Rocket League: a game of emotions


Logan Flake, Reporter

There I was. Sitting in my room with my headset snuggled tightly around my head, my friend Jacob Tellas’s voice blasting into my ears as we pioneered through the final seconds of an intense 3-2 Rocket League game. Being on the losing side of the coin, Tellas and I struggled to try and net the game-tier before time expired.

With only a few ticks left on the clock, a beautiful chance presented itself to me. After a hectic skirmish in front of the net that involved all of the gladiators in this war of a game except me, I was presented with a clear view of the ball positioned right in front of a wide open net.

This was my chance.

In an act of pure adrenaline and desperation, I jumped at the ball with all my might in hopes that I could punch my ticket into the history books with what was surely meant to be one of the all-time buzzer-beater goals in history.

That is until I jumped wide right of the ball and we lost.

It’s hard to pinpoint any other moment in my life that left me in a more comatous state than this one. After a few minutes of screaming from both ends of the headset, I was left to contemplate my life and wonder why a god would ever put me on this earth with full knowledge that such a crushing blow would be dealt to my confidence. But, against all odds, I decided to play another game.

This moment, along with many others that happened before and have happened since, can be summed up under a simple mantra: that’s just Rocket League for you.

Rocket League is basically soccer with RC cars substituting in for humans. This might sound like an odd premise, but if there’s ever been a time to think under the “don’t mock it ‘til you try it” mindset, it would be here.

Rocket League is probably the most enraging game I’ve ever had the displeasure of playing. However, I still play it even after the various cases of heartbreak and nearly-broken gaming accessories that it has caused throughout my 468 total matches played. So, why do I keep playing it?

It’s difficult for me to explain without sounding somewhat cheesy. Rocket League is one of the most infuriating games I’ve played. But, simultaneously, it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding ones too.

For every instance of headset throwing and wall punching that Rocket League has caused, somewhere down the line there’s been a moment of nearly tear-jerking excitement and exhilaration to make up for it. That’s why I keep playing. One minute I can be down in the dumps after a tough 2-1 loss at the hands of a failed shot attempt by me, and the next I can be loudly celebrating an absolute beauty of an OT winner. I never know what outcome I’m going to get, but it’s the chance of it being one of those glorious moments that will stand the test of time that keeps me going.

Rocket League has reminded me why I started playing video games in the first place. If there’s one compliment I need to give this game, it’s that one. Video games aren’t always meant to be all peaches-and-cream and happy-go-lucky. They’re supposed to make you mad and frustrate you sometimes. That’s part of the experience of being a gamer.

Without those occasional punches to the gut, the moments of extreme happiness wouldn’t be the same. Just as in life, you need a shot of sadness every once in awhile in video games so that you appreciate the times when something goes exactly as planned and everything is looking up even more. Rocket League is the perfect simulator for this belief.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to playing.