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Steve Plays Some Video Games

YOU GUYS! I didn’t write an article last month – ARGH! I am SO SORRY! I’ve been a little bit distracted, over on my podcast someone’s trying to kill me due to a typo.  Subscribing and reviewing may or may not save me, I don’t know how these things work (but here’s a link to iTunes if you want to give it a try, me and my Mom thank you very much!). But rest assured while I draw breath I shall write about entertaining things! This month I’m going to write about something very near and dear to the site – video games!

So to be upfront, I am not much of a gamer. I used to be, back in the day. To date myself a little, I peaked during the Playstation 1 days, and the final system I owned was the Nintendo Game Cube. The last system I consistently played was the PS2. I THINK I may have played either the PS3 or the Xbox 360, or maybe even both, but if so it was for like five minutes tops. Every now and then I’d play a random old school arcade game I’d come across, or on a trip to my parents I’d bust out my also old school Sega Genesis, but by in large my gaming days are behind me. Back in the spring though I did a guest stint on The OT over on Play Some Video Games with my totally awesome -dare I say incredible – buddy Mo, and quickly came to the conclusion that I missed video games! After my stint I just knew I had to play some games and write about them here, and things finally came together on a trip home to visit family and friends.

I played the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch, so today I’m going to write about my PS4 experience, with the Switch to follow. My PS4 journey kicked off the only way it could, with two of my best friends in the world, Andy and Greg. When I played video games regularly I was playing with largely these guys. We did it all, from the original Nintendo up to the PS2. Due to life doing it’s whole getting in the way thing, I only see them about twice a year now. I can’t even remember the last time we played a video game, but after we finished up a round of cards I said, “hey, what video games do you have?” and just like that we reverted right back into way back gamer mode…sort of. One of the main games we played was Madden, so naturally that was the first game we turned to (Madden 18 to be specific). I remember having to wait for things to load, but that was nothing compared to the slew of screens we had to click through just to play. I might be exaggerating a little, but I think it took approximately 12 hours for us to start playing. Once we FINALLY got started, we came across a minor snag for most, but what would be a major snag in game 2 – the rosters. Our most steadfast rule from back in the day is that we HAD to play with the most current rosters. Of the 9,000 screens and options that popped up, the one useful one to us – update rosters – didn’t work. We think it’s because the game doesn’t update the rosters after a certain point so you have to buy the next one. For our first game, it didn’t matter so much. Andy went with his favorite team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while I went with my favorite video game team, the Tennessee Titans. Back in the height of my Madden years I was nigh unbeatable with the Titans. I think Madden was designed by Ohio State alumni, because Eddie George was an unstoppable juggernaut. I also had scramblin’ Steve McNair on my side, who had the magical ability to be able to roll out to one side of the field and then be able to throw accurate touchdown bombs across his body to the opposite side of the field. I thought with these Titans they might be relatively comparable, with Marcus Mariota at QB and Derrick Henry at RB (RB note – I did not use the more Eddie George like but now retired DeMarco Murray per our adherence to roster accuracy, though I did leave no longer Titan Eric Decker in my starting lineup due to laziness). We found out after a minute or so of playing that the Madden games have GREATLY evolved, so we had to make adjustments so we could play a simple game. Even after the adjustments, I still stunk up the joint. I could kickoff well, and I did a good job punting, but even that was bittersweet, as I used to NEVER punt back in my peak Madden days. And I was able to make an extra point, which was impressive because we both found kicking to be quite difficult. And that’s about where the good things ended for me. I mean if you want to be nice you could say I played good D, since I lost 12-7. That was more so due to Andy’s also rust I think, he missed several field goals because kicking is hard. I couldn’t get anything going on the ground (Eddie George, where are you?!). While I did manage to throw a TD with Mariota (to the illegally starting Eric Decker), I also threw 4 INT’s. Sadly, this game went BETTER than game 2!

Game 2 took about seven years to start because Greg went with his favorite team, the Washington Redskins, while I went with the Minnesota Vikings because when you play at home with the Vikings there’s a Viking horn that constantly goes off and it’s the greatest thing ever (I tried to find a clip to link in but couldn’t find it, if you’ve ever played a Madden game you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, play a home game with the Vikings and thank me later). So remember our adherence to roster accuracy?  Yeah…so Washington signed Alex Smith and previous Washington QB Kirk Cousins now played for the Vikings (did NOT think of this when I picked the Vikings, I just wanted to hear the horn). So we got Smith onto Washington pretty easily, but the trouble came trying to get Cousins onto the Vikings. Cousins had an extremely high cap value (23 million or something like that). Every trade we tried got shut down because of Cousins high cap. After trying like 70 different things we FINALLY got Cousins onto the Vikings (I should have just said I was fine playing with Vikings backup Teddy Bridgewater, which I was). After all the trouble we went through trying to get Cousins onto the Vikings, how did he do? Worse than Mariota! I threw 5 INTERCEPTIONS! 5! I got shut out! I ran a little better with the Vikings than I did with the Titans, but not enough to do any damage. I only had one really good drive that ended with a missed field goal because kicking sucks. My D was still solid, again in part due to Greg’s rust, so I think the final was 13-0. But if you base your fantasy football picks purely off of how a very rusty ex-gamer does with a guy, do NOT draft Kirk Cousins!

So next up we played MLB: The Show. It was late when we started playing Madden and even later after the 40 years it took to get Cousins onto the Vikings, so we were leery about trying to play a full game. Luckily, there weren’t nearly as many screens to click through like in Madden, AND they had a Home Run Derby option that allowed for multiple players, so we went with that. Unlike Madden, which was still tricky even in simplified mode, the HR Derby was simple – just hit O to swing! We played 2 separate contests, which operate in tournament mode, 1 player plays the computer while the other 2 square off. The first one, Andy beat the computer and I beat Greg. In the finals, our homers disappeared! I didn’t hit a single homer! Andy needed just 1 homer to win, which he eventually got, but it took awhile to get. In the second game, we picked more homer friendly guys (Greg picked Mike Trout, Andy went with Edwin Encarnacion, and I went with Hall Of Famer Willie Freaking Stargell, available as a legends option (Go Pirates!). We randomly picked Mark Reynolds of the Washington Nationals for the computer. The derby takes place in Washington because that’s where the All Star Game was this year. Powered by home field advantage (I guess?), Reynolds crushed Greg. Andy out homered me. I recovered somewhat from my zero homer debacle last time, with a respectable 5, but honestly I felt like a winner for getting to play with Pops. The computer didn’t make it easy for Andy, but Andy ended up winning the Derby. It was really late after that so we called it a night.

I’ve just realized I played so many video games they can’t be contained in this article! I’ll write up the other PS4 games I played in another article soon. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be making the Minnesota Viking horn sound!

Steve Waldinger
I write comedy & comics! See also where I co-create live improvised comics, &, the podcast I co-host! Find me on Twitter and Instagram - @stevewaldinger

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