Despite the prevalence of the FIFA franchise on most consoles, as well as a plethora of other football games the PS Vita has only had a handful of what could be thought of as “mainstream” football games. Four titles in the FIFA series (two of which were Legacy versions), a modern reworking of the 16-bit classic Kick Off, and a few others. But where the Vita has seemed to have fared better is with the more quirky football games…
Zen Pinball 2: Super League Football
Arguably the best pinball game released for the PS Vita, Zen Pinball 2 from Zen Studios delivered a staggering number of tables to players. The arcade style tables delivered fast gameplay with over-the-top visuals, sound and animated on-table characters giving it a unique look and feel. While a few tables were original designs, the majority were licensed from TV, film and comic book characters with an impressive range of Star Wars tables amongst them.
As part of those came the Super League Football set of tables. Released individually, each of these tables were licensed from a number of major clubs from across Europe. Taking a completely different approach to any of the previous tables Zen Studios had created, gameplay in Super League Football took the form of an actual football match, complete with goal scoring, penalty shoot-outs, throw-ins and free kicks. With superb visuals and an astonishing soundtrack accompanied by a full commentary and crowds this made for one of the best tables available for Zen Pinball.
Ganbare! Super Strikers
One of the final games released for the PS Vita from Ratalaika Games and probably the most original we’ve seen on the Vita. Ganbare! Super Strikers is a hybrid blend of football and tactical RPG style gameplay. The game uses the RPG style mechanics to play the game, allowing you to earn experience and develop your players skills and abilities. It’s a unique take on the game and allows it to appeal far beyond the sports genre.
This is also the only game featured on this list to have seen a physical release, courtesy of Eastasiasoft. They produced a limited edition release of the game which contained the game cartridge, manual and soundtrack CD.
Growing up, before computer and console games were capable of delivering good quality multiplayer games, we had to rely on alternative options to play indoor versions of our favourite sports. Motorsports were well catered for with Scalextric, Aurora and TCR (anyone remember the second and third ones?), cricket fans had Test Match and for football we had Subbuteo.
This was long before the “football” variants appeared on the Pong clones, but thanks to the Vita’s AR cards that shipped with the console when it was first released, Table Football manages to recreate Subbuteo right in your living room just without the worry of finding all the broken players which we all had to contend with over the years! It’s just as fun as the original was, and best of all it’s absolutely free so download it while you can and get your football predictions in as to who the best team will be – you or the CPU!
Foosball, or table football as most refer to it outside of the USA, is still as popular today as it’s always been. It’s easy to see why – as far as real tables are concerned, it’s a fun sociable game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and can be picked up and played by absolutely anyone. There’s no need to be a football fan to enjoy playing it and the physical tables themselves are affordable enough so absolutely anyone could own them.
This PS Vita adaptation not only managed to capture the gameplay superbly, but added plenty of options to keep the game fresh as well as bright, bold visuals to make it look great too. Playing a game like this on a console isn’t for everyone though as some still might prefer the real thing.
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Well these are some of our favourites, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments.