#921 Football Manager 2010

Posted: 20th November 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

381st played so far

FM2010coverGenre: Sports
Platform: PC/PSP
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Sports Interactive
Publisher: SEGA

After the release of the list’s second edition, 20 games were removed, with twelve of them unplayed so far. For completeness and because we wanted to try some of them, we decided to still play these twelve, but with shorter or changed write-ups. Today the tenth game – Football Manager 2010.

If you’ve been reading this blog for longer, you’ll know that we’re not the biggest fans of sports games (apart from SSX Tricky which is amazing). There may be a handful we enjoy, but we tend to approach a game like NHL 10 or MLB 09 with fear more than anticipation. With that said, I’ve been looking forward to Football Manager 2010 more, for its management simulation potential. Dealing with the numbers and optimizing everything seemed like it could be more interesting. Unfortunately, as many other sports games, it did disappoint.

The first – and quite possibly main problem – is the same that plagues all annual games. The creators seem to assume you’ve played earlier installments and that you know exactly what you’re doing already. There’s no need for explanation or tutorial. There are a few hint popups, but they point to a few buttons, without really explaining the process. There were screens that took me a few months of in-game time to find, with menus not always marked clearly.

The second part, I guess, is that I don’t know football well enough. This is really just a problem in our specific situation, where we have to play games because they’re on the list, not because we’re necessarily into it. But it shows how much you need to rely on your own football knowledge, or else hope that playing with the default settings and relying on AI advice works, while hoping the numbers match up.

It’s probably the one thing where our blog, semi-review, doesn’t always match up with what a regular player would think. Were we not focusing on the list somewhat, we would not necessarily have been tempted to even touch this game. Now, however, we’re judging from the perspective of someone who doesn’t care about the genre. We tend to try and review ignoring these things and be unbiased, but in these cases, where the game doesn’t seem to try and explain what things are about, why it says someone is good in a position, it feels difficult. Sure, you can figure it out, but it makes it more time consuming.

That time consuming part comes back in other places too. Any match your team plays in is shown as a low quality replay, which you can at least set to move from highlight to highlight. However, it still plays out slowly enough, with enough highlights in there that it still takes more time than what is interesting to me. Especially early on, it felt useless, and when you look at the tactical options you should be able to apply, it really doesn’t tell me what difference they make. There are too many there anyway, and no real insight on what effect they have. To be fair, in real life it seems like the coach’s commands on the field don’t matter much anyway, so I guess it’s realistic there anyway.

As always, the game will be one that appeals to fans, and if you’re not a fan of the sport (and yeah, I’m not) it won’t have as much of an impact on you. Even so, if you think the management simulation angle may appeal to you here, it’s too generic and not explained well enough to make much of a difference. This game just didn’t seem to be for us.