Sunday, March 11, 2012

The (gulp) 20th anniversary of Madden '92

In a random moment of flashback Saturday night, I came to a stunning realization: 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Madden '92.

For the young people out there who didn't grow up in the 90s, Madden '92 was the game back in the day on Sega Genesis. Obviously the graphics were nothing like they are today, but we would still spend hours with this:

 (Go ahead, try to keep that music out of your head)

Back on message, some of my fondest video game memories from when I around 13 was playing Madden '92 non-stop. It was the coolest gift.

To this day, there are still a few highlights of playing that game that still spring to mind.

One is the now-infamous "ambulance" - when a player got hurt, an ambulance would come on the field. Problem is, because game consoles and cartridges were so archaic back then, there wasn't much control. So ambulances would just come onto the field and play bumper cars with the players.

That aside, if I had to pick one in-game highlight, it had to be playing as the Bills during their heyday against the Cowboys. The main reason was you could run a halfback toss to the left on every play with Thurman Thomas and he would break it for a touchdown because that side of the Dallas line stunk (at least on the game). For fun, I would run Thomas back to the 1-yard line, wait for defenders and keep using a spin move until I had run it back 99 yards for a TD.

The other, admittedly another technology quirk, was the fact Bruce Smith was the fastest player on Madden '92. Yes, Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith. He was the only guy on the game, if you can believe this, who had the maximum 15 speed. So when it came time for kick and punt returns, Smith was a lineman in those instances. So I would grab control of Smith, hustle him back to be the return guy and he'd score - every single time.

Ah, those were the days.

- Chris Lillstrung


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