Ping pong is not just a game ... it's a BATTLE! At least it is in Japan, where Quest Corporation (of Tactics Ogre fame) released Battle Ping Pong for Nintendo's Game Boy. The last time I played ping pong on a handheld device was in the underrated Sight Training (aka Flash Focus) for Nintendo DS. Battle Ping Pong is very reminiscent of that mini-game, only this game has more style and worse controls.
Just like in the Sight Training mini-game, you control a mysterious floating table tennis racket. Across from you is your opponent, who is not a floating racket, but rather a real character. Now this is the part where Battle Ping Pong shines: You can select opponents out of eight different countries and all are totally stereotypical, which is fun. The guy from the United States is a typical Texan, with a cowboy hat. The opponent from Japan looks like a ninja, with a bandana. The Russian adversary wears a typical Russian ushanka (fur cap with ear flaps). The opponent from Sweden looks like an aggressive Viking.
There isn't much to say about the basic gameplay in Battle Ping Pong: it's just your floating racket battling with another stereotypical character in the art of ping pong! The graphics are nice and clean for a Game Boy game, and the audio is decent.
However, the controls in this digital table tennis game are a bit lacking. I never had the feeling that I could direct the ball in the direction I wished, and even getting the ball over the net at service (which requires throwing the ball up in the air and then trying to hit it) kept being problematic. So, while the game looks pretty good, the controls are a mixed bag.
Overall, Battle Ping Pong is a visually appealing Game Boy game that's bothered by clumsy controls. It could have been great, but it turned out to be just an average Pong clone.