When it comes to football management games, one developer is in a league of its own. Sports Interactive has consistently managed to enrapture a nation of armchair managers for over a decade via its Championship Manager and latterly Football Manager titles, with the domestic wreckage wreaked well-documented. That heritage has now been distilled, shrunken down and injected into the PSP, which if you think about it is the ideal format for the game.
No longer tethered to the PC screen, or indeed hogging the telly with the 360 version, it's almost a less guilty way of playing. Addicts of the game will be all too aware of the deep shame of wrenching yourself away following a six-hour session, but if you're on the move anyway, killing time is to be positively encouraged. The perfect companion for planes, trains and automobiles, I played the game on all three modes of transport during the course of this review. This is my story...
So I'm in the back of the car heading north for the big Chester v Wrexham derby match when I crack out the game, falling into silent reverie for a good couple of hours as I come to terms with the interface. If you're used to the latest versions of the game, then know that this is a brutally pared down affair. While the PSP is capable of playing movies and throwing vivid graphics around the screen without breaking sweat, it is apparently unable to muster 22 dots and a ball on a green background. The much-vaunted 2D match engine is gone, replaced by old-school text commentary for what is effectively Championship Manager 3 Lite.
SEGA has acquired Football Manager developer Sports Interactive.
When a game as all-consuming as Football Manager enters your life, there's only one problem: knowing when to stop. That one-more-fixture, one-more-transfer feeling creeps into the lives of all but the most disciplined players, and this uncontrollable, bona-fide addiction is responsible for more than the odd divorce and relationship headache along the way.
SEGA's announced that Football Manager will be released on PSP and Xbox 360 on April 13th.
As noted in passing this morning, Football Manager 2006 will be hitting PCs and Macs ahead of schedule on October 21st – and to help celebrate its completion Sports Interactive's hitched its shirt up over its head, run toward the crowd and flung a spanking new "gold demo" toward the spectators. You can grab it from various mirrors, of which we'll be one just as soon as we've completed the warm up (witlessness aside: when it's finished crawling toward our FTP).
Football Manager 2006 will be more verbose and realistic than ever when it's released for PCs and Macs this November 4th, according to the chaps at developer Sports Interactive. Of course, we thought, they would say that, but then we read the rest of their press release and their claims were given much support. Unlike insert-your-most-hated-club-here.
SEGA and Sports Interactive have revealed a few of the new features and improvements to be found in the next instalment of its Football Manager series for PC and Mac, along with news that a PSP version is on the way too.