Monday, February 25, 2013

BaD Sports Sunday: Superbowl Worthy Videogames The one day everyone agrees should be a national holiday is the one that isn't Feb 03, 2013 10:04AM PST

If you want to follow my thoughts on Twitter starting around 5pm, which I know you probably won't cause I think 75% of this site hates twitter, and there's only a handful of sports people I know of (I had to ask for a password to twitter today just to get into my acct., since I never use it, and I'm watching for the ads mostly cause I don't care about the teams playing, so I'm not making fun, I'm mostly with you guys on this, it's just kind of a special day in the U.S., y'know?) follow @genresrforposer for my Superbowl updates and quips and such.  

As for this blog, I'd like to talk to you all about football videogames I've actually liked. I have from time to time found Madden, Gameday (remember those?) etc. amusing for exhibition matches, even if I found my opponent's insistence on tweaking every goddamn detail about his team and players prior to actually fucking playing a little irritating! Just pick a team and go, you make fun of RPG players for being stat-obsessed nerds and pull this shit?! But I'm talking about the football games I genuinely spent time playing and enjoying, even if my older brother or a host wasn't badgering me to pick up a Player 2 controller. 

For starters, here's what I had t say about the NES game 10 Yard Fight in my original My Gaming Timeline blog: 

"Aside from Mario though, most of the rest of my older brother's library was sports titles I've never seen on consoles since, including 10 Yard Fight, a football game that barely even tries resembling the actual game of football, Double Dribble, a basketball game, and Baseball Simulator 1,000. 

10 Yard Fight is memorable for often being the most fun I had with a friend playing NES, cause it was two player in a way you could both play at the same time (defense/offense), and its simplicity is a large part of what made it so fun. There wasn't any complicated playbook, just get the ball to the endzone without getting tackled."

"Whoever is playing this knows what they're doing; I did not"

Disregarding that there were plenty of games at the time where two players didn't mean taking turns, (I think I meant you didn't have to wait for the other player to make a call from his playbook, but didn't quite get that message across very well, obviously), this is a huge aspect of what will make me like your sports game: removing any reason for your opponent to spend 30 minutes tweaking things beforehand, and just throwing everyone into the actual fun part of your game. 

!0-Yard Fight had the decency not only to make itself a kick-off and go game, simple and only stopping its action on downs. Have I ever mentioned I played basketball, football, rugy, tennis, and soccer, and basketball and rugby were my favorites, partly for this reason? And y'know, I was actually a good shot at basketball, so that's why it was my favorite, but rugby I was pretty mediocre at, and I still enjoyed it cause there was less gear to put on prior and less stopping suring the game.

But hey, play-calling is on a timer, and it can add a layer of strategy, so while I appreciated 10 Yard Fight's insanely simple gameplay, that didn't mean I disliked playing NFL Blitz, with its simple play-calling. 

His strategy: Having the song "Sex is on Fire" by Kings of Leon playing in his head ALL THE TIME

Granted, when I played football in real life in the 7th grade, my weakest point as a player was not knowing what the hell I was doing when anything got more complicated than than the disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman telling me to "kill this mothafucka!" from somewhere in the future, cause the movie Wanted with Angelina Jolie was years away. Turns out book smarts didn't translate to knowing football strategies, although apparently it did provide me with some kind of pop-culture induced schizophrenia. Thus, I distinctly remember one time playing this in the arcade, and my friend Michael calling my defensive plays for me, cause when I did it, it was too easy to destroy my team, and stopped being fun for him.

Not that I cared, I just loved how fast the game was, and the visuals of people on fire and intense tackles really drove home the experience. Everyone ran a hell of a lot faster than in most simulation football games, and almost every tackle resulted in a hilarious dog pile of often flammable players. I play videogames because I want insane things to happen that can't in real life, so I appreciated it when sports games actually accomplished this.



Finally, there is one game that my older brother and I could wholeheartedly agree on both in real life, and when he wanted to throw on a football game he owned into his PS1 and have someone to play with (this one I actually played on my own as well). 

Tackles against walls: My favorite thing about going to an arena to watch this sport live


While Jerry Jones seems to care more about rapping in local Papa John's commercials than whether the Dallas Cowboys can get through a playoff season, and I care more about Jerry Jones rapping in local Papa John's commercials than whether the Cowboys can get through a playoff season at this point (not that I don't like them as a Dallas native, and wish they were doing well, I'm just not seeing that that's going to happen), I did always love going to Dallas Desperados games. 

Now usually, I don't get the appeal of watching sports live, cause we're usually higher up or somewhere in the middle, and I just watch the jumbotron anyway. As an introvert, I don't understand the appeal of having 10,000 people gathered in what is essentially the same setting as my living room would be.

But when we went to Dallas Desperados, an arena football team's, games, I absolutely got into it. For those of you that don't know, arena football is where the field is halved to 50 yards instead of 100, and there are walls on the sides of the playing field. When people get tackled against these walls, you hear it from way up high, and while many NFL fans considered this a stupid bastardization comparable to the short-lived XTREME Football League, or XFL for short, I thought it was fantastic and provided a much better reason for seeing it live. It was like watching a real life game of Blitz without the fire.

Speaking of Blitz, much of the reason I liked this game is because it had so many similarities to Blitz

It was much faster paced, the character models were similar, the field was shhorter, the walls again added some intensity to hits, and hell, I think it might have had the same engine. Plus, it highlighted the guy you were throwing to, which I found helpful, even if it was dumb strategically. 

While Blitz was available on home consoles, if I played it that way, it was only a rental, but I found myself loving having Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed around when my brother still lived at home. 



Featured: A Game based on a real sport. Seriously.

So if you haven't got the hint by now, I kind of prefer my games arcade style. Let me know yor favorite football titles, if you have any, in the comments!


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