FA Premier League Football Manager 99
Weighed down with 24 cans of export lager, a rather weighty manual and the review code of FA Premier Manager, I arrived at a mate's house ready for a serious session of armchair football. Three managers, three teams, three dreams.
Cracking open the first can, we loaded up the software and prepared to choose our teams. And that's when it started to go wrong. No matter how hard we tried, we could only select one team. "Surely they haven't made it one-player only?" remarked Villa's manager-inwaiting with incredulity. That's the whole point of football management games.
No matter, piped up the pretender to the hot seat at Newcastle, we'll do a Liverpool and manage the club en masse. The marketing manager over there can look after the business side, and we'll take care of the team, transfers and tactics.
Setting up the team didn't prove to be too much of a problem, although we were surprised to find Marc Overmars not even on the bench, and playing for the reserves, along with Chris Wreh and Stephen Hughes. Further eyebrows were raised when Ryan Giggs went abroad for just $8 million in the first week of the season; and we managed to succeed where Arsene Wenger failed, and signed Dutchman Ronald De Boer - for a measly $2 million! The fact that he only wanted $2000 a vyeek confirmed that the transfer market was indeed all to cock.
After watching half a dozen or so matches, we decided to just get the results and forgo any chance to alter our tactics and formation during a match. Just like CM97/98, it took ages to get all the results in. We played out the rest of the season and finished top - seven points clear.
Not bad for our first season in charge. But wasn't it a bit easy? Maybe we should try again with someone like Coventry.
So what was the verdict? It looks nice and the business model is pretty good, confirmed the marketing manager. It's okay," added the assistant manager, but there's an awful lot wrong with it."
Overall, there are just too many holes. For starters, the first team selection for many teams seems to be wildly at odds with reality. The transfer market is not exactly what you'd term realistic. And the 3D match view is both time-consuming and largely useless. As soon as you lose that suspension of disbelief things just deteriorate.
Should you buy it? Well, if you can put up with all the inaccuracies then it's not unenjoyable. For me, it's only a stop-gap until I get my hands on Championship Manager 3. Which, rest assured, will get exactly the same treatment.
If It's In The: Game...
The fact that you can actually see what's happening on the pitch in 3D sounds like a good idea, but it's actually of no real practical use whatsoever
After experimenting with various formations and tactics, It became increasingly obvious that what was going on onscreen had very little to do with my team orders. In fact, If anything the 3D match representation only served to confirm how poor the Al is, how little my players were following instructions, and how pointless the formation, team Instructions and individual orders actually are. Basically, the 3D matches aren't worth the hassle. They take an absolute age to load up, and it seems to take ages for players to get into position ready for a set piece or goal kick. If it had been done correctly, it might have been useful. Shame.
Download FA Premier League Football Manager 99
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP