Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR Feels Great on Oculus Quest
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR has been a solid VR ping pong offering for existing headsets since its release in 2017. The game is confirmed to be launching alongside Oculus Quest, which brings with it some interesting advantages which make for a very compelling VR ping pong experience.
Racket Fury really shines on Quest thanks to room-scale tracking out of the box, and no need to be tethered to a computer.
As long as you have the space, it’s easy to set up room-scale (or larger) playspaces with Quest. If you have enough room, you’ll have effectively have no limit on where you can engage the ball at the front of the table, which means you can even go for those leaps and dives to try to save a difficult shot. Because Quest doesn’t require that you face in any specific direction, I was able to maximize my available space by orienting the virtual ping pong table into the corner of my mostly square playspace.
Doing so gave me the full diagonal length of my playspace for maneuvering, opening up enough area that I never felt like I was being restricted by the boundary and could engage the ball as naturally as if I was playing actual table tennis.
The lack of any tether on Quest also means not having to worry about my arm getting caught up, or reaching the end of the tether and yanking my computer when going for a desperate save. Along with Quest’s controller tracking handling the game with no visible issues, the result feels really good, and surprisingly similar to real ping pong.
I’m just a casual ping pong player, but I definitely love getting some good spin on the ball or nailing that slam shot. Racket Fury’s default physics setting is ‘Arcade’, which does an amazingly good job of reading my intentions. Adjusting the paddle rotation so that it felt right in my hand was essential, but once I dialed it in I could put spin on the ball in any direction, easily hit front hand, back hand, and drop slam shots, and all of it felt as satisfying as real ping pong.
There’s also a ‘Simulation’ physics setting which demands more paddle precision in both position and force to get the ball where you want it to go. Simulation mode offers greater challenge and is fun in its own right, though I leaned toward the Arcade setting so that I could focus less on precision and more on the overall strategy of when, where, and how to hit the ball back to the opponent. This Quest launch trailer for the game shows some of the Simulation physics in action:
I spent a few hours going up against the AI in Racket Fury and really quite enjoyed it—it’s ping pong after all, and I imagine anyone who enjoys some casual playing will feel the same (just don’t forget to adjust your paddle rotation!). What’s more, I could feel the game engaging my upper body muscles; it’s not exactly a workout, but a little bonus exercise while having fun is never a bad thing.
The game also features a multiplayer mode which I’m excited to try, though as Quest isn’t out yet there was no sparring partner available just yet. Racket Fury will allow cross-play between Quest and PC headsets, which ought to make it a great way to connect Rift, Vive, and Quest players.
Update (May 16th, 2019): Developer Pixel Edge Games has confirmed that Racket Fury will support cross-buy between Quest and Rift, as well as cross-platform multiplayer. This info has been added to the article above.
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