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This is the hardest thing you can do in any current sports video game

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Having logged at least 120 nine-inning games in Super Mega Baseball, Polygon's sports video game of the year, I feel qualified to call this the hardest and unlikeliest feat in a currently available sports video game. Someone threw a perfect game on a setting well into the brutal spectrum of its difficulty.

For those who don't know baseball, a perfect game is one in which a single pitcher pitches the entire game — including all extra innings, if any — and retires every batter with none reaching base. For those who don't know Super Mega Baseball, it has a 0-99 variable difficulty setting, called Ego, that gets hellaciously tough past 65 or so. The developer itself, three-man Metalhead Software of Victoria, B.C., has a hard time winning at 80 or higher. The 99 setting is deliberately impossible; people film themselves playing a full game to see who can lose by the fewest runs.

So this YouTuber, Richard Gibson, chucked a perfecto on Ego setting 91. Not only that, he won it 8-0. In a playoff series in the game's career mode. Scoring 8 runs on 91 Ego is almost as mind-boggling to me, considering how opposing pitchers throw with preternatural accuracy and give you nothing good to hit at about the 60 or so setting.

The deepest I've gone to a perfect game is eight innings, twice. It is hard to even throw a shutout with anything less than total concentration — on any respectable difficulty, that is. And, as I've pointed out, once you begin a career game, that's it. No do-overs, you take an immediate loss if you quit before it's finished. So this guy came by it honest.

I checked the leaderboards and the Starpoints earned for this perfect game, 1,719,499, is roughly 160,000 points better than the old second place. While career games get Starpoint bonuses that one-off exhibitions don't, it still dwarfs the No. 1 in exhibitions, which is 549,491 on an ego setting of 80.

Nearly three years ago, a Philadelphian named T.J. Brida threw 13 1/3 perfect innings in pursuit of MLB 2K12's Perfect Game Challenge sweepstakes. He lost the bid on a comeback single with one out in the 14th inning. That's stuck in my mind as the greatest feat of video game pitching ever recorded, but I think it's at least met its match here.

Update: We've been told that Richard Gibson is also the person who owns the world record for speed-running Mega Man 9, so he has some experience with doing really difficult things in video games.

Polygon Video: How the silly Super Mega Baseball perfects pitching

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