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It's very interesting to see the results when two game developers go head to head making the same type of game, aimed at the same market. FIFA Manager 09 locks its horns with Football Manager in a grand attempt to knock it off its lofty perch. After a good crack at Football Manager PC I've now turned my attentions to FIFA Manager 09 PC to see if EA have really put their money where their mouth is.
In great EA form it has produced a better looking game than Football Manager. The interfaces are infinitely more wonderful to gaze upon and while this is all surface stuff it does actually make the game much more accessible than its rival, especially for the newbie.
Flicking through the various menus and tabs at your disposal you soon get a feel for what kind of game your playing and what's going to be asked of you as a manager.
A Football Manager purist would no doubt say that the FIFA Manager game is dumbed down.
A Football Manager purist would no doubt say that the FIFA Manager game is dumbed down. But I cannot help feel this is missing the point of games. We need something immersive but accessible, something that fits into our busy lives allows us to tinker with our team without getting weighed down with the responsibilities laid on us by a game.
That said FIFA Manager 09 does not fly through the season. On the contrary in my first 2 hours stint, I only got through 2 pre-season games. This was partly due to my own desire to get to grips with the tools available to me, of which there are many. I spent my time with my staff, getting to know my team (Exeter City FC) and coaches and the like. I wandered round my grounds and facilities admiring and planning future expansion. And I work with my scout finding new talents for the coming season. All of this was enjoyable; the tinkering was fun. So the slow progress through the season was not an issue. It's all part of the experience. If you don't enjoy the journey, then what's the point?
As a beginner in football management games FIFA Manager 09 ticks all the right boxes for me.
I can see a deepening perpetual experience emerging with FIFA Manager 09. A game to grow with, a game that will hone your managerial skills as it runs along side every day life- but not take that everyday life away.
As a beginner in football management games FIFA Manager 09 ticks all the right boxes for me. As a football management purist maybe it would not. But if the path of the purist is loosing chunks of life pawing over player stats, rather than enjoying a game for fun's sake, then I'll stick with being an EA heathen - at least for a year.
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