"Open up a beer, And you say get over here and play a video game."
Can do, Lana!
Ever since the Steam Christmas Sale, all I can think about is Video Games.
Video Games Video Games Video Games.
Prepping my top 10 of 2018 (still a ways to go), I am reminded at the overwhelming choices of awesome games this year. And, of course, other years. Video Games straight up rule, hell you could argue SICHL is a video game! AM I A VIDEO GAME TOO?
Keeping in the fun spirit of the holidays, I decided to associate each GM/Team with a video game of my choice. This is NOT a ranking of said video games, no matter what Jeff P and Matt M will try to tell you.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Great New Year to you all!
Update: Another set of games was played while I was doing the Rankings. These game will not be reflected in this edition of the Power Rankings, but will be two weeks from now.
Total toss-up for the top two spots, it's clearly the Revolution and the Norsemen. They both at the top of their respective conferences, are 1 and 2 in points in the entire league, although the Norsemen have more significant injuries and a lesser goal differential, PLUS I like jinxing Jeff so the Revolution are your top team for this week's Power Rankings! A round of applause for Jeff, everybody. Jeff has gone 7-1 in his last 8, with a monstrous +19 goal differential. He may have had respectable beginnings, but now he's absolutely crushing anybody in his way. He's got the league's best player, and nothing is going to stop him from dominating the league going forward. Jeff is CALL OF DUTY: PICK ONE.
Right behind Jeffrey is Matt's Norsemen, who who are also dominating the league, beating up good teams left and right, and have gone 6-2-1 in their last 9 games. Truly impressive, despite the injury to Barzilla. Matt has many video games that I could associate with him: Ice Hockey for the NES (too easy), Mario Golf for the N64 (too difficult to come up with a comparison), Breath of Fire (a classic, but the Rotating Room gives me nightmares), the list goes on. However, now that the Norsemen have revved up to maximum acceleration, nothing can stop him - not even a Red Shell! Matt's game is SUPER MARIO KART for the SNES.
I wasn't joking around when I wrote in the last Power Rankings " If the goaltending evens out a bit, it won't be long before we see Pat in the Top 5...hell, even the Top 1 ". Well, Pat's on his way. He went 5-1-1 in his last seven games, sporting a +7 goal differential and Brad Marchand continues to lead the league in points. Pat emphasizes hockey, and I'm giving him the NHL 2005 nod, the only GM to get an official NHL game associated, AND the best NHL (get out of here with that '94 crap) due to the best mode of all time - FREE FOR ALL.
Phil's Grunge, the newest darling of the league, came out of nowhere. Oh sure, we'd seen expansion teams before, but nothing like this. His momentum is terrifying - he's 5-1-1 and nobody is really sure when or where the train stops. Kind of reminds me of FORTNITE, the online shooter that is poised to take over the World in terms of everything pop culture. Who knew?
Trying to nail down a video game to associate with Eric is nearly impossible, due to our heavy history of gaming together. Do I pick Goldeneye 007? How about Starcraft 2? Warcraft 2, our very first attempt (and success) at online gaming, by tying up our parent's phone lines? Eternal Darkness? Jet Force Gemini? Super Mario RPG? Perfect Dark? Too many to cover, but I can't disassociate Eric from SUPER SMASH BROTHERS MELEE, the eternal Nintendo struggle, where Eric keeps my Kirby at bay with bombs, boomerangs and bashes with his Master Sword from Termina to the Fountain of Dreams. What does this have to do with the SICHL? Well, Eric's got a load of tricks up his sleeve, as many weapons as Link from the Legend of Zelda does. Sure, he may run out of Tavares, but he'll then hit you with Kucherov. Oh, he's at low health? No problem, Bobrovsky will stop that (eventually).
I am unfamiliar with any type of curling game, otherwise that's what Tom would get. So I had to do a little digging around to see what games have setting that are in the Pacific Northwest. You have LIFE IS STRANGE, but I don't feel that Tom can be associated with two teenager girls and time travel. I'll go with an odd choice here, ALAN WAKE. Because I like the idea of Tom battling the paranormal and being in a foresty, Pacific Northwest-y setting. Hey, I never said this video game experiment would be smooth!
