Football Manager on the go, this is the thing I dreamed of for years and now it is a reality. Granted I am a couple of years behind the times but this version was my first experience of the portable Football Manager experience. When this game first caught my attention I shunned it as I did not see the point in buying a version of a game I was not overly impressed with on the PC. However a deal on Play that was too good to turn down later and fate was leading me up a path that would be difficult to turn away from.
My problem with the PC version was that it had got too detailed for a casual gamer like me. In previous versions you could lose hours in the game and actually be getting somewhere whereas on the new version you could spend hours and have just played 2 or 3 games due to the complex nature of tactics. This did not suit my lifestyle so I turned my back on an old friend. When the PSP version arrived I was sceptical, would such a small machine be able to cope with the vast database of players and would it just be a port of a game I had fallen out of love with.
I started my game and went straight to the tactics screen. To say I was delighted would be an understatement. It was completely scaled down and looked much more on my level. The database of players was still plentiful and whilst it was nowhere near the size of the PC version it was a lot more than I realistically expected. I was actually very impressed with how many of the PC features had remained on this version. I must have underestimated the power of my PSP. I would go as far to say that all of the features I liked had remained from the PC version. When it came to game time I was once again happy with my options and how the game played out. I don't use the 3-D match view on the PC so the 2-D top down view was what I was used to. You still got the odd crazy moment e.g. defender scoring from 60 yards but all in all the match played out very well. There were no team talk which was a bonus for me and allowed to just concentrate on managing my team.
I try to balance my reviews out by mentioning a few opposite points of view but in this instance I really can't think of anything bad to say about this game. It has reignited my passion for the series and most importantly saved me from many long boring journeys. Maybe the only negative would be that if you don't like football then you are not going to like this.
Overall this is an excellent game and is perfect for those lost souls that miss the days when you could pick up the game and play without getting immersed in hours of sliding tactical bars or getting worried that you have said something in a press conference that has upset your star striker.
This review is also on Ciao under the same username.
I am the first one to admit that I have an addictive personality, but seriously this game really is addictive.
I bought the first version of this game very cheap on ebay, I think it was about £4 all in and I loved it. I love it so much I then moved on to the up to date version. If you like your football and even slightly like management games then I promise you will love this.
You will find yourself getting really involved with the game and sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next goal to go in. You will also learn all about buying players on a free at the end of their contract to then sell them on for a couple of million, this is vital if you choose a lower league team.
There is one flaw to this game, it always appears that your first job is the toughest. I always seemed to get sacked by the first club I manage as they are so demanding but find I have great success at the second club, I managed to take Shrewsbury from league 2 to the Championship whilst buying a player at the end of his contract and going on to sell him for £13million.
One things to be careful of if you buy this game is the 'big club release clause', this basically means that if you buy a player who has this clause in their contract then they can leave for a bigger team at any time, seriously. Your guy can be playing amazing for you and almost guarantee promotion, but then a higher team comes along and suddenly he has gone! One thing with this is though is that normally they do go for a much higher fee than their valuaton.
This game represents real value for money and you will certainly get your moneys worth out of it. One thing to be careful of is that you can take your PSP anywhere, so you may never get off of it!
Enjoy! It's worth having.
Ever wanted to be a football manager and pit your wits against teams in the league, cup, throughout Europe and internationally. Any football fan can dream that this might happen but invariably it never will. For me this is the best football game out and in a sense better than the football games where you constantly play games. This game will test your thinking and skills as you sign players based on ability and pit them against others, while working out the best tactics to defeat your opposition. There are so many options in this and things you can do with your team that you will always find something different. The amount of players you can choose from and the amount of teams from different leagues you can select is mouth watering. Whether you want to start your career in the lower leagues of the conference and work your way up which i prefer or start straight at the top in the premiership that's up to you. You can also choose an international team and apply for the job and work with this country in conjuction with your club job. The PSP game is not as big as the PC game but I play it alot when I'm travelling to work and back and have had hours of fun with it. This is a must for any football fan and is cheap enough too. It offers great value for money as the options to do things are limitless.
There is not a football game at all that is better than the Football Manager series. There are a few slight differences beetween the PC version and the PSP version. 1. On the PSP version there are fewer leagues and countries to choose from .eg. on the PC version there is the blue square north and south leagues. But that does not matter really. 2. The PSP version has a 2D match engine compared to the 3D match engine of the PC version. And they are basically all there is different.
The new features on this 2009 version on the PSP is throughout your career you are allowed to manage different clubs from different countries unlike the previous games where you have to stay in that one country for the rest of your managing career.
With 27 playable divisions to choose from and your career can last for basically around 35 years you will never get too board on this game. A must for all football fanatics.
But this game does get very boring after around 20 years because all the players you knew like Messi and Ronaldo will have retired so then they start creating new players you have never heard of.
