Game Review

Smash Table Tennis Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Smash Table Tennis delivers a backhand to your wallet.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder who at Nintendo is in charge of the Virtual Console game selection. Perhaps it's one of those people who, when unable to decide what to do, throws a dart at a dartboard with possible "options" on it in order to come to a decision. That almost has to be the case here, because we have no idea why else they would decide to make this forgotten turkey into an import title for the Virtual Console.

Smash Table Tennis (Or Smash Ping Pong as it is known in Japan) started out life as "Konami's Ping Pong," an arcade game which was later ported to a variety of systems, including the Famicom Disk System, which is also the version on Virtual Console. The arcade game had a cameo appearance from Konami's old semi-mascot Pentarou the penguin, but aside from that it was a pretty unremarkable game.

The FDS version received a makeover to make it like practically every other "arcadey" Nintendo game on the NES/FDS, including 2 gameplay modes, "A" and "B", which are playable in both 1-player and 2-player. Like most other games that do this, there appears to be almost no difference between the two whatsoever.

The gameplay is just what you'd expect from a table tennis videogame, you play a maximum of three "games" per match. The first person to 11 points wins the game (If both players are close to 11, you have to lead by 2 points to win the game). The first to win two games wins the match.

All the expected ping pong moves are there - lobs, smashes, you know the drill. Only 4 buttons are used in the game - B is used to serve, left/right makes you swing, and holding A or B after the serve switches your hand from a forehand to backhand position. You've got to master switching between the two different hitting styles, because it's quite easy to accidentally send the ball flying over the edge of the table, giving your opponent a point. Thankfully the game never gets to the insane speeds you sometimes see on TV, it all stays at a fairly modest pace.

That's pretty much everything there is to say, to be honest! Nintendo's Famicom Disk System mascot, Diskun, makes an appearance on the title and game win screens, and Donkey Kong Jr. appears in the crowd (Replacing Pentarou from the arcade game), but besides that, the game is just as shallow as the games in the NES sports series. The only difference is that it wasn't made by Nintendo.

Like most of those games, there's also no music to speak of, except for one or two 4-second jingles. There is really no excuse for this - The Famicom Disk System actually had an extra sound channel to use compared to the Famicom/NES, and Konami released some other FDS games with impressive soundtracks only a few months later.


Unless you're out to get all Nintendo-published games available on Virtual Console, we don't see any reason for you to considering buying this garbage. The Wii already has plenty of ways to play table tennis - Multiple retail games feature it as minigame, and Rockstar even made an entire game based around it! We're all for import games on Virtual Console, but choosing to release this as one wasn't a very smart move!

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (36)



pixelman said:

Owww. SMASHED! Too bad, this one looked like fun. Hah, this is the first Konami game that's received a 1 from you guys.



Dazza said:

You got served!

I like how you play as a disembodied hand in this game, that's about the only good thing I have to say!



Corbs said:

The Famicom Disk System featured some great games. This was not one of them.



Adamant said:

@ Wiiperson11: "WoW is it that bad?"

No. I'm quite surprised at the score - while it's by no means something I'd recommend anyone actually buying, when games like Tennis are able to run off with a 4/10, a 1 seems rather unfair. Even crap like Volleyball and Baseball managed to snag a 2 - this game is in no way worse than those.



Pahvi said:

I remember playing this on MSX back in the early 90s. It was fun then... or so I think. Still, I played it even then only with a friend. But maybe the fond memories are just nostalgia speaking. I don't think I'd spend the money on the game today.



thewiirocks said:

Another 1? Ok, it's official. I'm not just cynical. (Though that may still be true. ) Nintendo is dropping the ball!

Errr... or smashing it. Or something,



Dazza said:

@Chicken - Haha don't blame me, blame Nintendo for releasing these duds. Someone has to review them to spare you guys the pain



Digiki said:

I think way too much weight was put into the fact that this was released, rather than what it is...



Sneaker13 said:

I don't think this is a fair review. Come on. We are talking about a game that has been released around 1985. You can't compare it to current games like Rockstar's Table Tennis. What are you gonna give Pong if it would ever see a release in Wii Virtual Arcade? And the review isn't really negative either (apart in the sound department). I really can't see any points in the review that justifies a 1 out of 10.