I would never be so cruel as to associate the Steelhawks with the Man of Steel, since Superman hasn't exactly graced us with a slew of quality titles in the video game space. I am also unaware of Hamilton as a video game setting. I thought I was stuck, until I realized the Steelhawks have HAWK in the name. HAWK! Tony Hawk! Hamilton's game is TONY HAWK PRO SKATER 2 (the best TONY HAWK).
Many are picking the Riders to be the team of the year. They're on their way, with a 5-2 record in their past 7 games, a second-best goal differential in that span with 10 and a stellar Power-Play at 31.25%, best in the league. When he has an advantage, you're never coming back - much like how Kratos ensured to take advantage of his impossible strength, kick-ass axe and blades of chaos in GOD OF WAR (2018). Also, don't get me started on naming conventions, it should be called God of War 4, but marketing people and sales people are stupid and dumb, because now we have to call it God of War 2018 since there was ALREADY a God of War in 2005. See? I told you not to get me started.
If you had to point to a single GM over the year that's had the most success, the greatest highs and the fewest lows, you could hardly do worse than point to the Acadia Golden Bears. A legacy of excellence, a history of winning and everybody is always interested in what they'll do next. The Golden Bears are the SUPER MARIO franchise of the SICHL. It's a-me, GUY!
This is the thanks I give Mike? After fixing a glitch in the Power Rankings feature, after emailing me back and forth over the years, after giving me a chance to do the Power Rankings, I reward him with dropping NINE spots? Well, it's not all on me - the Supersonics have gone 3-4 in their last 7 games, and a lot of other teams got hot. You'd think I'd put a Sonic the Hedgehog game in here, but that's too obvious. Mike is a Maestro, a Conductor. Without him, the band simply wouldn't play. Somebody needs to facilitate the site and Mike fine tunes it like a piano. Mike's game is ROCK BAND 2 (I'm pretty sure he is really good at it).
Sean is sneaky. Pretending like he's no longer a marine, and that he's not an elite team in the SICHL. Well, in the last 9 games, he has the second most points out of anybody (12), and the second best goal differential (10). That's no joke. It looks like Sean is coming out of "retirement", much like Sam Fisher did many, many times in the SPLINTER CELL games. Watch your back...and stay in the light!
Boston's roster is better than his standing. Meaning, people may count him out, but he still stands among the giants and I predict he will start to climb his way, slowly, atop the colossi of the league. Of course, Gary's situation reminds me of one of my all time favorites, SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS.
Oh, like you need to ask? Norm's game is CRUSADER KINGS 2. With over 1,300 hours played (and I imagine at least that dedicated to the SICHL) and a lineage that would make most GMs jealous, this one was easy. Plus there isn't a good DS9 game that I'm aware of.
To the victor go the spoils, and even though the champs haven't moved much this year, nobody can deny their overwhelming success last year. There were contenders, truly, but when the dust settled, the Krunch were the best last year - much like THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD was last year. A game in which anything is possible. I can see Kirk surfing a shield down an icy hill, can't you?
Bryce surprised everybody with obtaining the 3rd overall pick. You can never count the Vipers out, every time I think they're going to be among the league's worst, they go 5-3 and jump up a few spots in the rankings. You can never count them out, and Viper is a character in DOTA 2, so that's the game I'm giving the Vipers. This one is in the bag! (Rats, should've gone Storm Spirit)
Sam might have taken a tumble in the latest sets of games, but I'm confident he'll climb his way back up the mountain. Hey, mountains! And there are mountains in his logo. And Sam's a young fellow, much like Madeline - the protagonist of the stellar indie game CELESTE. Seriously, go play it. Now. It's cheap and the best game I've played all year.
Doug's Wheat Kings are hanging in there at spot 17. They're not looking like the league-slayers they were last year, but everybody knows that Doug's best days are not necessarily behind him. Because I think Doug is a wonderful chap, who has a lot of entries of success in our league, I'm giving him the honor of FINAL FANTASY 6, the best Final Fantasy game (fight me) and my 2nd favorite game of all time. Go Wheat Kings!
