It isn’t too often that a Foosball game comes along, and its even less frequent when one shows up that actually might be good. Typically, they’re part of some minigame collection and wind up being some half-done affair that you dabble with for 25 minutes and forget about until the end of time. That’s where Foosball 2012 comes in.
Foosball 2012 is one of those rare occasions where a developer manages to take a board game and port it over to a console without losing the feel of the game or making it terribly complicated. When you boot up the game, you’ll know exactly what to do from the start. That being said, Foosball is a game of precision. You have a series of four rods being rapidly spun, waiting for a hole in your opponents defense. Its fast and requires utter precision. Doing this with a controller, or even Move controller, can be difficult.
Speaking of Move control, in most cases motion control simplifies a game and allows for more people to enjoy it. In this case, the opposite seems to be true. Using the Move wands allows you to very faithfully replicate the feeling of pushing, pulling and twisting the rods in real life to send you ball flying across the table. This is surprisingly my favorite way to play the game and is a great example of getting Move right.
Despite the simple premise of the game, the World Tour mode does its best to give us enough to do to keep us returning the the game. The tables are fairly varied in style and layout. You’ll find old-school looking tables as well as more contemporary tables as you play through World Tour.
In World Tour mode, each game has a different win condition that actually does keep things from getting repetitive. While most matches require ten goals to win, some will limit the game to ten balls with the victor having the most goals when there are no balls left. There’s also this thing called “fireball” in which the foosball is replaced with.. a fireball. It doesn’t really change anything in the game, but it does look neat. The later tables get a little on the ridiculous side, with things like hotdogs replaces your men.
Players earn stars by competing in World Tour that can be used to purchase trick shots and access to new cities. These can also be purchased via the Playstation Store. This might come across as a negative to some and honestly feels a bit weird to me. Classic Foosball moves like the snake shot and pull shot can only be executed by pressing one of the face buttons and having the game do them for you, because you lack of direct control over your men. The thing is, to even execute one of these moves you must either earn the right to use them or by that right with actual money. You can earn them in game, so that keeps it from feeling like an utter money-grab. Frankly, the trick shots feel a bit tacked on as well.
Foosball 2012 is the best foosball adaptation we have gotten. Beyond that, it is one of the better table sports video games that we have seen in a while and can actually stand up against the stronger pinball games out there. This probably isn’t something you’ll sit down and play for hours, but I could see myself busting this out on a commute or when I might have 15 minutes to spare. Then again, bust out some Move wands, some beers and have some buddies over and you might just have a pretty good time. Throw in the fact that $7.99 gets you the PS3 version and the identical Vita version bundled together and you have a pretty decent deal.