Despite a difficult end to 2012 due to serious illness in the family (you can beat this Dad!), last night was a perfect reminder of the pleasures of being with mates and having some old skool retro fun. It had been some 6 months since we’d last got together so this was way overdue. The good company, the banter, and the laughs were much needed and great for the spirits.
Garry C (me)
The five of us split into two groups based on our footballing loyalties: Blues (Steve E, Brian C and Garry C) versus Villa (Simon K and John B) to do battle over a selection box of four retro gaming challenges…
I – Tabletop Football
With gritted teeth I recall the emphatic victory by our Villa rivals. Not once, not twice but three times Simon+John prevailed over Brian+Steve, Garry+Steve and Garry+Brian team combinations 9-7, 9-7, 9-6. Bar Football? Bar Humbug more like! Not that I’m bitter or anything but suspicions were raised at Simon dubious “finger tip” saves and John’s “shifty” defensive moves – hehe – but give credit where it’s due. Well played fellas!
Round #1 Villa 1 – 0 Blues
II – Air Hockey
Playing individually now but still representing our clubs, next up was the Air Hockey Mince Pie Cup. Drawn at random, Brian and Simon played a qualifier for their place in the semi-final and this was probably the “match of the day”. First to 5 wins, this tie went all the way. Bri display was dominant yet seemingly effortless, in Neo vs multiple Agent Smith fashion, going 2-0 up before Si stormed back 2-3. And so the match continued reaching 4-4, until Si sunk that fifth for victory. By contrast I breezed through my semi against John, more to luck than skill it has to be said. Steve and Si’s semi was a much more competitive affair, edged by Steve 5-3, for his place in all Bluenose final: Evil v “Cold Turkey Currier”. I felt wired and edgy in a very alert way but think this lead to some madcap keeping on the halfway line, and I was something like 0-3 down before I’d blinked. I was stuffed but Steve triumphantly tucked into his mince pie.
Round #2 Villa 1 – Blues 1
III – 4P Kick Off2
Kick Off 2 is a great game anyway, arcade footy requiring sharp reflexes as well as tactical know-how, but 4-player is something else. The 4P feature, an enhancement of the KO2CV (competition version), is a scream giving each player control over play in one half of the pitch. Effectively one play plays attack and one plays defence, switching roles at half time. The banter both within and between teams is what adds to the fun. If things go right take the credit and if they don’t blame your team mate! Villa (Simon+John) were trailing at 0-1 HT to Blues (Steve+Garry) but super sub ‘Chopper Currier’ (for Garry) injected something extra with Blues romping to a 7-1 victory. What can I say, other than the Tilton went wild!!!
Round #3 Villa 1 – Blues 2
IV – Penalty Shootout Kick Off2
For the dramatic climax of the evening we played KO2’s enhanced Penalty Shootout mode. Who could hold their nerve over 10 penalties? Anyone who knows kick off, knows how damn difficult it is to save a penalty but something strange happened last night to upset the odds. First of all the “random cup draw” produced the same outcome as per Air Hockey??? Then in his qualifier versus Simon, Brian saved 3 of his first 4 penalties!!! When you usually save only something like 1 in 50, this is nothing short of “uncredible”. Maybe it was the beer or the excitement but the words just weren’t coming our right. hehe Anyway, Bri went on to triumph 7-4 in his qualifier, and edge 10-9 over Steve E (just that first penalty miss) to book his place in the final. Similarly by the finest of margins I overcome John B after a 10-10 100% conversion only for John to miss his 11th for me to snatch an 11-10 victory. Proving Bri’s goalkeeping heroics were no fluke, he started the final with another one. Under pressure from the beginning, I couldn’t recover and my bro, the penalty saving king, deservedly took the shootout crown 8-5 !!!
Round #4 Villa 1 – Blues 3
So Blues won the evenings just-for-fun contest but we didn’t care really. The laughs were what this was all about, and after leaving it so long, we must do this again soon!