Beer Pong!, the exciting fraternity phenomenon whose own name can barely contain itself with its dashing exclamation point is now a PSN title available for play with a motion controller. Actual Beer Pong is a one-on-one or team game played across a ping pong table where players sink ping pong balls into cups filled with beer. Sinking a shot typically means the opposing player must drink the cup of beer.
Beer Pong! is playable only using motion controls via the Move or a PS3 controller’s SixAxis function. This makes sense as lining up the shot with analogs would probably break an already fragile experience. Move is the better of the two motion controls. The aiming is actually decent, accomplished by lifting the Move for distance and twisting the Move controller for accuracy. Throwing is achieved by flicking the controller forward. I don’t actually recommend flicking, since it messes up the shot more often than not. A quick punch is more accurate, but having played Beer Pong! It seems as if accuracy apparently was not a concern in making the game. The SixAxis controls are similar – lifting the controller increases distance and flicking the controller shoots. Aligning the shot is done with the right analog stick.
The act of tossing the ball moves the remote forward and tends to mess up the shot. There does not appear to be a way to hold targeting in place as you shoot, which makes Beer Pong!’s already unreliable shooting even more awkward and prone to missing. See, Beer Pong! does not seem to have a consistent measure of distance when the player makes the shot. This kind of messes up a game about shooting ping pong balls into cups.
Beer Pong! adheres to the basic rules for Beer Pong. There are different modes for teams and a practice mode, but Speed Pong stands out since this mode contains functions which interfere with the opposing player; such as flipped cups, blocked shots, and adding cups to the opponent’s table. In other words, actions incapable of occurring during a real game of Beer Pong. There is also an online mode, but forgive a lack of surprise when no one was found playing. As of this writing only two people have posted online scores. There are different difficulties available, but the only difference seems to be how quickly the game’s useless Beer Goggles function – the more the avatar has to drink when they lose increases the waviness of the screen – comes into play. Useless best describes the function since A) shots are mostly crapshoots anyway, and B) players can still see the table. There are different avatars and locales for players to use: four bars, four guys, four ladies, and four table skins. Cups can be made large or small in an effort to increase difficulty.
Featured music tracks are a cross between urban porn background music and frat party crap. There’s an announcer with the wit of a 12-year old who will praise or insult players during their performance. Expect more insults due to the bad gameplay. Thankfully, the game allows you to turn off both or play your own music. Graphically, Beer Pong! is simply lackluster. The tables have the most decent graphics, but the tables are product placement so this is expected. There’s odd graphical hiccups, where the ball looks like it is going into the cup, but in-game nothing is happening and the ball appears to have bounced out. The game would sometimes freeze for a half-second on high arc shots as if uncertain of what to do.
In all honesty – I fail to see the point of Beer Pong! I understand why people play sports games, realistic racers, and shooters since the real-world likelihood of playing professional sports, driving in NASCAR, or being an elite soldier might as well be up there with slaying dragons and flying a starship. But even people who like Beer Pong would be more amenable to setting up a physical game, replacing beer with root beer or another drink as per the rules of some colleges. It would be more fun, and definitely preferable to playing Beer Pong! on a PS3.