Football Manager

Review: Football Manager Classic 2014 (PS Vita)

Format: Playstation Vita

Developer: Sports Interactive

Publisher: Sega

Be warned, Football Manager Classic 2014 (FMC) is a grower. It’s not as easy to love as the excellent Football Manager Handheld (FMH) series, which has offered wannabe managers the chance to tinker with tactics and shout obscenities at a tiny screen on the commute for a number of years now.

But FMC does offer something more than FMH, which has stagnated in the past few years, offering incremental updates instead of true innovation. It’s just that, like all good relationships, takes a while to get to know and you’ll need to accept and understand its faults and quirks before you can truly appreciate it.

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Football Manager Database To Be Used For Real Life Player Recruitment

Football Manager’s legendary player database is one of the reasons the series formerly known as Championship Manager has been such a success. It contains 250 pieces of footballing, contractual and personal information for more than 550,000 players and staff.

The first Championship Manager didn’t even have player names, but Sports Interactive’s (SI) research operations have evolved from an amateurish combination of Rothman’s Football Year Books and fanzine surveys to an army of more than 1,000 providing information on footballers around the globe.

When this extensive reservoir of information is plugged into Football Manager’s virtual football world and match engine, it becomes a pretty powerful tool in predicting which prospects are going to become global superstars.

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Why Doesn’t Sports Interactive Make Football Manager 1888?

Football Manager 1888 screenshot 4

Yesterday, Sports Interactive announced that they were releasing Football Manager 1888, a football management simulator based on the first ever Football League season of 1888-89. To anyone who bothered to check the date, it was obviously an April Fools prank, but you’ve got to hand it to SI – it was pretty convincing.

It posted an official looking product page on their website, displaying screenshots and alleged features of the game that they claimed would be released this summer. Members of the development team answered fooled fans’ Twitter queries with a straight face and even got the Football League to mention the game on its official account, stating that it was part of the League’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Even eagle-eyed readers who realised that it was too good to be true said that they would be interested in such a game if it was ever released, so why doesn’t Sports Interactive make it?

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Review: Football Manager Handheld 2013 (iPhone/iPad)

Photo 04-01-2013 01 27 26 Format: iPad (Reviewed), iPhone (version 4.01)

Developer: Sports Interactive

Publisher: Sega

The more cynical among us greet yearly updates to sport franchises as though they are mere cash-ins comprising little more than updated stats coated in a fresh lick of paint.

The PlayStation Vita version of FIFA 13 has provided fresh ammunition for this school of thought, but Sports Interactive has remained immune from such criticism with its Football Manager series, adding a raft of new features with each annual release.

Football Manager Handheld 2013 includes all the expected updates to the legendary database powering the game, but beyond the addition of a few new leagues and some cosmetic improvements, there appears to be precious little novel about it.

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Book Review: Football Manager Stole My Life

Published: 2012

Football Manager is more than just a game, it’s an obsession that occupies far too much time of those who have succumbed to its orgy of statistics, realism and ‘just one more game’ mentality. I am among the fallen, having played more entries in the series than I can count and spent more human months than I care to remember.

Sport Interactive’s legendary series of football management games has spawned a subculture that has attracted millions of members, each with their own in-game and real life stories to share.

Football Manager Stole My Life is a celebration of this community and aggregates these tales into a collection that every fan of the series can relate to, even if it falls short of completely explaining the phenomenon.

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Review: Football Manager Handheld 2012 (iPhone/iPad)

Format: iPhone/iPad

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sports Interactive

Version: 3.1

When the Football Manager series first made the transition from the desktop to the PSP, the addiction that had blighted my early teenage years had escaped my bedroom and now accompanied me wherever I went, harming my social life and academic prospects in equal measures.

The jump to iOS exacerbated this problem, allowing me to play the game just about anywhere, even at the most inappropriate of times. Partly through design, partly through the limitations of the hardware, Football Manager Handheld’s stripped down take on the series was still surprisingly deep and fiendishly addictive.

Football Manager Handheld 2012 doesn’t offer anything radically new to the formula, but instead refines it, resulting in one of the best football management games ever created.

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