Stretch out those arms, limber up those wrists because it’s time to play Pro Foosball from the developers Quirkat. First thing I need to mention is that this game is meant to be played using the Move controller to get the full experience which unfortunately I don’t own but it’s still possible to play the game with a regular control pad.
There are some things about this game that surprised me, none more so than the fact that I found this game to be more fun to play than I had expected. The game always feels fresh when you start a new match as the appearance of the tables and players change each time, this gives the impression that you are playing at a different table. There are a wide selection of backgrounds to enjoy from the beach to a typical arcade, each with their own unique players. To make things more fun there are some game changers that add to the challenge such as no walls, low gravity tables, magnetic players, bumpy table etc but my favourite part of the game is the instant replay after scoring a goal.
There are two things about this game that does spoil the fun factor for me slightly; the first is that I am somewhat of a trophy hunter and if you’re like me then I should warn you that some of the trophies have glitches and may take more than one attempt to unlock them. For example, there is a bronze medal for scoring a snake shot which I did a couple of times in one match but I didn’t get the trophy for it until I started a new game. After restarting the console the trophy finally popped up after I scored the 6th snake shot goal. The second point that spoiled the experience was that I expected to be able to customise my own team, create a name and the way they look but unfortunately there isn’t an option for this but maybe it’s something they could bring out in the next game?
There are quite a number of reasons why this game is worth spending some time on and the downloadable content also added to my enjoyment, for starters when I began playing this game I had no idea what I was doing and the free training mode helped me practice and find out which formation of the players were best suited for myself. The ability to change the formation when you felt it was necessary also made the game play easier. Because I had to learn how the game worked from scratch I had to stick to easy mode at first, which I recommend starting on the ‘learn how to play the game’, this mode allows you to get a bit of assistance with the placement of your players which means the players will be in the right place at the right time, but this doesn’t always happen as the goalies are never where I want them to be.
Pro Foosball offers three game modes to select from: Kick About is where you can choose a table and the difficulty and away you go. Foo’s Championship is where you face off against the AI and as you progress the difficulty rises, think of it like playing a whole season on FIFA, Championship mode also allows you to continue where you left off even if you lose the match, but even with this the Foo’s Championship will still take a few hours to finish. Finally, we have Foo’s Madness which is similar to Kick About but there are a lot more game options you can change and put in some crazy game changers which is personally my favourite part of the game. The types of game changers you can implement in the game includes the types of foosball you wish to use, they can range from the standard ball to a rubber ball which bounces all over the place, to a metal ball which is slower but also harder.
I found that it stayed true to the real game; you have to position your players and time that perfect shot to pull off special moves, passes and goals, and you won’t last long just spinning the rods throughout the game; there are rules introduced such as fouls and penalties for excessive rod spinning or passing the ball too much without any forward play. When it comes to the control scheme of the game there are two options, using either Move or the control pad, I only have the control pad but once I got to grips with the controls I was finally able to score my first goal, which after a few game of getting my butt kicked by the AI felt amazing to finally get the action replay. The game allows for up to 4 players in one match and each are able to choose which control method they wish to use. While there are these controller choices, the learning curve for each is quite a steep one. At first it will feel like you’ll never get the hang of it, which is how I felt, but given time and practice you should be able to get the hang of it.
I felt that the graphics were at a high standard, with particular attention and detail given to the players’ appearance, the scenery for each location is nice in appearance and the tables themselves feel solid and look the part. The quality of the game is also helped by the sounds effects which again are true to life and help elevate the game to a realistic standard. I did feel that after a while of playing the game the music seemed very generic and boring, granted the music is meant as an ambient music but it can still grind after a while. The game also gives multiple language support covering most of the EU countries that this game is available in.
As a whole, the game definitely has more pros than cons which means I will continue to play to get those trophies. The graphics are great and you can see that the developers, Quirkat, made an effort with the detail of the game and keeping it as realistic as possible. However, I did find this game to be very slow paced at times, especially during Championship mode and that the game would probably be much more enjoyable if I had the Move controller and others to play against. Pro Foosball is available to download now from the PlayStation Network for £4.19.