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SummaryIts not about Soccer, its about Politics!
The Good*2nd update. Hah, I knew this game was too good to be true. Added some new "bad" stuff. Note this review is not for the lastest patched version.
Mind you that I am not a Soccer fan. I don't like watching soccer nor will I ever in the near future. The most I'll probably do is watch the World Cup only due to social sanctions if not watching it in my neighbourhood. :)
So what is a person that doesn't like soccer doing playing a game about Soccer? Because its not just about soccer. The soccer game itself is just a tiny small piece of the overall game. What this game really IS about:
Please note that you really need a high level of IQ to play this game, since it takes a lot of patience to identify the game mechanics. Even harder still for someone like me who couldn't tell the difference between a football and bowling ball. :)
So what's good about the game? The last game of the similar-like series I've played was Championship Manager 3. Since the original developers no longer work for that series, that series has because graphical idiocy for losers.
- Local Soccer Teams
Who would want to play Indonesia for crying out loud? Me!! This is the first dang soccer game where I can play my national team. Even more interesting is I have no idea what my national team is about. So I basically chose clubs by the sound of their name. Doh. Where most seasoned players probably prefer playing the big ass clubs like Italian Juventus, Spanish Real Madrid or English Manchester United, I like playing the underdogs trying to make it to the top.
Another thing cool about playing the underdog clubs, is that in previous editions, the "non-famous" players are usually stupid and can't play soccer. Not true in this game. Anyone can become a star. That depends on you the manager in developing him into one!
- Player Management and Training
Do you like RPGs? I love RPGs. And the main reason I like this game is because IT IS AN RPG but without the "adventure" part. The statistical database of this game is amazing! Even more interesting is now you can train your players by hiring coaches trying to make him the indispensable team star player. The game now introduces a feature I'm not familiar with. It's called player training. You can train your first team players as well as your young players. This means you really need some good coaches that can train and identify the potential of your players.
This game isn't about soccer, its about soccer management.... 80% of the time your not playing the game. You will be scouting for player, scouting for staff members, training your players, dealing with the press and club politics. This game really is about people management, everything you say and do will have a response from your players, your boss, the fans and the club. You really need to pay attention to the psychology of people in this game. And who said you need good 3D graphics to make a cool game?
- Game Matches and Commentary
Er, does this game come with sound? Not really, haven't noticed. But anyways, now there are visual graphics of the game called the "pitch" where you can see the movement of your players AND the ball. Quite fun, now I see why people like watching soccer. Here you can view whether or not your tactics work, what weaknesses your formation has, also the weakness of your players. This is where your theories is put to the test.
Also the commentaries of this game is dang amazing! Although there is no sound from the commentator, the text is very well good even though it is often repetitive. One of my favorites:
"Team X needs to get their act together....this is getting embarrassing". Yeah...I won 11-1 in this match. Woohoo!
- Ingame Help - Stats
What hasn't changed is the problem for in-game help, regarding player abilities. I don't play soccer so I really don't understand what "Positioning" or "Flare" actually means in this game and for which kind of player its useful for. The in-game help described everything else but that. I had to guess and see little bits of information from training sessions just to identify which abilities effects a striker, midfielder or a defender. Even abilities for a goalkeeper is tough to identify if your not familiar with the soccer.
- Customized Windows - Not so User Friendly
Something really stupid. They removed the customized windows in earlier versions of the game. Usually you can create your own customization of what attributes, stats or other info you want see. Now everything is pre-set. Hey, my tastes are different! Simply put in this case I'd prefer a Linux approach than a Windows one.
- Contracts Bug
When signing a new contract to a player the player usually states how much money he wants for the next contract. Say he wants 1000 bucks per week. I gave him that. Apparently he rejects it saying the wage to too low. What the...? Isn't that what you wanted you idiot? Apparently he approved only after I increased the wage 3-4 times larger. Now if that isn't a bug, I don't know what is.
It doesn't really matter this bug. The only problem is that for the player to reply, it takes a couple of days or even a week or so. As a manager, this is somewhat an irritating feature when your trying to balance the budget.
- More on Un-user Friendliness
Players get tired after a match. Especially if your training them like there's going to be World War III on soccer. Thus, the next logical step is to let them rest for a day or two. Either I've missed the feature, but you have to do it manually. The easiest way is to do it from the training screen, where you can have them rest since there's a grouping feature. But you can't tell the whole team to rest.
Gah. Someone really messed up with all these windows settings. Championship Manager Season 00/01 was the best when it comes to managerial issues. In this version, the date selections sucks big time. I had one too many incidents where I created a friendly game for the wrong dang year! Even worse, you really don't know if when the calendar says "Date unavailable" if its for a match or something else? Egad.
Creating cups and league games are also a nightmare. You pick an opposing team and all its says is Club X unavailable for the date. How the hell do I know when they are available? Gah. This wasn't a problem in the previous series. Why is it a f*ing problem now?
- Patch 80 MB?
Gah, too much for me to download with my internet speed.