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Pong Pong
by Hasbro Interactive

Platform: PlayStation
ESRB Rating: Everyone
ASIN: B00001QHX0

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GameSpot Review: In a world where no classic game is safe from being converted into a current-day remake, the game that started it all has finally had its number called. A whole new generation now has the opportunity to fall in love with the new Pong - the Pong of a new millennium - on the PlayStation console. But before you dust off your paddles and call all your friends over, you may want to ponder this - was Pong really all that fun, or was it just that there were no other video games? The basic concept of Pong hasn't changed - keep the ball from entering the goal by deflecting it with the paddle. But the latest edition of Pong at least keeps things slightly interesting by introducing several new game elements, many of which have their own levels. Sometimes you'll have sheep and penguins on the board with you; other times, huge fans will blow your ball to and fro, and you'll have to bounce a colored ball into its place. The new version of Pong also introduces a power-up system. You can introduce computer controlled blockers, perform super-shots, and even grab the ball itself (your paddle hugs around it).

But still, the game is pretty much the same as it was 26 years ago. The graphics are simple and nice. There seems to be some weird theme running through the game that your paddle is alive, as it jumps around and acts generally pleased when you beat a level. Aside from that, the animation is fairly generic. The things that you run into while playing behave as they should - sheep hop about, penguins waddle, and frogs jump. There are some fairly creative level designs here, like the log-jammer level, which has logs that push the ball in certain directions, or the chicken-egg level, where a rack of chickens lay various colored eggs for you to sort. These are a nice touch and obviously more welcome than the simple black-and-white graphics of the original. While the music in the game is fairly good, the sound effects are really bothersome. While each level is loading, your paddle will giggle and make all other sorts of weird noises, which you'll likely find as disturbing as I did. Maybe it's just the pitch at which the paddle "speaks," but after one or two levels, I cringed every time I heard it. Unfortunately, the control really isn't up to par. The digital control is way too touchy, and the analog control seems to be too loose. There's nothing more frustrating than giving up a point simply because the control is so unresponsive. Also, the computer paddles are really good, especially in the games where there's a paddle directly in front of yours. This forces you to exploit weaknesses in the AI - such as bouncing a shot off the wall - and it makes you feel as if you're only winning because the computer is dumb. Another thing you'll notice is that the computer will line itself up directly in front of your paddle after a point is scored, but when it serves, it immediately shoots the ball out, without giving you a chance to maneuver in front of it. This will make you almost dread the four-paddle games, as they're fairly one-sided.

Looking for a revolutionary, new, exciting game? Perhaps you should look elsewhere, because when it all boils down, this game is still Pong. Sure, there are new levels, and the game has been changed quite a bit, but you're still moving a stupid paddle up and down a playing field and hitting a ball. Few people are likely to get a thrill out of playing the original Pong anymore, and, unfortunately, the Pong of the new generation doesn't do much better.--Ben Stahl

From the Manufacturer: A Legend is Reborn! First, there was Pong. Easy to play, addictive, and fun, this legendary title ignited the entire video game industry. Now Pong has returned to wow a new generation of gamers. Your objective is clear, as it was in the classic game that started it all - for high score, avoid missing the ball. With new paddles, power-ups, and playing fields, the challenges and rewards are never-ending. And with great 3D graphics and single or multiplayer capabilities, you can have fun honing your skills before you take on the world. Pong is back and it's simply awesome!

Customer Reviews:
4 player makes it all worth it, July 11, 2002
Reviewer: Ryan Mauldin from Austin, TX United States
I'll agree the single player is no so much fun, and the computer controlled opponents are not much fun to play againist... but the real reason to own this game is to hook up the multitap and have four people battle each other in a variety of levels and environments. You need to play single player enough to open some of the cooler levels, such as the soccer penalty kicks, but then you are ready for some good times. Friends who aren't gamers will have a good time with this.

if you want to relive your youth, go somewhere else, February 18, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from rochester, ny
This is not the Pong you once new. It has been so thoroughly updated that it's practically a new game. But the idea is the same: put the ball into the goal without it coming back into yours.

This new Pong has different environments and different levels within each. It's fairly easy to figure out the rules for each environment, but they're still challenging to get through.

I definately think this is worth the money, and not just for the kids.

Exciting and Tense!, April 13, 2000
Reviewer: A gamer from Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania
Pong is a game that was made back, who knows when but this is the remade version. If you want a beginning game to play if you have just recently gotten Playstation, this is one of them. There are 20 exciting and wierd levels to play. If you ever get stuck, there are codes all over the web. I bought this game and immediately fell in love with it. I recommend it for anyone who knows the basic buttons of a Playstation controller. Thank you for reading this review.

Retro gaming Done Right, December 7, 1999
Reviewer: A gamer from La Jolla, CA
This game could have been really cheesy and simplistic, but credit Hasbro with taking the totally familiar (and still fun!) gameplay, and creating a lavish world of bright graphics and sounds around it.

There are tons of different "environments," each with three levels of difficulty. Each pong environment has a unique feel (not to mention power-up and gameplay variations). I have invested hours into this game, and still am only around 2/3 through the challenges.

Addictive, intense, a heart-pounding two player game, and over 100 levels. The great Pong gameplay you remember, updated for 1999. I am a big retro gaming fanatic, and this is, without doubt, the most comprehensive and complete "classic arcade" update yet!

Other recommendations: Asteroids and Space Invaders are also worthy additions to any PSX gamer's library. The same core gameplay is there, but dressed up nicely, with tons of variety. But I digress... Pong is the king of retro-games!

See what all the fuss was about in the 70's and do yourself a favor: buy this game! Gamers of all ages will become addicted to this delightful classic. Plus, the price is right.

Fun is a simple thing!, December 6, 1999
Reviewer: A gamer from Hilo!, HI
This is one of those games that you play at first, and seems a little boring, but then you find yourself playing it over and over and over! I got (and still get) frustrated with the difficulty of timing the paddle and the ball, but it's just a matter of getting used to the gameplay. PROS: A lot of fun alternations on Pong, not dumb ones like the original Atari (you know, where the only difference between Pong soccer and Pong football was a different screen layout...). You can play Pong carnival game, Pong soccer (where the ball can go into various holes on the field and reappear out any other hole), etc. You can also challenge up to 3 friends. Cons: I don't know why, but the game will only allow you to play Level 1 games in multiplayer mode, until you have passed through Level 1 in single player mode. So to enjoy multiplayer, you have to go through the level first. Other than that, this game is a really addictive, and SIMPLY, a lot of fun!

Pong is Great!, November 26, 1999
Reviewer: A gamer from Bloomington, Illinios
Pong is an exciting challenging a thrilling game which will keep you playing for hours. with almost 100 levels this simple but fun game will always keep you ready for the next challenge the game brings you.

What next!, November 15, 1999
Reviewer: A gamer from Stockton, Calif.
I have to admit...when I first heard that Pong was coming to the PlayStation I thought LAME! But, you know what? I actually dig this game. I shelled out the big bucks for this pixelated ping pong pleasure. You'd think that two squiggly lines and a blocky ball would look primitive on the fabulous PlayStation...and you would be right. However, the fine folks at Hasbro have created some cool background enviroments to spice things up...this ain't your momma's Pong. Particularly fun at parties!

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