Football manager is by far and away the best manager game there is. It is the most realistic and offers the most complete experience as you can control everything from training drills to finances and match-day press conferences. It is also the only game (in my opinion) that offers that addictive factor. By that I mean it is the only game that is so good you just always want to play just one more game ... the next thing you know it is 4 am and the missus has woken up to start the 4 hour ritual of putting on her make up. For all these reasons, I would definately rate this over any other manager games on the market. The only negative I would say is that the psp version doesn't compell you to play for hours on end in the same way as the PC version does (although I felt that way about most PSP games over ps3 games so maybe ignore this advice if you are a psp fanatic).
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 (PSP)
A long time ago (1992 to be precise) in a bedroom far, far away, sat a geeky football loving goof who, when not outdoors kicking a football about (surprisingly for a geek he was also frigging awesome at football), they were sat on their Amiga 600 being wowed by either the greatest football game ever made - Sensible Soccer - or the beginnings of an otherwise humble football management simulator. Little more than a text database with no discernable graphics or sound, Championship Manager did feature an addictiveness only previously matched by the e-numbers found in a packet of Skittles. Quite simply, there was little better than looking at a bunch of numbers to determine the best starting eleven, the tactics required to utilise the eleven purposefully and identifying future transfer targets to build an unbeatable team of Carlos Fandangos. Seventeen years later and whilst the deployment of a terrifying three pronged strike force consisting of Stan Collymore, Chris Armstrong and Tommy Johnson, sadly, no longer applies, the origins of Paul and Oliver Collyer's grandstanding title lives on. Albeit under the new banner of Football Manager!
Of course, in the intervening years the game has developed somewhat. Football manager is now a vast database of immense statistical comprehension that covers nearly every football league on the planet. The graphical interface has received numerous updates to make it look more modern, with the latest PC version including a 3-D match engine to complement the old text based representation of key match incidents. The computer AI is much, much improved ensuring that no one tactic will win you most matches (as was the case in early Championship Manager titles) - constant tweaking is necessary to combat the computers own tactical expertise. To fully round out the football management experience, media engagement with the press, fans and players have been incorporated to add further difficulties in getting a good job done. As marvellous as all this is, though, the one problem the above creates is a hugely complex game that requires much more time and input from the player to refine tactics, training and preparing transfer targets. Sadly, geeky football loving goof is now all grown up and without the student lifestyle previously available, finds the current Football Manager setup far too time-consuming and exhausting to actually play. Why, oh why, can't there be a much simpler version available, similar to the one in the days of old?
Well, in some ways, that's what Sports Interactive has attempted to do with the release of the PSP version. Whether an in-house decision made of win and success or one forced upon the programmers due to the technical limitations of the handheld format, the outcome remains the same. Football Manager on the PSP is a much reduced alternative to the current PC behemoth, but in refining the content so well, it provides a compelling variant that features more than enough of the old school Championship Manager magic.
The first thing you obviously notice is that the PSP version is still mostly a database full of names and numbers that inform you how well players and the team are performing against opponents, just with more shiny bells and knobs on. The graphical interface is certainly pleasing on the eye, to make it more than just an Excel spreadsheet, and makes excellent use of the size of the screen. Indeed the content seems to have been designed around this particular specification. For instance, the vast number of skills a player has in the PC version has been reduced to around 15 key skills that fit nicely on the players profile screen in a font size that isn't going to bollocks your eye-sight. Likewise, clicking on a players name brings up their main profile screen along with a side-bar featuring a range of further options such as contract, history, coach and physio reports, etc. which provide finer details on the players form, morale and condition. It's a wonderfully intuitive menu system that's easy to get to grips with (put it this way - I still haven't read the manual) and whilst not as comprehensive as its PC namesake still delivers an appropriate level of content. Some may miss out on the extensive detail, but the balance between getting it right for the format and still providing necessary depth to make the game engaging and rewarding is expertly designed.
On top of this, the unwieldy training system of the PC version has received a much needed overhaul, and the distraction of the media management content has been reduced to little more than a fart in the wind. Both are much welcomed. Instead, the real detail has been applied to the most important game mechanic required - match day! The range of team tactics available are excellent, aspects can be user defined to get the most out of individual players, and whilst some elements of the PC version are not provided here, there are still plentiful options available in order to design your own game-plan to provide sufficient challenge. Want to play a Jose Mourinho styled 4-2-3-1? Well, you can move the shirt numbers around on the tactics map to do just that, amend the individual player instructions to ensure the two defensive midfielders rarely charge forward and then save the configuration to re-use and tweak again later if you find it not to be working. Likewise, the challenge doesn't abate when the actual match is played. The computer AI ensures that there is no one formation beats all tactic, and the subtle changes in the dynamics of matches suggest that the AI tweaks its tactics in order to nullify your own. Having a contingency formation to switch to goes a long way in delivering results, as sticking to just the one will usually see the board room showing you the door sooner rather than later.
