Product Type: Sega PC games
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The only game you need for your PC. (Well maybe Call of Duty too)
Football Manager 2010 (PC)
Member Name: bz2886
Football Manager 2010 (PC)
Advantages: Intricate, sublimely realistic, intense but can be played at your own pace.
Disadvantages: Just where will you find the time you need to do everything else when you play this all day?
In light of a recent tragedy in Togo, (During the recent 'African Cup of Nations' being held at the moment in Angola, the Togo team were attacked by armed rebels in disputed territory of the African state Cabinda. In the resulting ambush nine of their party were injured, this included the death of their assistant manager, driver and media spokesman as well as the wounding of two of the players.) Consequently, Togo has withdrawn from the tournament and the competition has been overshadowed by this needless atrocity. Politics and football do not need to mix. One of the Togo star players, _'Emmanuel Adebayor'_ plays for the team I support and I would like to dedicate this review of a beautiful game about the beautiful game to himself and his teammates, affected by this tragedy.
I decided to write a review, fittingly about something which I have always loved passionately and expect I always will, Football. Namely a game called football manager which is just as good as football really. Football Manager is a worldwide phenomenon, known for baffling countless girlfriends all over the planet, cause of infinite unplanned late nights and saviour from boredom for every football fan in existence.
=== The Game and Its History ===
It is computer simulation game made primarily for the PC but now has expanded to include other ports such as the Microsoft Xbox 260 and the Sony PSP. The game is a representation of life as a football (Soccer in the US of A) manager. It stems from nearly every man and many women's love of the beautiful game and has been renowned as a staple of any footy fan's gaming habits.
It is a seemingly simple game, the older versions allowed a player or numerous people if you wish to manage any football team which they chose. Initially the game was very basic and didn't even include real players but this is way back in the early 1990s. As its success increased, real players and their attributes were added, then came more teams, more countries, more detail and sponsorship. There are now hundreds of full licences for the game and it allows for an incredibly accurate and detailed representation of what your life might be like if you managed your favourite, or any team. The actual matches are different to most football games in that you don't actually control the physical movements/actions of your team's players; instead, you control every aspect of their management. Initially a player would view their matches as scrolling text detailing the action on the pitch. But this has developed through a two-dimensional pitch view of your players to its currently evolved state of a quite detailed three-dimensional view of your game, the teams and the stadium and crowd. There are realistic sounds and effects which give quite an immersive affect to each match.
As the manger, you are responsible for building a squad of players you feel are strong and work well together. They all have their own personality traits and style of playing and are a typical bunch of prima donnas when things aren't going well. You pick your tactics and influence each player's role on the game. It seems simple but it as with life, nothing is ever simple. You can do as much or as little as you choose to influence the behaviour of your players. From praising or criticising their behaviour or performance, giving them an older/younger player to shadow, suggesting their mental strengths to them, tailoring their training and tendencies when playing football to change the way they act as a player, etc. This list could be much longer and the game as it stands today is tremendously detailed, polished, realistic and addictive. You can interact deeply with the board of your club, from the budgets to the targets and every game is followed by reactions from the players and the supporters. The fans will tell you when you make mistakes and you even see their own tactical opinions. Everything about football is here except for the booze-filled shenanigans, and gambling addictions.
The series was not always known by this name and has developed an unbelievable amount from the first similar release almost twenty years ago in 1992. Back then it was known as _'Championship Manager'_ and there was no such thing as _'Football Manager.'_ The rights to the game, its name and image belonged to _'Eidos Interactive'_ who are a prominent games producer. However, the actual game was made and coded by 'Sports Interactive' or _'SI-Games'_ as they are also known. After the 'Championship Manager 03/04' game was released, the two companies fell out and SI-Games signed a deal with _'SEGA'_ instead. This meant that they took the main basis of the game (the part that you enjoy - actually the part you play) and began to develop it the way they wanted to under their new management of SEGA. It is speculated that they stopped working with Eidos in order to have more freedom over changes to the actual game. As a result, they had to rebrand the game as 'Football Manager' and another classic was born. Football Manager proved much more successful than Eidos' version of Championship Manager due to its massive depth of realism and always-improving match simulator engine which now has grown into a great 3D-representation of the football matches in the game. The competitors have forever since been trying to catch up to this truly inspired title.
=== Football Manager 2010 ===
This year's game was released at the end of October 2009 for PC gamers. So where do you start? Well, you install it. Last year this was not so simple. The increased security on games nowadays due to piracy, the company had quite a tricky installation and verification process for each game which led to many people being unable to start playing for quite a while. Thankfully, this is not an issue anymore, or it wasn't for me anyway. To quote a tasty phrase, 'it was a piece of cake.' This year's game has had a fairly significant overhaul but appears to have been for the better.
