Football season is over, which means that I am forced to fill the gaping void in my life with booze, drugs, utterly worthless draft speculation, whatever has been gathering dust on the DVR, and (oh God) family interaction. OR DO I? You fellow GAMERS like me out there (I play games on my phone, which is the most respected gaming platform of all!) know that while football season last only a few precious months, video game football NEVER SLEEPS.
That brings us to Football Heroes, a shitty iPhone game that’s been around for a few years that I just recently discovered, and which I now cherish with a terrifying passion. This is not a better football video game than, say, Madden. It has a licensing agreement with the NFLPA but NOT the NFL, which means you get matchups like this:
They don’t even get the location of cities right. Look at the “Brooklyn” Monsters.
Or the “Ann Arbor” Motors.
Also, I somehow ended up with two Cordarrelle Pattersons on my roster. Both of them suck at route running.
Oh, and Carson Wentz is black in this game.
At one point, I was “awarded” Caleb Hanie as my quarterback and he had a salary value that was a good $100,000 higher than Teddy Bridgewater’s. Now, I know poor Teddy’s career is likely over, but Caleb Hanie doesn’t even play anymore. I think he’s managing a Denny’s somewhere.
So the game has its fair share of problems. You can’t even do an onside kick, which is vital to stat hogging. And YET, the preteen still living inside me was yearning for this exact sort of shitty video game, with McDowell’s-grade replacement team names and gameplay that is NOTHING like the real thing. In Football Heroes, I can run 90 sweeps in a row and score every time. I can also split my DE out wide and beat the shit out of the QB on every defensive play. And I mean beat his ass literally, because players in this game get to punch one another. In fact, you get points for it!
Roger Goodell would almost certainly wag his big dumb ginger finger at this game, because the powerups included allow you to turn into Lo Pan and fry a bitch, like here:
Or you can shoot some fireballs to clear a running lane:
In one version of the game, you even get a GUN powerup, which lets you stand there and shoot an opposing player like you’re Billy Cole in The Last Boy Scout. The first time I did it to one of my players, I was in shock. “They can do that? HOW DO I GET TO DO THAT?” I support any attempt by the gaming industry to restore the savage violence that the NFL has endeavored to take away, and then toss in some guns on top of it.
The game is not always easy in that satisfying, Tecmo Bowl sort of way. In order to win the title, you gotta play a series of progressively more loaded teams (Mychal Kendricks on the Eagles is somehow a god in this game), which means I use ball control up the ass. Sometimes I have to milk the clock so that the game ends with my team having two possessions and the other team having just one. It’s stultifying and awful but it WORKS. I will crush you with my horrifying version of Martyball. And if you somehow find a workaround to beat me, I will quit the game and start a new one, because I am a baby.