Jazzem said:

Well to be fair, it comes out at a good time, what with the table tennis in Wii Sports Resort



Terra said:

Surprised it got a 1. I knew it would be bad but not this bad. That's the third 1 rating a game has got in less than a month, why are Nintendo letting this happen?



Airola said:

In my opinion the game should be boring AND the game controls should be broken for it to deserve 1/10. The only thing this review seems to complain is that it's just boring and there's no reason for it to be released since there are more Ping Pong games available.

I think that if one takes the game for what it is it should have at least one star higher score. I have a C64 version of this game and while it's not the most exciting thing I've played it played fairly well. It managed to be fun as a reaction based small game when played with a friend. I can't think that the FDS version would've been any worse.

I know that the game might be boring to some but it doesn't take away the fact that the controls work quite the way they should work and the scoring system is faultless. I think these things should be addressed when writing a review. Well, it's not up to me what kind of reviews you guys do here so feel free to write any kind of reviews you want. I'm glad that we have the possibility to comment so that people can see other opinions right under the review.



Gizmo said:

WTF?! This is ridicolus, the review sounds in no way like a 1/10...
I mean look at your scoring policy, this game at least delivers what it promises, a normal table tennis game...

@ Nintendolife: When again comes the ability for the members to score the games?



blackknight77 said:

Despite the score I would still take this over many of the Wii Ware titles. The price point really works against this game. The virtual console service is about releasing classic games and you must accept that there will be bad ones and good ones. This one may not be exciting but for retro enthusiasts who want to collect every game then this may be one to download.



Kobayashi said:

I donĀ“t agree with this review.

The gameplay of this game (and the MSX version) is awesome !

My note: 10/10



AMK said:

Have any of us played this on a nintendo system? I know I havn't & hopefully never will unless a mate sends it to me as a gift (which wouldn't be very funny).

@Gizmo: Have you played it? If so what score would you give it?



astarisborn94 said:

Guess what's our next shovelware game for the Virtual Console in North America? This. Couple it with Super Pitfall and you got an terrible week for the Virtual Console.

Which reminds me. The Angry Video Game Nerd should review this.



Metang said:

I agree with Gizmo, this doesn't really sound like a 1 review...
The review makes it sound half-assed and unremarkable, not terrible. I didn't read anything about the game having unresponsive controls, sound that will make you wish you had earplugs, or terrible graphics. (It doesn't look that bad for NES standards). Games like this at least deserve a 2. It delivers what it promises.
I agree with Adamant. How does utter turd like Volleyball and Baseball snag a 2?



Ricardo91 said:

@Dazza. What you did there, I see it.

There's no way this game can be that bad. The other NES sports games got higher scores than this, and they were horrible (I'm sure baseball's far worse than this). Judging from the review, this should've been a 4 or 5. The review didn't speak of any game-breaking bugs or glitches or anything like that. It just said the game was limited. It seems like it still provides a adequate table tennis experience, like it sets out to do.



Slapshot said:

A 1 rating. Well I guess thats pretty close to a seven. Just half a line off Well shovelware does sell very well so I guess thats why they released it.



KeeperBvK said:

Well, doesn't seem like any of the critics on the comments are going to get a reaction...



stinssd said:

I've enjoyed watching Marcel's reviews float down from optimism (8+) down to realism (1 star). But seriously, Marcel, there's a silver lining to every NES cartridge.



ICEknight said:

This game's quite fun, and a classic of its genre. I don't see why it could get such a low score, even though it's a bit expensive.



Drake said:

Hey, it's not like I get notified when people ask me something/say something to me!

The game is too simple, there's no music, there's only two modes and it gets boring incredibly fast. If it had been a NES game released worldwide as part of the Nintendo sports series I would've given it about a 2 or 3 out of 10 (Just like almost all other games in the series), but the fact it's an import and thus costs even more than other NES games was enough for me to give it a 1.



Ferret75 said:

"1 - Awful
This game is a shambling mockery of a game. You should be insulted that someone thought you were dumb enough to even consider buying this turd. If you ever see a rating of a one DO NOT even consider buying this game. RUN for your life!"

I'm pretty sure it's not one of the worst games ever. x.x
It should get a 4, or at least something above 1.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...