PSYCHONAUTS. And that's a compliment.
Oh boy. Matt, what happened? I thought we agreed that you would be awesome with your Kane. And Kane! DOUBLE KANES! BAH GAWD IT'S KANE, COMING RIGHT OUT OF THE N64 CLASSIC, WWF NO MERCY!
Sheetal, you crafty bugger. You've gone 4-4-1 in your last 9 games and ruined what I thought was a solid framework of the basement. Now that you're holding your own and beating up teams like the Colonials and the Vipers, I have to place you higher in the rankings than anticipated. And since there isn't a single animal alive that is cooler than a Tiger, I have to give you BLOODY ROAR, the quirky fighter that allowed you to transform into anthropomorphic warriors...LIKE A TIGER (Shenlong).
I was tempted to associate Kasim with GOLDENEYE 007 (much like I was tempted with Eric, we played the hell out of that). I'd like go with something more refined. You see, Kasim's built his team from the ground up and he's starting to see the fruits of his labors. Marner, Laine, Hagg & Hague, the list goes on. With each seed planted, the potential grows. With each innovation learned, technology improves. With the young maturing, new political possibilities are available. Kasim's game is, naturally, Sid Meier's CIVILIZATION 2.
Bob's Barons are showing some improvement! They're out of the basement and went 4-6 in their last 6 games with a plus 7 goal differential. That's better than the Fire Ants, Krunch, Golden Bears, Huskies, Aces, Rapids and Supersonics. Not a bad couple of weeks, Bob! Since "Baron" is the closest thing to a Tycoon, and your season has been very topsy turvy so far, I'll give you ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON, which is just the bee's knees.
Dustin is a wild card. He can go in any direction he wants. He's got assets, he's got a history of winning, he's 23rd in the rankings, but don't ever count him out. Was he lucky before? Unlucky now? The free roaming nature of the history of Dustin's Aces, and the name, lend themselves well to FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS, wouldn't you say?
Mark used to be the top of the heap, the cock of the walk. But times have changed. People still look up to Mark, but he knows he'll need a BIG score to get back to where he was, then he can relax. Maybe go farm somewhere in the Caribbean? You just gotta have some GODDAMN FAITH, fellas. What Mark needs is MONEY. And DRAFT PICKS. AND WINS. Mark is RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2, and let's hope he's more like Arthur Morgan and less like Dutch.
Nobody knows what to make of Ryan, sometimes. He is one of the most active GMs, and if you think I've been saying that a lot, then you're finally paying attention. The Shamrocks are a mysterious bunch, and they're set in Ireland. A perfect analogy for the mostly unknown, underrated game called FOLKLORE.
Michael is one of the league's best talkers, and in his position, he has to be. He's always starting a conversation, wheeling and dealing, striking up feuds on Twitter and justifying his not so bizarre roster decisions. Michael's game is the sublime WALKING DEAD from Telltale, in honor of his crucial decisions and dialogue-based personality.
Ian has a ton going on. Lots of draft picks (and I mean a LOT). Lots to choose from. Relatively underrated. New to the SICHL. I'm going Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, my 8th favorite game ever. Why? Because I'm desperate to get it in here, and we're late for a holiday party. Sue me! (and if you like JRPGs, this is one of the best). Ian, trust me, this is a good one to get.
Toronto! Ontario! Not exactly a hotbed for video game settings. What else do we have...well, Toronto went 2-5 in their last 7, so that's...well, that's a number. Honestly I can't think of anything that springs to mind. Spring! We don't have Sonic yet! SONIC THE HEDGEHOG it is! (2 and 3 are better than the original, so when the Metros start winning more, I'll throw in Sonic 2 and 3 in there).
Game over man, game over! Remember how I said this list won't be a ranking of the video games associated with it? Proof is no further than my own entry. At dead last, the hapless Hamburg Gladiators own the league's worst record over the previous two weeks, the worst goal differential and a measly 12 goals in 7 games. So why the hell do I deserve CHRONO TRIGGER as my video game? Because it's my favorite game of all time, still one of the best games ever made, and it's my Power Rankings. Fin!