Of the many games that define my generation, a consensus favorite is NHL 95 (the one without fighting) for the Sega Genesis. To that end, my previous roommate and I logged about 1,000 games (about 20 games per week give or take) in the one year we split the rent. Neither of us owned a next-generation system like XBOX or PS2, so we fired up my old Genesis and couldn't play enough. Our games were tremendous battles full of trash talking and great gamesmanship. It is from our games that I really honed my unmatched skills. (Sadly/Pathetically) I developed a man-zone defense (yeah, I actually developed a systematic defense) that not only stops the skate-in-front-of-the-goalie-for-a-backhanded-(cheap)-goal-maneuver, but also intercepts every one-timer pass. Trust, me it's a work of art. There's Buddy Ryan's 46-Defense in football and then there's my NHL 95 Man-Zone. Like any great defense, it has its weaknesses, but when it's on, let's face it, you're not going to score.
Since I've moved, my new roommate and I haven't played NHL 95 as much as I did before, so I tried starting my own season. To my dismay, the battery in the cartridge has zero power left to save seasons, players, stats, etc. I even ordered a few off EBay, but after 10 years, no battery is going to work. All of a sudden, one day, a miracle was delivered from above in the form of Jakks Pacific...maker of a Madden 95/NHL 95 dual plug-in-your-tv controller (which emulates the games really well except there are no player names, just numbers). I got mine as a gift for my 25th birthday and it was the closest to my heart (I told you it was getting pathetic). I played it a little to see if things worked, but got sidetracked by too much Grand Theft Auto. However, last week, I decided to start a season with Tampa Bay to see if I still had my great skills.
Though the Sabres are my go-to team, I decided to create my friends for all 5 positions and goalie and sign them to Tampa Bay. Since I didn't give anyone incredible ability like 97 on speed or super checking, nobody's overall rating is higher than 81. I dropped 6 players from Tampa Bay (remember, they were just about the worst team back in 1995) and signed all of my friends. My settings call for 5-minute periods, multi-game injuries, 1-game playoffs, and penalties on except offsides (who played with offsides anyway?). I had hoped that playing with penalties would at least make the games competitive because of my aggressive play that always results in spending time in the penalty box.
I've played about 20 games so far and it hasn't been close. Even with penalties and the automatic penalty kill line changes that replace my friends with those bad TB players, the season is just a battle between myself and statistical greatness. The only sore spot is when I accidently had the computer simulate a game, which TB lost 4-1, giving up about 40 shots and killing all of my stats. Nevertheless, TB is 19-1-0, with an average victory of 9.87-0.36. Without those four goals, the goals against would be closer to 0.2. I've had three games of over 20 goals (including a 12-goal period) and have never allowed more than one in a game. Of the goals scored on me, the only "clean" goal was a Mark Messier slapshot. The others were my fault when I took the goalie a little too far out to make a pass that was promptly intercepted and found the back of an empty net.
My (modified Tampa Bay) season goals (sorry about the pun) are: 10 goals/game, 0.25 goals against/game, all 5 starters lead goals scored and overall points, a shooting percentage over 53%, and a save percentage of 98%. That simulated game hurt my shooting and save percentage (mostly b/c it was a 20-minute period game) so those numbers will be difficult. Since this season has been easier than expected, I will next try taking a legit and untouched doormat team and see how well I do with them. Perhaps it'll be TB or Florida, but that won't be for a few more weeks. Of course, at my current playing pace, I'll be done in a few days. One of the game's best features is a 5-minute period game takes about 10 minutes to play, so it's easy to talk myself into another one since it'll only be 10 more minutes.
I might just blog that doormat season, since using my friends on TB to let you know I was 2 goals short of an across-the-board starting 5 hat trick or using the Sabres to average 14 goals/game isn't too exciting. If you've read this much, congrats, though I'm sure few of my readers actually read this far in the first place. Nevertheless, NHL 95 is my passion and I'm always ready for a challenge.
For my season "finale recap wrapup summary overall discussion", checkout this entry:
For the rest of my blog, full of rants, raves, articles, links, and poor attempts at humour, check it out here: