Saturday, February 26, 2011

EA Sports sucks except for one game

Whoever doesn't want to read about manager games, don't read.

Today I played the game "Fifa Soccer Manager" again. In my life it probably ranks in the TOP 3 when it comes to playing time... I have spent many, many hours playing this game. I played it in the night when Lady Diana died, I even remember that.

I do not remember why or when I stopped playing the game, but I do know that it's not the common reason I usually have when I stop playing a game - which is that the game sucks and has fatal flaws. No, Fifa Soccer Manager didn't have so many bad flaws. A few bugs that could make it crash, but at least you could get to know these bugs and avoid them.

It's weird but I have to admit: This is the best football manager game I ever played so far. It's the only EA Sports game that doesn't suck completely. And that's a testimony of how bad the games are nowadays.

It's not just the usual tendency that all games today have: That the graphics matter more than the gameplay. With EA Sports, it's a totally different dimension. They use the same programming code every year, and every year they come up with another version of the same manager game. Just the cover and some minor changes are new. But at the same time, the games are never free of bugs. Which is the worst part. Some of the games are absolutely unplayable. They either crash whenever they like to or the AI takes control of the whole game. In one game I even noticed that, whenever your team scores, the other team suddenly does magic, dribbles around your defenders in impossible ways and makes a revenge goal just one minute later. It's not a coincidence, and I checked online and everyone had the same problem.

Then another reason why EA Sports is a bitch is because they hold the official licences of the football teams in an exclusive way. No other companies can release football manager games here. There is a football manager series made by Sega that I can only get as an imported version from the UK on amazon. But I didn't try that yet because it's expensive and I already had my share of dissatisfaction when it comes to manager games.

It's pretty hard to find good manager games. I also notice that some manager games are made by the wrong people. When I watch Formula 1, the tv station presents its own manager game there. But I don't even give in to that idea because I know that this tv station, RTL, will never make a game that has the depth I am looking for.

Fifa Soccer Manager is a great game for its time. It starts in the 1996/1997 season, that's how old it is. The menu design is brilliant. It's a little sad that there is no proper youth section, like youth camps. And there are no player images, but at least a solid 3d engine that doesn't crash all the time or do unfair things.

Managers that are newer than Fifa Soccer Manager suck because of their complicatedness and eagerness to crash. Games prior to the release of Fifa Soccer manager suck because they are too simple. For example, the game "Sensible Soccer" has player values in pounds, but there is no freaking way I can tell what the abilities of the players are?! Lol....

Okay, that's it for now.