Tag Archives: Grip Games

Paul’s Preeminent PlayStation Plus Purge – Foosball 2012

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.

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Paul’s Preeminent PlayStation Plus Purge – Atomic Ninjas

Atomic Ninjas, which is a pretty cool name, one I’m a fan of mostly because I am noodling with a new small comic book about bad ninja-themed jokes, has the most uninspired story. It goes like this: a security guard at a nuclear plant falls asleep on the big red button that one should never, ever push and the planet explodes. However, not all have perished. Thanks to their natural survival instincts, ninjas are mystically altered. And for some reason, they must now fight each other. That’s it. You get nothing more than that to go off of, which is mostly fine considering this is a brawler a la Super Smash Bros. Melee, but c’mon. Try a little harder.

After a quick tutorial with your sensei, an old man who speaks in broken English, your only gameplay options are to have an online match or a local match using friends on the couch or adding in bots to the mix. I tried twice to get an online match going, but it doesn’t seem like Atomic Ninjas has a huge fan base. The game came out in 2013, but it’s one of the newer additions to the PlayStation Plus family of downloads. At one point, someone did join my lobby, and their username had the word Vita in it, but they quickly left after nobody else showed up. Oh well. So it was off to experience this brawler via battling bots.

The main action plays out like this: you and three other players (or AI-controlled bots) are dumped into a somewhat small arena and must destroy each other by flinging them off the limited number of platforms and knocking them into the laser beams on the outskirts. Rinse and repeat, with a few different modes thrown in for good measure, like king of the hill or capture the flag. The premise remains the same, and the focus is always on multiplayer. There are three weapons to use (punch, shuriken, and a force grab to chuck boxes and knock foes back) and three gadgets (grappling hook, wall claw, and rocket-backpack) to help you traverse through the area quicker.

Alas, the action is repetitive and somewhat uninteresting against bots, and the arenas aren’t anything exciting to explore. The ninja costumes you unlock are just that, cosmetic, and don’t really add anything new to the experience. Also. the camera is zoomed in pretty far, which makes figuring out where enemies are a little difficult to discern. Lastly, there’s just not much to do other than what I’ve already described, and the rewards for leveling up are so minimal they might as well not exist at all. Sorry, Atomic Ninjas. Maybe you should have let that massive explosion take you in the end.

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.