With the sun setting on another fine sweltering summer day in the West Midlands, what better place to get refreshment in both liquid and retro form than the Hare and Hounds?
The theme for the night was music games and you know it’s been a cracker of a day weather wise when the massive back projection TV is wheeled out for some gaming under the stars. Connected up to a Nintendo Wii, there were no shortage of revellers enjoying a pint and a quick go on Wii Sports whilst enjoying the excellent DJ set.
Press Fire to Play were doing our best to stay cool indoors with the gas guzzling Amiga’s whirring away but despite the main game of the night being Parappa the Rapper, it was great to see punters going straight to Kick Off 2! The iconic PS1 game would serve as the soundtrack to a fine evening of champagne football from the number 1 football game at the Hare and Hounds.
Fresh from the last event which garnered an unbelievable 16 participants in a penalty shoot out, people were up for more and there were no shortage of takers for a mini tournament. Other games took place too, but with so many things to distract us (like the beer), we only watched the 2 semi’s and the final – with both players showing why they have to take the leap to other tournaments!
First up though it would be two good friends facing off against each other…
David E 0 – 0 Martin Bl (AET) – Martin Bl won 2-0 on penalties
David had enjoyed a cracking game earlier in the night which finished 1-1, but we all know tournament football is different. Despite some really close moments the game finished 0-0 AET and so it would be decided by penalties. David was my favourite for the game beforehand but Martin edged through with a cool 2-0 win.
James Br 1 – 0 Ian L
Both players have such a fondness for the game it wasn’t going to be easy to decide the winner. James was doing all he could to engineer some chances but Ian dug deep. One moment had James hitting the post and falling to either of his two attackers…only for the ball to evade them both and giving Ian the chance to clear. Amazing stuff. Ian then scored a cracker with seconds on the clock…the only problem was it in his own net!
Martin Bl 0 – 4 James Br
In his previous game, it was noticeable just how James was trying to carve out chances, but could he make them count? This was a final with it literally all to play for and it’s great to see these players returning to the fold once more – and doing it with a massive smile on their faces. Martin dug deep and had some good chances with the game poised at 0-0, but then with 3 minutes gone the breakthrough! James was clean through and with a bit of aftertouch, guided the ball past the keeper.
The promise in his previous game was to be built upon and James won the tournament with a cool 4-0 win. The best goal of the game and indeed the night would have to be the cracking diagonal goal he scored which evaded the keeper. Just before injury time he nearly showboated to the PS1 rhythm by scoring one from the corner flag! What if…what if that had gone in and what would the score be if the two met up again? There’s only one way to find out!
It’s only a matter of time before Martin gets off the mark too. He may have lost 4-0 but this was because rather than sit on the game, he strove for the win. He was bold and it’s this style of play which will reap dividends with a few more games under his belt for sure.
With the ticker tape of the evening being cleaned aside, myself and Gaz decided to have a game and with competitiveness in the air, Gaz took a fine 2-0 lead. I managed a sneaky goal back and then surged into a 4-2 lead. Bish bash bosh and it was 5-4 to Gaz. Typically these scores might get glossed over but when games against each other are at a premium they hold much more credence…moreso when there’s players watching too! In the end it finished 5-5 which certainly got me thinking about the UK Champs…what if? Indeed!
We plan to introduce more games to the mixer over the coming months but it’s rare for a game to have that ‘one more go’ addictiveness, however it’s here that Kick Off excels. With competition from PS1’s, PS2’s, Arcade emulators and even a modern(ish!) Nintendo Wii, the Amiga’s and more specifically, Kick Off 2, more than held’s it own, it mesmerised all who saw it and captivated all who took part in games.
Amazing to also get through the night with no hardware failures such was the intensive heat in the pub. But had there been an issue we’d have been okay and indeed a massive shoutout to one of AmiBays best mods and also most generous 8 Bitters, through creating a CF card loaded with games for Gaz to use on his Amiga 1200. Nice one!