Game Review: Bowled over by Rocket League

The biggest compliment I can pay Rocket League is that I’ve not played FIFA since I bought it.

The biggest compliment I can pay Rocket League is that I’ve not played FIFA since I bought it.

For the past five or so years, video games have probably been stretching beyond me. The technical nouse and sheer detail that many sports and racing games have mean that for someone without a massive amount of time to get embroiled in the finer detail, they become a little bit laborious.

That is certainly the case for me with recent NHL and Madden titles, for instance. On NHL, I yearn for the old days of the “two button” style format, where I could simply use the pad for direction and the buttons for the array of options (e.g. shoot, pass, check etc).

Now it’s analog stick this, analog stick that. And when you’ve been gaming for 20+ years, habits are hard to change.

I can just about get by with FIFA, such has been my addiction to it for the entire of those two decades, but it feels when I play games like NHL that my almost stubbornness against the right analog stick is a restriction.

But Rocket League has almost rekindled my love for video gaming and took me back to my youth.

Such a simple game, the object of which is to knock a ball in to a goal using a car, it is wonderfully addictive, yet comes with out the nuisances and stresses that the more advanced sports and racing games come with (I’m looking at you, F1).

I play Rocket League for fun. For enjoyment. FIFA at times is far from that.

And to be honest, I’m useless at it. But I don’t mind.

I’d probably compare my Rocket League style to your mum trying to park in ASDA car park.

But by god, the joy you feel when you do something right or score a goal, that’s what video gaming is about.

The buttons are fairly simple (or at least, the ones I know). You need R2 to drive forward, circle to boost, X to jump. 

The amount of times I jump too early, often in excitement, is infuriating.

And I’ve probably missed more sitters and scored more own goals than I’d care to mention.

But it’s a game that’s continually got me looking to fill spare 10 minutes with a couple of games. Something that I haven’t had the urge to do for a long time.

My stats so far:

48 games
16 wins
33 goals
14 assists
2 saves
4 mvps
50 shots on goal

One of my most recent games perhaps best sums up my experience on Rocket League.

2-1 down, I then plough forward and score straight from the kick-off, which in my opinion is akin to scoring a punt return on NFL.

Moments later, I score the most embarrassing of own goals, where I take the ball from the sidelines inside, and then manage to put it in to the back of my own goal while desperately trying to save it.

But then I managed to redeem myself on one of the rare occasions I managed to time a jump right, chucking in a flip to power a ball home.

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