In Racket: Nx, you play a tennis player in the year 2112. The world is experiencing a new ice age and society has adapted to this by going into domed cities. The main sport of the day seems to be a violent futuristic version of racquetball called “Racket: Nx.” Your character’s name is Ace, and together with the other players on your team, you must fight against an evil corporation that wants to take over everything. A plot this awesome wouldn’t be complete without voice acting! Unfortunately, Racket: Nx lacks any sort of story or plot whatsoever besides what I just mentioned.
Let’s talk about controls; they’re simple enough for anyone to pick up on within seconds. One joystick controls your player’s movement and the other controls aiming your shots. The catch with Racket: Nx is how fast everything moves; time has been cranked up a couple of notches in terms of speed compared to regular tennis. This means that you’ll need to have extremely quick reflexes if you want to have any chance of winning, but also that it’s really fun to play!
You can choose from several different characters on the “customization” menu which pops up before each match starts. It isn’t very deep, though, so don’t expect to be spending hours here trying out new combinations or anything like that – although there are ten different characters from which you can choose, I pretty much stuck with using the green one. Graphics are pretty good for a game this early in the Oculus Quest’s life cycle, but they could still use some work. I’m not sure whether it was just me, though; you might think differently if you play it yourself!
I wasn’t able to find any hitboxes anywhere which is really strange because Racket: Nx is the type of game where every shot counts and hitting your target matters, so having no indication whatsoever as to where exactly you need to aim doesn’t help at all. This led to situations where I was unsure whether or not my shots were actually going to make it anywhere near their intended destination because I didn’t know where that destination even was. I ended up overcompensating quite a lot as a result and that really messed up my gameplay.
Deciding which strength to use for your shots is done by holding the trigger on one of the joysticks until you reach the desired level, but this can be a little imprecise at times because it’s not uncommon for your shot to suddenly go off-target after you’ve held down a trigger for a couple of seconds, so sometimes I found myself accidentally under or overshooting when I was aiming.
This leads me to another point: even if you have perfect aim, there are some levels where it actually makes almost no difference whatsoever because of how fast everything moves! For example, one level starts with your opponent being close enough to the net that he can hit back any shots that are aimed directly at him, so your best option is to aim upwards until you can’t see your opponent anymore before taking a shot. Then again, that only works if you’re able to figure out where exactly your opponent even is, to begin with! All in all, the controls are neat but there’s definitely room for improvement.
Racket: Nx isn’t very long by today’s standards – it takes about 15 minutes or so to complete the entire thing – but this actually doesn’t bother me at all; games that manage to make every moment count without overstaying their welcome really appeal to me and Racket: Nx does exactly that. I think it would be great as part of a collection of smaller mini-games like how Wii Tennis had the minigame mode, but I don’t think it would be worth full price on its own.
I’d recommend this game to anyone who’s looking for a quick pick-up-and-play experience with fun gameplay or even just wants something nice to show off their Oculus Quest with! Just be aware that there are some minor issues that need tweaking before they can reach their true potential.