I was talking to someone on messenger, and as is usual it was a nostalgic look back when computing was fun.
Sarek: …can’t play a game now and listen to music not even champ manager which btw has gone to the dogs!
Pentagram: football management games haven’t eclipsed football manager in my eyes
Pentagram: blip blip blip…blipblipblipblipblipblipblip GOAL!
Sarek: i still play footy manager now on spectaculator!
Sarek: best version was speccy!
Pentagram: you can’t mistake the quality of two frame animation of footballers
Pentagram: yeah it was a brilliant game
Pentagram: the picture of that bearded twat on the front
Sarek: cm2 was good but since then they destroyed it with too much stats! Kevin Toms u mean 🙂
So thanks to that little exchange, I’ve been playing Football Manager again, and I laughed, laughed and laughed again as well as thoroughly enjoying it.
I don’t hide my thoughts about gamers, gamers in the sense that every waking moment is dedicated to playing and planning to play games. I’ve now had a computer since 1983 and although games bore me, I have played a few thousand in-between programming and I think that Football Manager (especially the Spectrum version) rates in the top ten of all-time classic games.
It started a genre of management games that has, over the years, killed the element of fun, and made them unplayable to the extent that the only people who can play these games are anoraks with the full NHS glasses with jam-jar lenses.
Let’s see how it SHOULD be done with this review of Football Manager.
Once you’ve selected your team, put your name in and your preferred level, you are thrown right in the deep end with this screen. So simple, it’s the only options you need, none of this contracts bollocks or endless messages having to be read. Type 99 and you’re off.
Ooooh Exeter playing local rivals Plymouth (or the “Green and White Shite” as known to Exonians). Look at that display… tells you everything you need to know about the teams lining up against each other. Don’t have any weak areas of my team against the Snots, but have a look at the team setup up anyway.
Look at that. You don’t need a degree in statistics and a supercomputer to work out what team to pick! Two injured players, and a knackered goalkeeper and Kevin Keegan rested (due to crap hairdo). This isn’t rocket science; you don’t need to spend more evaluating every possible combination, it’s a straight forward, no nonsense piece of piss.
We’ve picked the squad, now we come to the action of the match itself.
Football management games have various methods of showing you the action. Some like to think that circles running around aimlessly are a good idea; some think highlighting a zone on a football pitch is best, but you can be guaranteed some programmed match commentary that adds bugger all excitement to the experience.
Football Manager on the other hand shows some animations that, thanks to the passage of time, are comical, but at the time they were slick. Even now I still shout “come on you bastards, score/miss!”
When I say comical, I mean it’s almost like they’ve predicted Emil Heskey! Just by the penalty spot, he takes a shot and…. he hits the corner flag. BTW get the PC remake on our server and watch it, they’ve fucked up the goal zones and so you get goals when you miss and no goals when it patently went between the posts.
And that’s all there is to the game! Fifteen league matches a season and FA Cup thrown in for good measure. Once a season is over, your team of four and fives are annihilated so you have to rebuild the team up and that’s every season. It’s just superb arcade simulation. I would love to see this game updated but not with better graphics or flash sound or over-complicated crap.
So to sum up, this game is a classic. It has everything a football management game should have; its has ease of use, entertaining action, and most importantly the ability to make sure you play it over and over again. It’s gripping so 10 out of 10 from me on the nostalgia scale.