Monday, April 25, 2005

Like a swift kick in the groin...

Hope everyone had a happy draft weekend, that is unless you're a football fan of anyone other than the Cincinnati Bengals - in which case I hope your draft sucked. I posted thoughts on how my Bengals did over at Maddenmania, which all-in-all translated over to a B+...pretty close to Kiper's A- rating (he's wrong, I'm right). But now my fingers are much too tired to post anything else related to the draft, so I've saved my last few keystrokes for this blog and useless video game talk.

Anyway! Hey check it - I played NASCAR: Chase for the Cup all night last night and only drank 1 beer! Amazing!

So ya, I've been farting around auto racing since last Thursday night, working to achieve a 100% rating in another game I likely never will. When I received the game complimentary of the EA Sports online community leaders program back in August, I raced online against other leaders and ran up an impressive 18-0 record that I haven't touched since (you just hate losing perfection sometimes). Offline, I was playing the "Fight to the Top" mode pretty hardcore before I drifted back off into NCAA Football 2005 and the newest Tiger Woods (coincidentally enough another game I'll never achieve 100% game progress in), and in it I was up to 13% from a combination of Trophy Progress, Thunder Plates unlocked and Challenges completed. Now I'm up to 34%, and I assume I'll be racing to my little hearts desire for the next few nights while I recover from the online mortality I was faced with last week.

Chase to the Cup is really a great game. Back when I was previewing I gave it fantastic marks and had a great time with it, but my blind loyalties to football often clouds my judgement on great games (for instance I'm still like 54% thru GTA: SA - or better known as the 3rd game of this article I'll never achieve 100% on). I'll always remember testing it - we were running easy mode (no damage to cars and whatnot) and I was early-on the only one who raced with any consistency (only like 8 online people at this point). We qualified for Watkins Glen much to the other 3 people's dismay, and I was the only one who qualified near the front (was like #9 or something). Well, WG starts down a straightaway and makes a near 90ยบ right turn - so, I'm falling in line heading into it, and out of the corner of my right eye I see 3 cars plowing thru the grass infield and completely destroying the first 8 cars, I think even one of them went flying over the wall - to be listening in on that microphone conversation is one of those "had to be there" moments, but I'm sure you can get an idea of the hilarity that race caused.

I mentioned my earlier mortality in MVP '05 - lemme tell ya it was a major-ass kick in the groin if I've ever had one...

First, I get challenged by Lord Unk, a baller ranked #186 in the world. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I accept and it's on like Donkey Kong. I scored in the first inning after loading the bases with 3 singles to start the game, but my inability to score more than 1 came from inability to suddenly hit long fly balls to get the job done for tag-ups and whatnot. In the bottom of the first (oh ya, I'm Florida he's Chicago), he hits a solo HR with Nomar (the irony) to tie it up at 1-1. Top of the 2nd I'm still all over this guy, putting up 2 more runs on 5 base hits, he in the bottom half of the inning hits a 2-run HR after fake bunting a 3-1 count to get me to throw a yellow X-ball to put a runner on board.

3-3 in the bottom of the 5th, I go to Alfonseca. Patterson leads off with a single, and Hairston comes up and fake bunts for ooooooooohh, I dunno, 3 minutes until my cursor disappears. Make no mistake I don't need a cursor to throw strikes, but all of a sudden I can't stop my pitching cursor and throw 4 consecutive balls to walk Hairston...then the same fake bunt bullshit to Nomar. Finally the fake bunts lead me to throwing a meatball to Burnitz, who jacks a single into LF for the game winner. Fun...

Looking for redemption I challenge a low ranked like 5-9 record guy, and he swings at EVERY pitch I throw the entire game. Johnny Damon leads off with a lineout to RF, and after that I never again throw a strike - striking out the next 15 batters on 3 straight strikes out of the zone. Unfortunatley for me, he's throwing nothing but sliders, curveballs and change-ups with Curt Schilling and I can't get anything out of the freakin' infield. In the top of the 6th, I accidentally throw a high fastball that apparently doesn't go far enough outside of the strike zone to where Damon again cracks it, this time over the right field fence - and then I can't score in the bottom half, losing 1-0.

Next game (I'm using "Play Now" btw, broadband only/any rank), I get Like a Mug1, who gets the Royals against my Reds and throws Zach Greinke - who throws a 56 mph curveball. Impossible. He threw an occasional fastball (when he had 2 strikes and wanted to throw it high), but he basically just did change-up/curveball/slider - and the curve/slider both being red out of the pitcher's hand should just be illegal. I won 1-0 on an accidental single to RF by Austin Kearns.

Like I mortality? I can't hit, and that's apparently cause I don't hold up on the stick the entire game and wait for that one mistake - see, it's like a swift kick in the groin.


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