Screw You, Jester

Screw You, Jester

Jester, my constant companion in Steam soccer-with-cars smash hit Rocket League, thinks he's funny. He is not, and he can go screw himself.

OK so, I recently moved to a new apartment and don't have a reliable Internet connection yet (I've been working out of a Starbucks every day; it's great fun if you enjoy bad acoustic covers of the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" and weird people begging to cut your hair on multiple separate occasions), so I haven't been able to spend much time online with Rocket League. To counter my crippling addiction to how goddamn good the game feels, I've been playing season mode with and against NPCs. They're not amazing, but they put up a solid fight every once in a while.

Except Jester. Jester is my idiot car problem child.

He's a member of my three-car team, and I let the game randomise his name and appearance so he has this stupid fucking hat. Look at that fucking hat. The only fashion statement you make with a hat like that is "I am a pedophile (and yes, apparently cars can be pedophiles)."

Screw You, Jester

Jester makes me wish I was Brock Lesnar even more than being one of nearly seven billion human beings inhabiting the planet Earth makes me wish I was Brock Lesnar. He just... he really likes scoring, even if it means walloping the ball right into his own team's goal. He does this a lot. I would say once or twice per game, easily. Sometimes more. It is infuriating. He could swerve ever so slightly and swat the ball off its trajectory toward our goal -- save the fucking day, be a hero. He does not do this. If he sees a ball going toward a goal, any goal, he makes absolutely goddamn sure it goes in.

(It should be noted that other AIs make this mistake occasionally, but not like Jester. Jester does almost nothing except make this mistake. It really does astound me.)

Jester wasn't always my four-wheeled, zero-brained teammate nemesis. His career got off to a promising start. Hell, when I was still wrapping my head around the game -- getting a feel for when to leap, when to boost, how to backflip off walls and pull off trick shots that make me feel like a majestic dolphin who ate most of a race car -- he carried our team. Our other teammate, Wolfman, did well enough, but we wouldn't have had a winning record if Jester hadn't been doggedly pursuing balls all the time.

Right around the time I started getting good -- properly good -- something changed. Maybe Jester was jealous. Maybe he thought scoring on his own team would be funny, making it His Whole Thing even funnier. Maybe he got addicted to cocaine. Whatever happened, he started sinking shots into our goal at an alarming rate. Some games, he would be the only person... er, car who scored for the opposition. I felt like Wolfman and I were less his teammates and more his personal butlers, always cleaning up his idiot toilet messes. "We're down two points and it's the final minute because Jester decided to eat his own vomit again. Time to get to work." We still won more games than we lost, but we were driving on eggshells the whole time.

Screw You, Jester

This story isn't an entirely tragic one, though. It was the first game of the play-offs, final minute. We were down a point, and I was trying my hardest to claim the ball from the other team -- which, given that I was outnumbered, consisted more of haphazardly flinging myself at the ball than anything else. I began to lose hope. Then, as the ball whizzed away from the other team's goal yet again, Jester appeared out of nowhere, like a flash of lightning. His timing was perfect, his aim impeccable, and a gentle headbutt put the ball in the other team's goal. Suddenly, we were back in the game, which we went on to win.

He played similarly in the championship. It was like the old Jester was back, like he finally ditched the cocaine. I was kinda proud, especially given how nicely it fit the bizarre narrative I made up for this consistently obnoxious AI in my head.

Of course, he immediately reverted to his idiot ways in our first match on all-star (read: hard) difficulty, so his renaissance was short-lived. I guess the moral of this whole story is, Rocket League's AI can be weird, and also Jester is a fucking moron who can go die.


Comments

    I had a car called Hollywood on my team for the season who would do the exact same thing. I think there is a larger issue with the team AI being dumb as bricks while the opponent AI is overly aggressive and has pin point accuracy. I realized early on that I have to do all the main things, like taking offense on shots for goal, playing keeper on defense, and stuff like that because anytime I was near the ball, my team would stop dead. I learnt quickly how to score from the initial kickoff from every angle so I can win games.

      Yeh autowin from kickoff doesn't work on pro or all-star.

    I've used 'Fucking Idiot!' a lot to describe my AI team mates. Own goals, waiting and watching as the ball bounces over their heads and into the goal
    They play just like me... but a little worse haha

    I've noticed a lot of the A.I. teams are based based on pop culture or historical references like the Dragons team with Mountain, Imp, Viper and Hound is clearly a GoT reference and the Kings are all named using the word king in different languages. :)

      I've seen a couple of references like that. I've seen Buzz, Yufi & Squall pop up in the AI bots.

    I have been playing this on the PS4, my kids gather around and cheer and shout like they were at a live game, it's awesome hehe

      It is awesome.

      If I have one complaint, I've been practising in exhibition mode and having played a lot of the previous game Rookie difficulty is no challenge whatsoever, Pro is only marginally better (the opposing AI may occasionally score a single goal), but All Star is such a massive leap in difficulty over Pro. There really needs to be something inbetween. I still love it.

    I'm not usually a fan of online games overall but this game is brilliant online! When you get a good group of people equally bad as you it's great fun :)

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