So, from this you should be gathering that Football Manager 2009 is not only simpler and greatly addictive, it also remains positively challenging. When you add loading times that are swift (this could have been a deal breaker, but the updating of the still large database is refreshingly speedy) it looks even more desirable. That the controls are instinctive is also remarkable. The LB and RB buttons allow you to flick backwards and forwards through previously viewed pages (much like a web-browser) and the bottom of each screen highlights the four main buttons and the function they carry out when the cursor scrolls over a particular player or teams name (for instance offer new contract, release on a free, view profile, etc.) Marvellous! And when you consider that you can now manage across three or four countries (although only one league will be fully detailed to its lowest division - the other three will just have its top league available) you're left pondering if it can get any better. No niggling injuries then?
Well, there is the odd thing here and there that serves to distract from an otherwise outstanding Fernando Torres hat-trick performance. The match-day screen features the brilliant old text based updates to highlight key incidents in the game (it wouldn't be a Football Manager game without this); however, it seems to cut out just as a move gets going, leaving you with no idea of how the move broke down and who is to blame. Rather odd to say the least, although the addition of the phrase 'liquid skills' to the text vocabulary is a welcome one! The 2-D match display that pops up at key incidents or when a goal is scored would be a nice touch if it wasn't completely superfluous. It tells you nothing really about who's playing well except to highlight who scored/missed/assisted, and it would seem that the moves are not particularly unique. After a while you're simply re-watching the same bog-standard routines. More style over substance than anything and, disappointingly, there's no option to turn the darn thing off! There's also only one in-game sound as well and that's an annoying beep every time the cursor moves over a new option. Makes you want to stick live brain bugs in your ear! Lucky the volume can be turned down, but it's disappointing there is no in-game chanting or cheering when the ball pings into the back of the net.
Still these are relatively minor quibbles and, if anything, have more to do with the PSPs capacity. Which again makes you marvel at how much Sports Interactive have managed to include here. This is a game that includes the PC versions depth and challenge, but undoubtedly simplifies it to make for an immediately intuitive and addictive game. Both instinctive for new comers to the franchise (which can't really be said of the PC version) and with enough there that appeals to the older coaches, it's just like playing Championship Manager circa 2000/01. It hasn't been removed from my PSP since its purchase some months ago - just like the good old days! And Football Manager 2009 can't come anymore highly recommended than that.
Overall - Reminds you of those days when a supposedly world class centre back like Nemanja Vidic is humbled by Fernando Torres in a 4-1 thrashing at Old Trafford. Sheer perfection!
RRP Price £39.99 currently going for about £16 on Amazon though...
© clownfoot, July 2009.
I'm a man (allegedly!!), I'm 27 years old and I know that 10-15 years ago a large chunk of my days were spent playing the Championship Manager series on our old PC. I generally try to steer clear of generalisations but I think it would be a safe assumption to suggest that a large proportion of my peers nowadays did the same and would probably raise a smile if I mentioned the names Cherno Samba, Freddy Adu or Ibrahim Bakayoko.......
Nowadays as a father, husband, and City worker those days of buying/selling players and winning the Premier League with your favourite team are behind me. Or are they?.....
Football Manager (the new name for CM) Handheld 2009 is a football management game on the Sony PSP - it is a watered down version (but still as addictive) of the recent PC versions, in fact it is very reminiscent of earlier Championship Managers.
The premise is you pick your team, from 33 leagues spread over 10 countries, wheel and deal your players, win games and then win leagues and cups. I don't know the exact figure but there are thousands of players in the database for you to sign, train and sell. To keep your games fresh the database loads a different set of players dependent on which leagues you have loaded - this way the young superstar you found in your last game may not be available in your next game if you load a different set of nations and/or leagues and you will have to scout the world again for the next Adu.
As the PC database would not be able to fit on a PSP's UMD disc FMH uses a smaller database which lives upto the developers promises of a more 'pick up, put down' feel. This means that instead of wasting entire days playing half a season (as we used to in the 90s) you can now switch your PSP on during a commute, play through a few games then switch it off and do it all over again on the way home.
There are a few other differences between the PSP game and the full version, these include:
Interaction - You know longer have to take part in press conferences after each game. You occasionally get to respond to the media's criticism or praise of a player but that is it.
Training - You get 6 or so training schedules and although you can amend these, that is all you get - you know longer need to set up individual training schemes for certain player.
As I hope I have shown during this review, FMH is nowhere near as in-depth as the PC version but keeps it's addictive nature and should be viewed as a quick play game rather than a full replacement.
I love my copy and it really makes my commute fly by and I would recommend it to anyone - especially as it can now be picked up for around £15.
Football Manager Handheld now features a 2D match engine with 2 camera angles, allowing you to view the full match or zoom in on the action. Run up to four top tier playable divisions at any one time so you can move your career around the continent just like you can in the PC version.