Balls of Fury Review
I don't know if it is possible to not wince at the mere implication of what this game represents. A video game based on a movie is already a very dicey proposition for most gamers, but a video game based on this movie? A movie that is essentially a "dumb comedy" that not only parodies the storyline of the Bruce Lee great "Enter the Dragon" but does so with an insanely silly cast of characters and focuses on ping-pong of all things. Dear god, what were they thinking? They should have been thinking about passing on this game but instead here we are.
Balls of Fury is the story of Randy Daytona, a washed up ping-pong prodigy. Seeking revenge against the man who killed his father he joins up with an FBI agent and an old blind man who re-teaches him how to play the game. Through this training he hopes to finally fight, and defeat, Feng, the head of an underground, illegal, ping-pong tournament. More than just another ping-pong tournament the stakes in Fengs' tournament are literally life or death, costing you your life if you lose.
Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, Balls of Fury the game has more than just this half baked story to play through. There is the Story Mode, where you will play as Randy Daytona through his youth and all the way to his fight to take down Feng, but that is only one of four modes. There is also Exhibition, Arcade and Tournament modes to be chosen from.
Exhibition is essentially a single match where you pick any available character and play them against one opponent where you set the rules to your liking, such as amount of points to a win and so on. Arcade mode is almost like playing a fighting game; you choose your character and play through a succession of nine fights to win. As you progress up through the rounds the enemies get slowly, but noticeably, harder. Lastly there is Tournament mode where either four or eight computer controlled or human players can compete to be top ping-pong player.
This likely doesn't sound all that different from most other sports games, and it isn't. What is supposed to set it apart is the "wacky" ping-pong based setting and while it succeeds to a degree the gameplay itself isn't really all that interesting.
By holding the Wii remote with the d-pad and A button face upwards and swinging it side to side you basically emulate swinging a paddle. However there are a few variations on this that only help to further give you the feel of playing the game. If you swing the remote upwards you will add lift to the shot, floating it, and if you swing it downwards then you will bash the shot, sending it flying at your opponent faster. You can also hold down the B button to add spin to the ball which causes it to fly off erratically when it hits the table. By mixing the left to rights with the floater and slam moves you can control where the ball goes to try and outpace your opponent.