thecubsfan.com

the 19 point comeback

Sep
20

We played last night. I wish we could fit more games in, but somehow these seem to go an hour each. Too many incomplete passes?

09: Chiefs 42 – Cardinals* 14
10: Bears* 22 – Chiefs 19

If you read those box scores, you can tell I sucked big in the 1st game, didn’t look good for the first half of the second game, and somehow turned it around it around in the second game. I did figure it out, but I don’t know if it’s a fair thing to explain here. (I can point out looking at the stats, so I think you can figure it out if you really need to know.) I can tell you that, by about mid 2Q in the second game, I was 100% frustrated and completely hating the game. That changed about the time of the first TD catch.

I was wondering why Jake didn’t try to freeze me on the game winning FG, but that’s another story. What was the deal with your kicking, anyway? The XPs were looking bad all game, till the one you actually missed, and that could’ve changed the second game quite a bit.

For the guy who asked last time, these stats are from Madden on PS2. Once you’re online, there’s a place where you can go to change settings and, in there, there’s a place to request stats to be sent to you after the game. You have to just give them an e-mail address to work with (or a cell phone #, but who would do that?). In the past, it seemed to take a 20 so minutes for the box scores to get to you, but they’ve been there about instantly after the game this year. (They’ll also update you on your ranking or level points or whatever – since it’s just me and Jake splitting games, it doesn’t really change much for me.)

Madden ’07 online

Sep
07

For the sake of fairness, I shall now post the box scores from today’s Jake vs me Madden 07 games.

Chiefs/Jake 31 – Seahawks/me 14
Chiefs/Jake 24 – Seahawks/me 14

I don’t want to talk about it.

(Except, for sure, this was actually the best experience I’ve had playing Madden ’07 online so far.)

gamefly gamequeue

Aug
18

Feely and I got to talking about this last night. I think it spurred out of my fervent belief that Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” was either borrowed from an RPG or very much must be the background music for some gigantic boss meeting. This is unarguable.

Anyway, I wanted new games, didn’t want to buy stuff and find myself bored with it, and was hypnotized by the constant GameFly ads. I’ve only gotten games for a few weeks, but I figured posting my current game queue is easy content, and I wanted to talk about some things I rented.

(more…)

X-Men Legends

Feb
03

So, I finished X-Men Legends…Wednesday? Maybe Tuesday? Now I can’t remember, but sometime this week.

It was okay – it was a satisfying 35-40 hours (which apparently means I was tremendously slow!), but I think I was left more remembering the flaws. Maybe I’m just a negative person! Here are complains on a game that was came out eons ago and are beside the point.

– I love the idea of a nominal single player game with the ability to multi player. I hate the idea of a single player game with levels you can only get by if you have two other people sitting around waiting to play.

The 400 Graduation exam and other stages on that level appeared to be impossible to complete unless two or more people were playing – there were objectives that conflicted with each other, and could not be done unless you each individual team member performed a different task, which is impossible with one person. It seemed awful cheap to me; you didn’t accomplish the missions by having a good idea of what you were doing, you won because you had live bodies at the controls.

I wouldn’t mind multi-player missions like those if you were able to give more specific and direct orders to your CPU teammates – being able to say something as simple as “defend this spot while I go over here” is all that was needed.

This tremendously annoyed me.

– by the midpoint of the game, you have 6-8 people available to make up your 4 person roster, but there was no real need to use everyone. Since everyone is tied together in for experience points and many powers overlap, it was too easy just to pick the same team for each mission – I stuck with Wolverine (healing factor), Cyclops (beam power + combo bonus), Jubilee (projectile special quickly powered to the max because the other specials weren’t bad) and a rotating fourth person based on need, but I

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Madden Dementia

Apr
23

Planned on heading out to the KC Cougars game tonight, but like the Cubs game, it got rained out. So I mostly screwed around and accomplished little instead. One of the things I wasted time with is my never ending Madden 2005 franchise.

My friend Jim is a huge Madden/EA fanatic for the GM Modes. Within a week of getting each year’s game, he will know the relative worth of every single player on the game, how he can acquire him for a trade, and how he could put together a team of Pro Bowlers in under an hour starting with any team, salary cap hits or not.

Which would be fine enough, and relatively useful as video game knowledge goes, except it doesn’t end there; last year, he spent three weeks trying to figure out the best All Rookie team he could put together, and knew the class inside and out by the end. On top of that, he was working, off and on, for about three months on a team with a perfect defensive record. By trading and playing, he wanted to go a couple season without giving up a single point. Sometimes he’d get as far as 11 games without doing it. Sometimes, he’d get four, delete, and restart because he just didn’t like the team. Amazingly (semi-insane) dedication.

Anyway, this deal he’s settled on started when he settled on a team long enough to sim out a season, and won a Superbowl as a slight surprise. And then he won again. And again. And again, all simming it and not playing it. Since he was on such a run, Jim decided to keep the franchise going, instead of just deleting and trying a different idea. Pretty good idea – last he told me, he was at 17 Super Bowls, in a row.

