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Old 11-18-2008, 05:14 PM   #1
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Football Manager 2009 Gonzo Review please vote!!!

Football manager 2009 or Worldwide Soccer Magazine (WSM)

Here we go! Here we go! Here we go! (again)

Since its first release as Championship Manager 93/94 the (now) Football Manager series from Sports Interactive has seen 10 titles released and as of Friday the 14th of November in Europe and the 18th in North America the eleventh edition will be discharged onto the shelves.
I have been playing Championship/Football manager since the 95/96 edition. It’s been a long time, longer than most Premiership careers. I must have spent a genuinely quantifiable portion of my time on this mortal coil playing this franchise and I can honestly say that I have broken ten times more property, skin, bones and spirit due to the results of my multitude of management careers than I ever have failing exams, drinking, breaking up with girls or being a moustachioed Italian plumber jumping on mushrooms to gain pyrotechnic abilities (Halo 3 on Xbox live not withstanding). Now my faithful droogs before you start to vidi me as some sort of deranged tail chasing day-releaser I would suggest discussing this phenomenon with friends who have played the game or check out some videos of reactions on You Tube (the latter of which will firmly place me in the tail chasing category but at least I won’t be alone). Whether by design, subliminal messaging, or a drugged water supply FM manages to create a combination of addiction, fury and despair that can be likened only to a testicle torture dependence. The crux of this problem I have always thought due to the lack of direct control in matches. Even though you order your multi million pound Brazilian left back to not let your 3rd division opponents winger get the ball it doesn’t necessarily mean that he will bother and that said winger’s hat trick and subsequent relationship with your first born on the way to the cup final won’t be described to you in repetitive and all too familiar detail. What’s more you can’t even watch these proceedings, pitch based or otherwise, leaving you unable to prevent the same thing happening next match, which it inevitably will. After narcotic induced marathon FM sessions you begin to wonder, why is this happening? I thought games were meant to be fun? Is it a communist plot designed to disturb our natural bodily fluids? What can I do to stop the madness? God knows the game won’t tell you, you have lost 3-0 but without a super computer to crunch all those stats you may as well be looking at the matrix. Should I download someone else’s tactics? Maybe trawl for tips on forums for an hour traversing the gloomy nether where gaming nerds and football hooligans attempt to coexist? Or shall I just set myself on fire?
Well that has all changed in recent years (sort of). The last four editions have seen 2D maps of the pitch showing draught like circles moving around to replicate the movement of players and for FM2009 a long awaited 3D match engine has been designed. The animation isn’t great, players tend to spend a lot of time jogging on the spot instead of standing still and it doesn’t appear to have any biometric stats affecting each players appearance short of hair and skin colour but you can see where your players are and if you drink enough bleach and then squint a little it sort of looks like a football match. A much more promising but less publicised feature is the assistant manager feedback. During the match you get statistical and tactical interpretation and even a little advice from your assistant, the equivalent of that super computer that was so needed in earlier versions. Could this be the answer we seek? Have SI finally thought of a way to help people learn how to play like every other game in history? No. What actually ends up happening is an never ending list of the opposition that must be marked tighter, closed down faster and tackled harder blocking your view of the scratchy match graphics coupled with a selection of mind blowingly infuriating comments about how your players can’t pass, shoot or toilet themselves and that you’re going to lose. What your assistant manager doesn’t tell you is that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it short of divine intervention or playing the match over and over and over and o...............
So after about 15 years and 11 editions you can sit and watch in familiar helpless anguish as that unknown part time labourer from Dagenham skins Jose Mardigras and makes a mockery of the tactics you just spent two hours fine tuning by chipping your keeper from the by line before you slowly stand up, calmly take the game from your CD drive, snap it in two, run the halves over your wrists and slowly bleed to death all over his blocky, jerky goal celebration, alone, fat and blind because you spent 15 years staring at a glorified database. Now THAT is progress.

Last edited by Bronyaur; 11-18-2008 at 05:29 PM.
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