Hole in the sky?

My name is Major, and my heart is black and full of hate...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dystopian Sports Movies: Rollerball --> Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

When this movie (Rollerball) first came out in 1976, Deathrace 2000 was just released, and was critically panned for its graphic nudity, violence, and killing of pedestrians and/or presidents of the united states. David Carradine was going to kill the president with a grenade in his prosthetic hand, which he calls a "hand grenade" on several occasions.

Rollerball is very much like the short story "Rollerball Murder". Corporations own sports organizations and change the rules to make ratings, even if that means killing off other players. This would be the only outcome that would make me watch sports on TV, people getting killed, greedy corporations selling out.

My perfect team would be called The Robokillers, and all my players would be cybernetically enhanced. The coach of our team would be Paul Verhoven, director of the Robocop movies and Starship Troopers. I would have female teammates with loose chainmail clothing fight other females of the opposing teams. With Paul telling everyone what to do, I'm sure he will make sure my team would have tons of unnecessary breasts and violence, like the movie Flesh + Blood.

I first played Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe on Sega Genesis. When i was 12 years old, my father got remarried, and he did not require me to go back to school right away. I had several weeks in a big empty house (river-front mansion is more appropriate) by myself while my parents were at work. I played tons of Sega Gensis and Super NES in this time period, and i had not met any friends yet. That month my dad bought me Secret of Mana for SNES, and Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe for Genesis. At first i never touched Speedball. I opened it, put it in and had no understanding what i was to do at all. I fell hard into Secret of Mana and really never looks back. I wrote Speedball off a pile, and a bad purchase.

I met Mike Hilliard through a mutual friend my freshman year of highschool. I made friends fast, and he was getting over a horrendous leg surgery after being plowed by a car. Not being able to participate in sports, biking, or rollerblading, he was my video game buddy. He had all the newest PC games, and introduced me to Rise of the Triad. He saw the game and asked me about it, and i told him Speedball sucked ass.

That night we stayed up until 2am playing. We yelled at each other, fought, threw the controllers at each other, traded players, upgraded and eventually lost the season and the game restarted. We played for days. he invited his friend over, Jeremy Hilton, and he got into the action. We started a little league and more people joined. Pretty soon i realized it was the only game we were playing with no end in sight. Inevitably, my TV took a dump, and it being a huge 36 inch mirror-topped console television, it was irreplaceable. No one wanted to come over and play speedball on a 15 inch TV. My parents had no intentions of letting me hook up my many game systems to the TV in the living room, so i was stuck. Later i got a new 27 inch Panasonic, but it was too late. Our Speedball 2 team was done.
The game was a sleeper hit, tons of games sold over many systems. The game was re released on a staggering 9 different systems with the Amgia version being the top seller. Better sound and graphics with enhanced game play made that the copy to have. The game was remade several times on Playstaion, cell phones and in the arcade.. but it never really was as good as the original.

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