FIFA Manager 10 Review
Keep it simple!
Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 21st December 2009
FIFA Manager 10
- Developer: Bright Future
- Publisher: EA Sports
- Release Date: 30th October 2009
Most of my experience with football management games comes from Sport Interactive's Football Manager. However, last year I got my first taste of EA's alternative, in the form of FIFA Manager. So this year I decided I would cast a critical eye over the game and see how it stacks up against the competition.
As you would expect FIFA Manager 10 allows you to take control of your chosen club and run all the football aspects of that club. Buying players, selecting team line-ups, composing training schedules and managing the clubs backroom staff are all your responsibility. So far pretty standard stuff! However, FIFA Manager takes things a little further. You are able to play the game as a player-manager or you can choose to control one player from your current squad during games. You can also play with a personal life running alongside that of your management career complete with a wife and kids and all the trappings that go with it. Whilst these don’t really sound like major differences to that of other football management game they do contribute to the games biggest flaw! That is FIFA Manager simply throws too much at you. The game expects you to manage every aspect of the club, including duties usually left to the chairman and board executives. This includes things such as agreeing sponsorship deals and selling all the space of your stadiums advertising boards. This coupled with the personal life aspect means you’re often overwhelmed with the amount you have to do and this really distracts from the football which is of course the games biggest draw.
On a more positive note the game does feature a rather good moral system, which can help with your teams’ performance, If results aren’t going your way and players are starting to feel down, the game allows you to plan day trips, player parties or warm weather camps to improve moral. This in turn can have a positive affect on the pitch with players giving that little bit extra and occasionally getting you a surprise result, sadly just as in the real world it doesn’t always work. Other good points can be found in the games training system, this is fairly in-depth, but unlike some games is very easy to use. It allows you to create groups of players that undertake different training exercises allowing you to improve key stats for different positions. The game also offers regular player reports from your coaching staff in order to aid your team selections. FIFA Manager 10 features a fairly expansive press conference system. You will be often asked about your teams’ performances and even individual players, and the answers you give can have both a negative and positive affect on team spirit and player morale. The only flaw with this system is that it’s easy to read, and you will quickly learn which answers to give in order to get a positive reaction.
Of course where there are positives there are also negatives, and FIFA Manager 10 is no different. The games interface and menu system is undeniably over complicated and you will often have to navigate numerous screens in order to find the information and features you’re looking for. The games 3D match engine offers a pretty good insight into your team’s performance. Sadly though, it looks very dated looking like a much earlier version, which might have been seen on the PlayStation 2. The match interface also suffers from some bugs and it’s not uncommon to see a tear in the graphics during the course of a match.
One of the most common complaints gamers have had with various management games is how slow they run, however this is not something that can be said about FIFA Manager. I played the game with 12 leagues selected and it sped through the result processing with ease, so much so, it was almost un-noticeable.
FIFA Manager 10 is pretty much the same title as last year, as you would expect it features all the usually updates to transfers, promotions and relegations and so on. But this year’s game also introduces online play allowing gamers to play together over the Internet in the same competitions. This is a very welcome addition and one that has been in rival games for some time. The games online mode supports up to eight players competing against each other in the same league. This adds a new level of challenge as guessing another player’s tactics is much more difficult then those of the computer controlled teams. But having said that, the computer controlled managers in FIFA Manager 10 are no slouches and do pose a real test for your management skills and football nuance.
FIFA Manager 10 in my opinion is something of a mixed offering. The football side of things is fairly solid, but sadly the game includes too many duties that simply aren’t part of being the manager of a football club. Then there’s the personal life aspect to deal with and coupled together they really stop the title competing with rival games. Often leaving you overwhelmed and spoiling the playing experience on offer, which is a shame as it will probably drive football mad gamers else where.
Review Score: 7/10
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