Firstly you start up your first new game and are asked to choose your preferred amount of leagues to play with. The game offers around 50 different countries from which to play. Almost every league you can think of is represented right down to non-league level and the games intelligent database is always manufacturing youth players who develop to be the stars of tomorrow. You really can play for ever. If you have a good PC I would suggest picking about 15 leagues or so from a few countries to allow for a diverse game with plenty of options and players to choose from. You can choose 'recommended settings' and the game will quickly analyse your system and pick a more appropriate number of leagues but really it is up to you. The balance of number of leagues versus the performance of the game is really up to you. My computer is a couple of years old at least and it is still easily fast enough, even with numerous leagues selected and fully playable.
It is now time to pick your team, whether you are playing alone or anyone else is playing with you. It is possible to connect to friends online for competitive game-play or you can even share one computer and even send your manager on holiday if somebody isn't present. The assistant managers are capable enough and you can customise how they will run your club while you are absent.
After you have chosen your team, you then speak to the directors who agree targets and budgets with you such as wages, transfers and the goals they expect of you. Your performance in all of this will determine your reputation as a manager and the opinion of your board and supporters so try to be honest with your expectations. You can buy and sell any players you feel would benefit the club and ask your scouts to compile detailed reports on any of the games players. This is just par for the course but the tactical aspect of the game and its menu's have been refined. The menus look slightly different to navigate you around the game but you easily get to grips. You can even get a tutorial when you start if you like. The tactics now allow you approach tactics differently. You can change the type of play for each individual position on the pitch. You can have a 'sweeper keeper' who acts like a 12th man, or choose for forwards to play deep of wide, wingers can be customised to track back or play wide or attacking. Your defenders can be used to different effects and you can customise their positions for attacking and defensive set pieces. Your central midfielders will now be able to play under many different styles, including 'box-to-box player,' 'ball winner,' deep lying playmaker' and other suitable styles you require. This can be said for every position on the pitch. You can also designate whether they are prone to 'attack' or 'support' in their play.
You can customise your team's default style. If you are set as 'defensive' or 'contain' your players will sit deeper into their own half, playing the game at a slower tempo and wasting a little more time whilst staying behind the ball when defending. Or you can 'attack' or 'control' to push higher up and play with that little extra spark and pace. Or you can just remain standard and manage as you used to. As a manager you can now shout from the touchline. This means you can quickly change individual tactics, by telling your players to 'push up,' 'stay on their feet,' 'get stuck in,' 'look for the overlap' or 'exploit the middle of the pitch.' There are about twenty different commands and they allow you to add and remove tactical elements to and from your play at leisure without delving deep into the tactics of your team. It is much more useful at times to be able to manage this way.
=== The Match Simulator ===
The game's graphics are a little better once again. The movements of the players are very believable and you can vary the view that you watch the action from. The crowd is much more detailed and react to the game to give the action a much more realistic feel. If you score away from home in front of your own fans, it is great to see your little section of supporters jumping around as your players celebrate. The home fans in a stunned silence as muffled cheers ring out. Or you can score a key goal in the last minute at home and watch the entire stadium erupt.
The game has also had a single downloadable free patch released to improve the accuracy of the simulator and correct any strange errors or mistakes by your players that a normal player wouldn't make.
=== Overall ===
This game has yet again surpassed the last. The game keeps on growing and improving. The kinks in last year's game are mostly ironed out and the simulator is more accurate than ever. That said, whilst this game is fun and incredibly accurate, it is also stupidly hard if you play it without cheating. It comes with a full editor and you can add other managers at any time so if you are of the dishonest nature you will be able to overcome the worst of the game's frustration. However to win the English Premier League is a feat that most cannot achieve, so if you want to be the best you have to really think hard and avoid making too many mistakes and misjudgements. If you like football and have never heard of this game or even played it, you are advised to get hold of a copy in the next ten seconds and see what you have been missing out on. The probability is that you do know this game, and you will either love it or hate it, there tends to be very little room in between.
Just imagine taking over your favourite team, you buy the players you want and are all set for glory. But a few results don't go your way, you lose a couple of games that you really should win and the fans aren't quite convinced by your performance. The game can bring the frustration of the real manager's job if you let it and you see that it might not be so easy after all. Board takeovers can leave you replaced and signing on at your local job centre until you can find alternative, possibly lower league employment. On the flipside, it could all work perfectly and you will end up managing your national team at the world cup or being inducted into the national hall of fame for your achievements.
Which way will your management career pan out? There's only one way to find out.
Also posted on www.ciao.co.uk
Summary: If you don't know about it... you must have been living in a cave... on the moon... of Jupiter...
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