Tag Archives: PlayStation Vita

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.

Sate your alien hunger in Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

I’ve never understood anyone more than when they say that they don’t like to eat. I mean, c’mon now. Eating is universal, providing heterotrophic organisms with energy, which allows for growth. Or maybe this is me being hypersensitive to food and nom nom nom-ing delicious things after spending more than a year working hard to lose weight and keep my calorie intake in check. For those curious, I’ve dropped almost fifty pounds by managing everything that goes into my mouth and doing my best to avoid downfalls like devouring an entire box of Cheez-Its in one sitting or having a bowl of pasta for every meal. Either way, I’m all for that eating, which is probably why I relate intimately with the green alien blob in Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack.

See, the little green alien blob thing you control in Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, which is a cataclysmic science-fiction puzzle-platformer if you ever needed a crazy mouthful of varying genre labels, has an insatiable appetite. Also, mutant powers, like the ability to cling to metal walls or squeeze through tiny gaps or grow in size after consuming enough food slash junk slash people. There are also mini-games to contend with that reminded me a bit of Marble Madness, with an overhead perspective and the goal being to get the green gluttonous ball to the level’s exit without falling into any holes; they are super short, but a lot of fun. Otherwise, your mission is to reach the end of the level, bypassing puzzles or platforming sections, eating up whatever gets in your way along the way.

I’m about halfway through Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack and enjoying it quite a bit. The game is broken up into a bunch of worlds, each with their own specific count of levels. Personally, I prefer the more traditional platforming sections, where the goal is to get enough substance inside your gelatinous body to move forward. There are parts where you gain the ability to rocket around in zero gravity, and I found the controls less precise–most likely on purpose–and harder to handle there. I’m currently in the fourth world, the Badlands, and I have to wonder if I’ve seen all of this game’s tricks; if so, that’s perfectly fine, as the levels are relatively short to get through and too many gimmicks would complicate things. Also, I will not be going back to rescue the missing friend collectibles, no matter how cute or sad they look. Sorry, little blobs.

It’s got a cool retro style mimicking the look and sound of the 1940s and 1950s, which, while I never personally got to experience in the flesh, is an aesthetic I find interesting nonetheless. Some other noted examples: Fallout 3, L.A. Noire, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Well, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack comes from Drinkbox Studios, which is a name I now associate with going all in on style, having later put out the tough yet rewarding platformer Guacamelee!, which, let the record show, I did beat. Oh, and did you know they are making a Guacamelee! 2? Anyways, like that first game, this has some nods to other indie titles, such as with the Phil’s Fish restaurant or  billboard advertisement for Awesomenuts, and these are cute to find as you push your blob hero forward towards greater consumption.

Will completing Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and finally gets me to try out my copy of Katamari Damacy that I’ve had for years? Will I ever stop hungering for things like Cheez-Its and bowls of noodles? Will 2018 be our true downfall wherein we are consumed wholly by large, green alien blobs bent on the destruction of mankind? Stay tuned for answers, maybe.