Analysis of Football Manager Classic 2014
When one talks about Football Manager, and it has been a constant on this website, he always tries to highlight the concept of “addiction” that is inextricably linked. What is now the sports management simulator par excellence has long become a first-rate time-stealer, in the Messi of idle hours, in the CR7 of procrastination. Facing all the options, all the data and all the decisions that the SEGA and Sports Interactive game generally offers is as vast a task as calculating the age of Arjen Robben or counting how many passes Barcelona have made to get closer to the rival area.
With Football Manager Classic 2014 something similar happens, but also different with respect to its version for computers. Halfway between the reduced version for tablets and the game that we can find in physical and digital for PC, Mac and Linux; The word “classic” present in the title indicates that what we find here is the homonymous mode presented in Football Manager 2013. A mode designed to simplify things for newcomers and make the game more accessible that, a priori, seems ideal considering the concept of playing anywhere and anytime offered by Playstation Vita.
Operation in this mode is very simple. Unlike what happens with the traditional mode, where the options are much more extensive and complex, here the inbox is the key piece of our internal organization chart, and from it we can delegate the different issues and problems to our work team that are posed to us throughout the season. Training, for example, goes from being individualized to being directly oriented towards the whole group; and we can even leave the choice of the squad in the hands of our second based on the work they have been developing throughout the week. From there, as “Cholo” Simeone would say, we went on to play game by game, simulating all of them with the same old-fashioned but effective 3D engine seen in this year’s PC edition. In them we can select from the tactics to use to the mentality of our team, in addition to endless individual options for each player such as “playing a false nine” or “marking individually” that allow you to approach each game in a very different way. also helped by reports on rival teams prior to each match.
As it has been happening since numerous deliveries ago, the taste for detail and accuracy is truly commendable, and the Vita version is no exception in that regard. Being a follower as I am of a team as little media as Celta de Vigo is surprising the amount of data handled by the Sports Interactive team, from who is the assistant coach and scout of the team to the name, position and main characteristics of all the youth squad of the lower categories. A titanic task that makes every football fan, beyond watching the games, dedicate, as we have said before, hours and hours to make his team the undisputed champion thanks to a detailed management or, in my case, manage to save it before the end of the season and, miraculously, get him into UEFA positions. Suck that one, Luis Enrique.
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As a reduced and portable experience, it is difficult not to applaud this version, since it manages to maintain the same level of frenzied addiction as its “older brother” without compromising the main hallmarks of the franchise.
Unfortunately those hours and hours gladly spent are accompanied by something as annoying as long loading times. Without being a maddening thing either, the truth is that the delay with which the game executes the games or saves before each game collides head-on with that immediacy that should be supposed to a portable console game. We can agree that Football Manager is not a game designed for short games, but it is noticeable that even though Playstation Vita is a powerful console, it is not capable of handling the remarkable volume of information with ease, causing it to sometimes reach wear out dedicating more than three or four games to each session.
When talking about details that mess up the whole, it is time to point out what is undoubtedly the worst aspect of the game: control. If the Sony console is not usually characterized by having the best touch panel in the world, having moved the entire graphical interface of the computer game 1: 1 has predictably resulted in buttons that are too small, uncomfortable drop-down menus and some strange combinations between buttons and gestures on the screen whose operation is practically random. A real nuisance moderately salvageable with a little patience and care that is equally criticizable in a game that depends entirely on the brilliance of its interface.
Finally, it should be noted that despite the fact that the title itself indirectly indicates which is the main game mode, this version also includes the Challenges mode, a system of challenges of limited duration in which we have to fulfill our objective – save a team relegation, finishing a season undefeated, that kind of thing- which, although it is true that it does not add anything new to the game system, at least manages to add a bit of variety to our games and helps us disconnect from the constant pressure we suffer as top managers of our team.
If we also take into account the cross-save option, which allows us to continue our PC, Mac or Linux game by downloading it directly to our Playstation Vita, it is easy to see what the true intention of this Football Manager Classic 2014 is. Every laptop is difficult not to applaud all those behind this version, since it manages to maintain the same level of frenzied addiction of its “older brother” without suffering the main hallmarks of the franchise, but a franchly improvable control and some Loading times contrary to the philosophy of the title mean that this reduced landing of the saga has ended up scoring in the first leg and suffering back in the second leg. Because as the popular soccer maxim says, there is no small rival.