(#1 Piece of advice: trade for the 1st round picks of the worst team in the league at Week 6. Computer erroneously will overvalue your pick despite your better record, and if you’re good, you can pick up two 1st rounders. Helps to keep restocking if you get good picks.)

Back when he around 11 or 12, he was talking about his run and how he was starting to field mostly created guy teams, and it got me thinking about how I’ve never gone that far in Madden. (An article on VeteranPresence got me thinking the same thing.)

Madden games go like this for me
– start my own franchise
– figure out a few things on All Pro*, get a hang of the new year
– get way too into knocking off the madden challenge and mini camp things
– start a franchise with other, actual live people
– get good playing the computer a billion times in the franchise season between actual real games against people
– get more creative playing against real people
– occasionally go back to single player franchise, find out I can now stomp the computer at will, get bored without the carrot of eventually playing a real person
– move on to some other game

The multi-person franchises never go more than three or four years – this year, we’re going four somewhat against my interest at the time, and I’m gaining my revenge by breaking passing records with Matt Schaub – because it takes about four to six week to get thru a season if everyone’s around, and it feels kinda lame if we’re still playing by next year’s draft. (This year, we shall be lame.)

Jim’s franchise gave me an inspiration – I’ve been playing these games which hype a 30 year mode, and I’ve never gone past year 5, what am I missing? What are those wacky things you can buy? How does the game change when all the guys who started it are gone? What exactly happens after year 30? I thought I needed to find out.

I ended up picking up my franchise I’d otherwise discarded (Texans) and with an actual reason to keep playing, kept on going. Since I can’t stand the idea of putting so much effort into building a team and having the sim screw it up, I’m simming it up to the point where my team might be eliminated (either the start of the playoffs, or when it looks like I might not make the playoffs with another loss), and winning all the way out by myself.

I didn’t realize going in how fun it’d be to draft guys, improve them thru playing time, and watch the prosper into perennial pro-bowlers; you don’t see that as much in short franchises. Having coach after coach retire because they’ve got too many rings is neat, though it did lead to an agonizing ethical dilemma at one point: if he’s got the best numbers, can I ethically hire Brett Farve to be my head coach? (No. What was I thinking?) Building up quarterbacks, letting them to go when they want too much and there’s another on the way, and watching the be awesome on other teams is pretty satisfying; there’s something hilarious about causing Dave Ragone to be Farve’s successor, even if the other guys seem to end up coming back into my division.

I spent part of the night building my way to my 11th (or 12th?) championship, which started out as one of my worst teams (having parted with my #1 QB, #1 RB, #2 WR, and #2 CB mostly to let younger guys get playing time and improve), and I’m only a couple wins away as I take a moment to write this out.

The neat thing is I’m closing ground on Jim’s run of championships. See, he stopped playing for a while to pick up MVP – he’s trying for a season with zero losses.

I think I’ll draw the line there.

* I’d play All Madden if the AI was actually smarter and figured out you were running the same eight plays on that level; it just gets cheaper instead. Waste of time.

same play 4 ways

Feb
10

I forgot to post these – and I even won. I blame it on them taking forever to hit my mailbox, what’s up with the EA server.

ATL 26 – KC 3
ATL 35 – KC 21

Found a better team.

Alls I remember is the Chiefs getting two really bad break fumbles in the second game. And lots of Dunn running.

Got a couple new idea. Not ready to share them. Feeling slightly better about my play, but it needs a little more action. Gotta get home more than 3 days of 12, or I gotta start bringing the PS2 with me.

somehow ongoing madden tactics discussion

Jan
27

The “lots of passes” thing comes from playing humans.

The most effective defensive tactic against humans is to blitz a lot. Their eyes are usually focused on their primary receiver’s route, and they may not check to see who’s coming in and where they’re coming from, especially the first few times you blitz unexpectedly.

(if you don’t get there, though, high scoring games result)

The side effect of the vastly increased blitzing is increased first line run pressure – if they’ve got guys in the backfield before the handoff, running is going to suck. SEADAWG was also doing a lot of edge blitzing…and that’s where I normally like to run. Which made for lots of fun to watch two yard losses.

(outside running seems to get more medium+big gains than inside running.)

So passing looks better in comparison, and that’s before considering the biggest factor in playing human on human – human players are usually their worst enemy. Humans take more aggressive lines to tackler, dive more frequently, go for picks with no backup more frequently, and hit the wrong button on brain freeze more often. If you get a receiver the ball in the open field, your chances of making one or two DBs miss and outracing everyone to the endzone go way up when you’re playing a human. You’ve got to get to that open field on a run yourself, but on a pass, you may already be there. The value of an average pass goes way up.

