fine.

My impressions of the game so far are right in line with everyone else's. East start, lots-O-depth to dig into.
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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2006, 11:59:42 AM »

Had a blast playing last night.  Had some great online exhibition games with Lockdown and Scott.  Was hoping to get a tourney going but alas that didn't happen.

At one point Scott and I had a 126 hit rally.  The ball was flying so fast that I basically was hitting the button as fast as I could to keep up, was so much fun.  Lockdown really made strides last night and gave me a good run for me money.
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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2006, 12:50:24 PM »

I'll admit (proudly), I played quite a bit of table tennis awhile back.  My friend was actually trained by the #1 U.S. player at the time, so when we became friends, he got me into competitive table tennis...and I was sort of wary of grabbing this game, thinking they'd really simplify the game.  Make it ping pong, essentially.

But I'm pretty amazed how they've managed to capture the feel of the game.  I only had time to play training and play a couple of matches, but wow, the zoom's when the ball clips the net, the overall atmosphere, are simply amazing.  I can't wait to play some multiplayer.  If it's got a solid 2p mode and if online holds up, man, sports game of the year?  Perhaps.
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« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2006, 12:51:48 PM »

Trust me, multiplayer holds up big time.  It is so incredibly fun.
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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2006, 01:16:51 PM »

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Had a blast playing last night. Had some great online exhibition games with Lockdown and Scott. Was hoping to get a tourney going but alas that didn't happen.

That was quite a game.  Those rallies were nuts.  Sorry I couldn't stick around longer, had to help my wife do a few things.  I'll be on tonight for a while though.  I did get to play some of the first tourney later in the night, though I lost the final match.  I just need more practice, and try and pick a control method.

Great game.
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« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2006, 02:01:01 PM »

Yes, I certainly did make great strides.  Although it should be noted that to improve my game from where it was when it started was not exactly a monumental task.  Great strides was really the only way to go.   :wink:

I was telling Arkon last night that I think you just need to play, play, play, and then something just sort of "clicks".  It's very noticable, and doesn't take all that long.  Once it happens, you are golden.

The next step for me, now that I have sort of a "style", is to find the character that suits me best.  If anyone wants my opinion (which you probably don't), I would take an all-around character to start the game with (there are like 2 or 3 of them), and then just play until the game clicks.  At that point, I would find the character that is suited to your style and use that person.

I found, for myself, a mixture of online play and single-player play was great to really get the hang of things.  Personally, I don't think the game has enough meat to be sports game of the year, but that in no way is a slam on the game.  It is a shit-ton of fun, and considering how fast the gameplay gets, plays unbelievably smooth over Live, which is a huge accomplishment in-and-of-itself.

I really can't wait to try a tournament.  Can you imagine how fun this game would be as a party game if you had like 8 guys over the house?

Initial impressions grade:  B+
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« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2006, 02:08:10 PM »

In a way, I like the fact that there isn't a lot of bloat.  They started with a tremendous engine with tremendous gameplay.  I really hope the sales warrant a sequel where they can take what they have, with this tremendous engine and gameplay and then add in the bonus features.  Too many games try focusing on having every feature under the sun, career mode, create a character, franchise etc, but don't focus enough on the actual engine and gameplay.

I would definately agree with the B+ assesment, and would maybe even give it an A- personally.  One of my biggest complaints so far is there is no way to do an autorematch in multiplayer.  You have to create a new match every time and reinvite your friend to the game.
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Arkon
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« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2006, 11:02:55 AM »

When I booted this up last night it popped up saying an update was available/required, anyone know what that was all about?
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