The last time I played foosball in real life was most definitely college–shout out to all my Rowan University alumni–and most definitely after a few drinks were drunk. It’s the sort of sports-like experience that an overwhelming majority of people have no idea what they’re doing, but still manage to have a great time violently spinning rods in an attempt to score a goal. It’s like air hockey, but more aggressive, but better with friends.
I realize I might be speaking Greek to those unfamiliar with foosball. In North America, we call it foosball, but you might know it as table football or table soccer. Basically, it’s a table-top game that is loosely based on football, with the aim being to use control knobs to move figures mounted on rotating bars to kick a ball into the opponent’s goal. The play area has ramps in the corner so the ball doesn’t get stuck, and you can often end up scoring on yourself if you aren’t careful with your spinning tactics.
As you might have suspected from the title alone, Foosball 2012 is a videogame version of foosball that was released to the PlayStation 3 and Vita sometime in June 2012. Many critics found it beyond underwhelming, and I also found is instantly forgettable, coming to it many more years later. The title features both single and multiplayer modes, along with PlayStation Move support and cross-compatibility (including cross-play and game saves) between the two systems, which is neat and cool for those that have both systems and like taking their save data on the go. That’s not me; also, I don’t have a PlayStation Move controller and probably never will at this point.
I’m not against sports simulation in videogame form. Sure, it’s never been my go-to for gaming, but I enjoy videogame versions of things like golf, tennis, and football now and then. Maybe not pool. And I’m totally down for either take on them–whether they are zany, don’t follow rules, and full of killer power-ups, such as Super Mario Strikers, or trying to play things more traditional, such as MLB The Show 19. There is definitely an audience for both; however, when it comes to foosball, I don’t think there’s a place for it here, as the game is so much better with real-life people egging you on. There’s something about the feel of the knobs and that satisfying sound of spinning a dude so fast you miss it and scoring a goal on your frazzled opponent that just can’t be replicated digitally, even with online play.
Thank goodness Foosball 2012 was a PlayStation Plus freebie. I’d be upset if I had purchased this. Goodbye, table football. Maybe I’ll see you again, but only IRL.
Oh look, another reoccurring feature for Grinding Down. At least this one has both a purpose and an end goal–to rid myself of my digital collection of PlayStation Plus “freebies” as I look to discontinue the service soon. I got my PlayStation 3 back in January 2013 and have since been downloading just about every game offered up to me monthly thanks to the service’s subscription, but let’s be honest. Many of these games aren’t great, and the PlayStation 3 is long past its time in the limelight for stronger choices. So I’m gonna play ’em, uninstall ’em. Join me on this grand endeavor.