The Exigent Duality
New Mezzala - 12:36 CST, 8/13/23 (Sniper)
Inspired by this thread, I pulled open the 'Wharf database and ran a quick SQL statement for my highest-scored "current-gen" games-- here are the results. I "one-upped" the thread and pulled the top ten records, versus only five:

  1. Fuze - (Switch)
  2. Microsoft Flight Simulator - (Windows)
  3. Demon's Tilt - (Switch)
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - (Switch)
  5. Dragon Quest XI - (Switch)
  6. Killer Queen Black - (Switch)
  7. Ion Fury - (Switch)
  8. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - (Xbox Series X)
  9. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - (PlayStation 5)
  10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - (Switch)

I had a number of games internally scored as "9.25", so I had to make some spot-judgement calls for the final two items on the list. I also excluded collections and remakes. For example, I'd given the "Quake" Switch port a 9.5, but didn't include it since it wasn't an original game. Beyond that, I realize most of these games also existed on "previous gen" machines-- but there aren't even enough "current gen"-only games to even compile a list like the above.

Nuclear Option

Remember when I wrote here about the fact that there are two options available as we rapidly approach the end of this Fourth Turning?

To quickly re-summarize: the first option is that a compromise figure like an RFK Jr. comes into play and gives the whole "liberal democratic pluralism" model, where no one shares heritage or really likes one another but there is just enough institutional glue such as Common Law-based courts to hold things together, a breath of fresh air and it limps along a little further; the second option is that a Franco-like dictator figure comes to power, throws out the old order by force, and institutes a new values regime-- probably a predominantly white Christian ethnostate.

Option two is the "nuclear" approach, and I view it as something which should be a reluctantly employed as a literal last resort-- anything done there, should it fail, will be turned against the other side. Unfortunately, I think we've already exhausted all other options, and "the only way out is through". But it's a choice I take with a heavy heart. Not Vincent James however! Where I find the idea sobering and am not quite positive on how to proceed, James by contrast has already made up his mind, and is all-in!

Daichi Kamada

The most intriguing signing Lazio have made this mercato is that of Daichi Kamada. You can see from his "Who Scored" history page that for many consecutive seasons he has hovered close to the "7" mark according to their algorithm. For the record, these scores are lower than what Sergej routinely racked up with us-- but in some ways I think Kamada might be an upgrade, given the style of football Sarri employs.

What made Sergej unique was his 6'4" frame and according strength-- a body type veritably unheard of for a midfield player. The flip-side is that in spite of his incredible nearly-12-kilometer-per-game work rate, he was a tall leggy kind of runner, who simply couldn't turn his hips and be as "rangey" as competing players at the position. I've heard on several occasions that his lack of mobility is why English Premier League clubs didn't take a roll on him. While he looked very natural in Inzaghi's 3-5-2, it took him a long time to adapt to the huge radius he had to cover in Sarri's 4-3-3. He was quite open in interviews that he infinitely preferred Inzaghi's system to Sarri's, from a personal standpoint.

Kamada is a different kind of player altogether. At 6'0", he has a solid frame and physique-- but he's a much "rangier" kind of player, who looks right at home covering large swathes of territory. Watch him play for a bit, and it's really easy to see him slotting right into "Sarriball's" mezzala role from day one. I wouldn't be surprised if his "Who Scored" ratings take a leap over the "7" threshold this season in the 4-3-3, because-- like Sergej-- Kamada naturally enjoys making late far-post runs, which is something Sarri himself very much encourages.

Kamada is also quite versatile. In Japan's four "World Cup Finals" matches, he played on the right-hand side of midfield, on the left flank, and in the hole twice, respectively. It's really easy to see him getting amongst the goals with Lazio this year, given how comfortable he is moving into and working in advanced areas.