Foosball 2012 wasn’t the most exciting prospect, in all honesty. A videogame adaption of a tabletop game I’ve mostly only ever played whilst intoxicated or incredibly bored isn’t something on my must buy list. However, I came into the game with an odd sense of positivity, that Foosball 2012 could easily overcome its slightly tedious nature and make a good home for itself on the PSN with some quick thrills at a cheap price. The simplicity of Foosball would let itself quite well to a small downloadable title, surely? Oh how wrong I was.
Booting up the game we’re introduced to the menu screen and, naturally, I select the tutorial first and begin my jaunt through these inane guides that don’t really help beyond giving the player chance to try striking the ball with their foosmen without playing against the computer, leaving me feeling like I learned but the most basic movements in the game, which weren’t exactly fantastically responsive. I then headed over to start the world tour and first experienced just how joyless Foosball 2012 can be. The controls are flat out horrible on the dualshock 3 pad when pitted against an opponent as they simply do not give the player any sense of real control. Passing is a ridiculous affair that feels completely pointless and hardly ever works which leads to mindless shooting up the table in hopes of your other foosmen intercepting the ball, instead of feeding it straight to the opponent. Not that matters, however, as the opponent AI is atrocious, with own goals being frequently scored even on the hardest difficulties. I even experienced 6 own goals in a row during a medium difficulty match which is flat out ludicrous, which occurred after the AI decided that passing the ball between the entire of the back row for a full 30 seconds was a good idea.
Progression through the world tour mode is straight forward and incredibly tedious, simply push forward through increasingly harder matches that have slightly higher ball counts or goal counts and hope you don’t fall asleep as you slap at the right analogue stick and blindly using trick shots in hopes of scoring yet another goal against the clueless AI. It’s an uninspired way of progression but at the very least it unlocks extras which can be used to edit your foosmen or give new options for multiplayer modes. Customisation is most likely the games strongest point, though not completely encompassing. The different stages, foosmen and balls make for some fun twists on the multiplayer game but it’s just thin glossing over an incredibly tedious base.
The online matchmaking system is quick and, if players are actually on, then getting a game is nice and swift. However, the few games I played weren’t terribly pleasurable due to some lag slightly souring the experience combined with the fact special moves were massively overpowered, completely dominating the flow of the game. It’s a decent enough mode but not something that I can see anyone playing more than a few times.
Graphically Foosball 2012 is fairly bland as there is only so much you can with a foosball table, though it would’ve been nice to see some actual player avatars and, possibly, be able to customise outfits and such, adding some personality to an incredibly sparse game lacking any real sense of personality as, while the customisations are welcome, they never feel anything beyond frivolous, tacky add-ons. Audio is generally standard and works perfectly well, whilst the track list is diverse enough to never bore but never enough to excite leaving it to become background sounds you hardly even consider.
Foosball 2012 would struggle to even be an average game without the horrendous AI and graphical glitches that make controlling the ball an utter hassle. No, the lack of a decent single player mode, horrible controls and overpowering special moves ruin most of the offering before these other problems. Perhaps if you’re an avid Foosball player who enjoys using hotdogs in place of traditional Foosmen this may tide you through until you can afford a table in your own home, for everyone else ignore this irrelevant waste of time no matter how enticing the price tag and cross-play features are.
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