Let’s Make A Soccer Team
Again a manager, indeed. You love them or you hate them. I for one are one of the loving kind I that’s why I thought to have a great time while checking out this new manager by Sega on my PS2. A mixture of their own Football Manager and Codemasters’ LMA Manager, that’s what I expected. After all, you can also check out the games in 3D (an important feature from LMA Manager) but also the traditional top-down views of FM are present. Well, the rest of the game was going to be something quite different from the average management game since the whole was poured into a story. What I was supposed to expect from that remained a riddle to me until I started playing.
This game is all about a new team of which you are of course the manager and which worked itself through the lower divisions of the national competition like a speeding bullit. This whole story is told in the form of newspaper headlines that scroll by, little sound fragments, … Then the game starts, you pick a place and name for your team, the colors, and all accompanying stuff. Your first mission is to get it in the 2nd league. This is done through a small play-off between 4 teams of which the winner goes to the higher series. If you don’t succeed, your team gets bought and it’s GAME OVER.
In the beginning you can do nothing but lead your team, the rest of the game is explained after you’ve been placed for the next season. This goes on (in the game of course) until a month after the start of the game. Then all possibilities are explained and available. This is a good way to introduce new players to the management genre as this “learning program” shows all the points up to the details. From this game you can build further in Football Manager as it’s practically built up the same way. Except for a couple of extra options from FM of course. Once having played an hour or two you’ll be quite deep already.
The most important option is of course managing the team itself, setting up your guys right before the game, do tactical changes while taking the opponent’s play into consideration. Yuo can choose from different formations like 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 (and more of course), the type of game you’re going to play in both attack (counter or building up) and defense (zone of man coverage).
To learn these things you have to train your players on them. Indeed, also that needs to be planned and it’s the idea that you set up monthly training schedules and don’t forget to add in some resting time as otherwise your guys will get tired and will perform badly during important moments.
As manager you also haveall the money-related stuff you need to look at. Selling t-shirts, season tickets, gadgets with the team logo, anything you can think of. Next to that there’s of course the normal ticket sales and in short you’ve got a lot of things that bring in money and you’ll need them as it’s GAME OVER if you’re bankrupt at the end of the season.
The money is necessary to pay your players, your staff and possible building projects. Indeed, also building and renovating or expanding facilities is in your hands! All these things make that you can improve your team and that’s necessary if you want to get them to the premier league or even to stay in second division.
Where the game goes wrong, however, is the 3D games. They’re butt UGLY! Square players and the crowd in the stadium looks more like board signs than actual people. A field consists out of 1 texture that gets stretched to get to the 100 meters and then we haven’t even mentioned the incredibly stupid AI. Shooting from the middle is no rare thing here and in 30% of the cases these shots even end up in the goal!
Although this still remains more interesting to watch than balls moving, you tend to get angry when a million dollar player ruins your tactics by shooting at the goal from the other side of the field.
On the other side there are the beautiful atmospheric sounds. You hear the supporters singing spontaneously several times a game, even if you’re 5-0 behind, or you’ll hear them shout “booooo” when the referee does yet another stupid mistake. Unfortunately this is the only reason that will make you watch the 3D games. The graphics are – as already stated – utterly bad. On the other hand: it isn’t FIFA or PES of course.
Let’s Make A Soccer team is a terrific game for starters with the management genre since it teaches you the basics plus some important tricks of the trade. Therefore I would strongly recommend this game if you want to try out this genre. If you’re already familiar with this type you may better want to spend some additional money to a more extensive title. The makers also did an attempt with 3D games (a first for Sega) but unfortunately it remains with a bad attempt, excluding the atmosphere, thanks to the incredibly ugly graphics.
So, good to learn but there are better games for the fans