What happened particularly here is I was blitzing a bunch, but Philly’s DBs were playing good man defense and getting deflections, so SEADAWG would go three and out. Then I’d get McNabb, and throw while running backwards or sideways, and the throw would miss by three yards each time, and I’d punt back. And the whole sequence would take up 45 seconds or so, which gave us plenty of time for fruitless drives under the two minute warning.

madden bowl

Jan
26

Box Score: thecubsfan 34, Jake 17
Box Score: thecubsfan 32, Jake 44

We’re 2-2 lifetime now.

I need to install the sub categories plugin already. Geeze.

I have a live game of some meaning on Thursday and I’m feeling very unconfident about it after these games. The first game only turned out the way it did because Freak was unstopable and improbably picking off balls at the line of scrimage. I played like crap on defense – too much Street, too many bad controls, I guess – and paid for it the second game.

Week 17 playoff scenarios

Dec
27

(as best I can hash out; let’s see if they’re right in the morning. Also, it’s horrible to think you’re done, and then realize Seattle may be involved. NFC may be screwed up)

NFC playoff scenerios

If St. Louis loses versus the Eagles
– St. Louis is OUT (no more than 7 wins)
– Seattle wins the NFC West
– Minnesota is IN (can not be passed by two teams)
– Carolina is IN with a WIN or TIE (3-2-1 division record would beat NO’s 2-3-1)
– NO is IN with a Win

If St. Louis wins versus the Eagles

– Minnesota is in with a WIN, or STL LOSS or NO/CAR Tie
– Carolina is in with WIN and SEA win or MIN loss (beat STL in week 14, better NFC record [7-5] than MIN [5-7])
– New Orleans is in with a WIN and either a STL LOSS or SEA WIN, or STL WIN and MIN LOSS and SEA LOSS (beat STL in week 3, better NFC record [6-6] than MIN [5-7])
– St. Louis is in with a WIN and MIN LOSS (better NFC record [7-5] than MIN [5-7]), wins the NFC West with a WIN and SEA loss
– Seattle wins the NFC West with a WIN or STL Loss, wins the 5th seed with a LOSS and a MIN loss

While there’s a lot of qualifers there, SEA should beat a undermaned ATL squad pretty easily, making NO vs STL a play-in game. Since Seattle is in no matter what, there does leave a possiblity where they could have control over who they play first round, and if STL makes the playoffs instead of the CAR/NO winner, by throwing their game. Since it would probably result in one less home game and a matchup versus a team that’s already beaten them twice, I doubt it’ll come up.

AFC tie breakers

– NY Jets are in with a WIN, or BUF loss or tie, or DEN loss or tie
– Denver is in with a WIN, or a tie and a Buffalo tie, or Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Baltimore all losing, or by raising it’s SoV past JAX and BAL (.422 to BAL .492 to JAX, .508)
– Buffalo is in with a WIN and a DEN loss or tie
– Jacksonville is in with a WIN and a DEN loss and a BUF loss and either a BAL loss or keeping it’s SoV lead over BAL and tying or beating DEN (if DEN and JAX tie there but beat BAL, they go back to the head to head matchups, where JAX beat DEN in week 2)
– Baltimore is in with a WIN and a DEN loss and a BUF loss and Either a JAX loss and a greatest SoV than DEN Or a SOV greater than DEN and JAX.

Those last two, I’m a bit fuzzy.

I think, if JAX and BAL tie on SoV with everything else going their way, there’s not enough common games for that tiebreaker to work, so we’d go to SoS, which is equally close at .551 JAX to .571 BAL. Next is Best Combined Ranking in Points Scored and Points allowed, which goes to BAL right now, but only 16 to 22. I don’t know that it’s there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a situation that can take that tie all the way down to either the 8th tie breaker, Best Net Points in Confrence Games or the 9th tie breaker, Best Net Points In All Games. Which would mean the return of the less fair but fondly remembered “must outscore JAX/BAL by 72 points” playoff scenerio. Expect bewildered SportsCenter hosts at some point, regardless.

Keep in mine, DEN’s SoV is unlikely to go up greatly with a loss; their chances of passing JAX or BAL only exist because they’re playing to the two worst AFC teams and will actually be hurt with a win.

What’s really amazing here: with the exception of DEN vs IND (which should be a walkover for the Broncos and make BUF, JAX and BAL’s hopes moot), all of the important games happen at 1pm EST. Which actually makes the Broncos game spine tinglinging; unless Buffalo (in another walkover vs PIT), JAX (vs OAK), BAL (vs MIA) all lose, someone’s going to be glued to their television set, hoping Jim Sorgi and Dominic Rhodes can lead a huge upset. And if the Jets lose, which is a realistic possiblity since St. Louis will be playing for their own playoff lives if they win on MNF, and Buffalo wins, they might be in that slot instead. It’s very unlikely the game will be meaningless.

note: Bears SUCK

Dec
09

In the continuing pursuit to post the most irrelevant of things, here’s the game summaries from Game 1 and Game 2 of ME vs JAKE in Madden 2005.

This is no worse than the PAINTBALL GAME they’re currently showing on ESPN2.

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