I was a table football champion when I was younger. I won our local youth club’s table football tournament, and won a trip to Wembley stadium for my efforts! You can probably imagine then that Table Football is something I really grew to love playing. But enough about my bragging, I am here to review a game! Foosball 2012, developed by 3Division and Grip Games, is a faithful recreation of Table football for your PS Vita and also for PS3, with the added bonus of if you buy one version of Foosball 2012, you get the other version for free. I already have a good feeling about this…
The game is split into Quick match, World Tour and Online Multiplayer modes, with a tutorial mode to help you get to grips with the basics. The tutorial is split into sections covering ball control, defending and teaching you how to attack and utilise the various bonus shot types available to you as you progress through the main game. The tutorial does not give you a full table to practise on, it gives you a small section with only a handful of foosmen to practise your skills on, rather than overwhelming you with the full table to start with. This makes you focus on the moves you are performing within a tight area. The other side of this, however, is that it takes a little time to get used to controlling a full team properly in Quick Match or World Tour and being able to keep up with the action as it switches from goal to goal can be frustrating to start with, the good news though is that if you go through the World Tour, your first opponents are very easy to beat, and this gives you a good chance to put into practise what you have learnt from the tutorial, and marry it up with learning to use your whole team.
World Tour is where you will play various teams from across the world in table football matches that vary in their rules and difficulty. Triumphing against 1 team unlocks another for you to play against and there are a total of 20 teams to play against, all with varying skill levels, and each having a different rule set or customisation option for you to unlock once beaten. How well you beat your opponent also determines how many stars you unlock, with a maximum of 3 stars available per team, these stars can then be used to purchase Skillshots which you can use against your opponents.
Quick Match is a relatively simple affair that has you play a simple game against the A.I. that you are able to customise before hand. Number of goals, difficulty, ball type and table type can all be customised depending on what you have unlocked in World Tour.
Controls are relatively easy once you are through the initial tutorial, with the left and right analogue sticks used for controlling your foosmen and the direction of the ball, the action buttons are only assigned to skill shots once you have unlocked them through the main game. Touch is not used and the gyroscope is used when the ball rolls to a standstill and cannot be reached by any foosmen, you jiggle the Vita in a direction to get the ball moving again.
Ball physics seem to be spot on and the sound that the ball makes is equally realistic, knocking the ball around the table certainly brings back memories for me, particularly as the ball hits the back of the goal and runs down the chute. Online Multiplayer games are simple 1 match affairs that you can play publicly or privately against people from around the world, there is also a simple levelling system that rewards wins with XP, which help you level up. Downloadable content comes in the form of skill shot packs and bonus city packs which grant you the skill shots and bonus cities for a small fee rather than you trade in stars for them through the main game.
Cross Buy is also supported here… Yay! Which means that if you buy the PS3 or PS Vita version, then you get the other version for free! Cross Save is also a welcome addition, meaning that you can play at home on the PS3 and then take your game on the go, right from where you left off and vice versa.
I enjoyed playing Foosball in short bursts, but unfortunately if you do not enjoy Foosball as much as I do, then you may not get much out of this game. Apart from all the customisation options, which unfortunately are all cosmetic, there is not much else to bring you back. The game though offers a fast paced recreation of Table Football that can feel hectic yet enjoyable. Once you’ve smashed a goal in from defence it feels brilliant, and yet to pull off skillshots is a one button press that is more about timing than just randomly mashing buttons in a frenzy.
I would love to recommend Foosball 2012 to anyone but I’m not sure everyone would enjoy it. My table football past means that I have an appreciation for this and I genuinely had a great time playing through the World Tour, but after that there just isn’t anything that draws you back. For all Table football enthusiasts I cannot recommend this game enough, but for everyone else…. Give the trial a go first.
At A Glance
- Title: Foosball 2012
- Publisher: Grip Games
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: Yes
- Cross Play: Yes
- Online Multiplayer: Yes
- Memory Card Space Needed: 151Mb