Foot-to-ball-a-rama: Football Manager 2009 Demo

By Kieron Gillen on November 3rd, 2008 at 2:34 pm.

SOCC-ER!
Sitting in a darkened room in a distant country, in a place which seems to have taken pleasure in ignoring my need for tea, the news that there’s a demo out for the latest version of that most British of games, Football Manager, pleases me. Specifically, Football Manager 2009. It allows you to play a half season of the game to get a handle on the new features – including for the first time actual 3D in-game highlights. Which means we have to retire the old PC Gamer “Revolutionary 2D Match Engine” gag. Man! Anyway – the trailer and some gameplay videos are beneath the cut. Hurrahs and similar.

The Trailer:

The Match:

WHich reminds me a bit of Sensible Soccer, and makes me suspect the argument I’ve been hearing – that the simple 2D non-animated view left more room to players to create closure by imagining what was happening which the 3D view removes – is probably overstating the point. This doesn’t appear to be close-up replaytriffic stuff. Anyway, more stuff on their page.

Also, you can tell I’m jet-lagged, due to a distinct lack of foot-to-ball jokes.

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51 Comments »

  1. Chris Evans says:

    Damn jet-lag depriving us of foot-to-ball jokes :(

    Downloading the demo via Steam right now!

  2. Fede says:

    Smaller version of the demo (170MB instead of 1GB) english language only with english and scottish leagues.

    The 1GB version has several languages and leagues, but I guess many will care more about the smaller size than the demo’s variety.

  3. Fede says:

    Damn, they don’t allow direct links, this should work.

  4. Cigol says:

    3D engine is alright, not bad, not great. Superfluous at this stage. Overall it seems like an interim release to me. Still the best in the business but I wanted a more substantial improvement to the core part of the game. Maybe a more thorough play through will reveal they’ve done that, but I’ll wait for the full release (which isn’t a good sign – as I usually enjoy experimenting with their demo’s).

  5. Urael says:

    Anyone who plays these dull dull sport simulations have absolutely no recourse to knock The Sims for not being a ‘proper’ PC game. And while I’m ranting, why is it that obsessively learning who scored what in which match against whichever team while wearing that jersey (Or crafting ‘fantasy’ teams) is entirely permissible conversation to have in a pub while any other form of mental geekery is mocked to hell and back? Football is GAY. Proof: all the men hugging and kissing after they manage to ‘score’. Oh, and it’s mind-crushingly dull too.

    Rant over. Go on about your business.

  6. BC says:

    Is gay bad?

    For a good game of footie, I don’t have a problem with a bit of hugging and kissing.

  7. jam says:

    It warms my heart to see a Sensi Soccer style view on a modern game. SWOS remains the only playable football game. The genre has just gone backwards in the 12 years since.

    Of course, the view in Football Manager is for watching rather than playing the game, so it makes less sense here.

  8. Seniath says:

    No tea? Alert the UN at once, such crimes against humanity should not go unpunished!

  9. icabod says:

    Football is a mans sport whilst computers are for girls, clearly.

    Personally I downloaded the demo yesterday simply because I found some old notebooks whilst tidying a room, which had notes about my or my brothers games of Football Manager on the ZX. I’m planning to remove some pins from my video cable in the hope of emulating colour clash.

  10. Dolphan says:

    The demo is pretty worrying. The 3Dness is nice (and optional) and some of the feature improvements are good – transfers seem a lot more realistic. You can’t get someone at a ridiculously low price just because they’re transfer-listed anymore. The asking price will be below their value, but not by the insane amounts of times past.

    The real problem is the state of the release, given that the game has gone gold. There are issues with crashing (I, like quite a few others, have to run it in a window to prevent it crashing when going into matches) and with injuries – I’ve played 9 matches and had a player injured (beyond just that match) in every single one. Again, from the looks of the forums, I’m not the only one. Oh, and whenever you have to type anything, it’s nigh on impossible not to get multiple copies of every letter you type.

  11. Jubaal says:

    Aye Sensible World of Soccer was the pinnacle of footy games in my eyes. You just can’t beat a sensible soccer flying header goal!

    Marginally off-topic, is anyone planning on trying Football Manger Live? I’m signed up on the Saunders Gameworld and I’m interested on what it will be like. Linky below:

    http://www.footballmanagerlive.com

  12. El_MUERkO says:

    i want to player manage this, just glue SWOS to this and bill me for it please!

  13. Bobsy says:

    Ah… SWOS…

    Can we have a collective wistful sigh from the foregathered?

  14. clovus says:

    I know pretty much nothing about socc^H^H^H^Hfootball, especially not European football. I will never like the sport, I’m sure. Anyway, everytime I read about this game I wonder if it would be fun to try it. It would be like playing a RPG where all the conventions have been switched around. I’d have no idea what was going on, and that might be fun. Or not. I don’t know, is this crazy? Is this a game that absolutely requires knowing all about football ahead of time, or could someone actually start from stratch and have it all make sense and have fun while figuring out?

  15. Alex says:

    I hate this game. Beyond, like, all compare. I agree about the weirdness of footbal geekery being the only cool kind (though the dullness of the game is secondary to this issue, occasionally a game of football is semi-interesting. And I always love a bit of homoeroticism.(

    But I always feel like I could knock a decent impression of this game up on Excel, and it eats my housemates. Like, literally. I was told I was an outsider last week for being the only one who doesn’t play it. By play it I mean 25% of the day. Even my Halo obsession never ate up that.

    Oh well. Crying in my room over RPS and brandy is always an option…

  16. Zephyrtron says:

    When is Miles going to stop being such a swooning girl, suck it up and ask ruddy Mourino to front the game already?

  17. Chris Evans says:

    Hmm five mins with the demo and…hmm. Didn’t get that same feeling I normally do with the FM demos =[

  18. Panther says:

    Am I the only one who would like the option of a cut down championship manager 3 style game? I think 2000/01 was the last time I put an obsessive amount of time into it. If I knew where I could get a copy with an updated team listings I would be there like a shot.

  19. James G says:

    Urael, using Gay as a synonym for bad? Really? Not only is it mildly homophobic, but more importantly it passed into passée cliché the moment 12 year olds started using it to describe everything they saw, which was about five years ago no.

    My brothers are big fans of the Football Manager series and devote many hours to it. Not being interested in football myself its never had much appeal. The low spec requirements for the game suits them ideally, as they’ll play it on their laptops, while using the 360 for most the rest of their gaming needs.

  20. TheApologist says:

    @James G – You’re being too nice. It’s not mildly homophobic, it’s just plain homophobic if you ask me.

  21. LEEDER KRENNON says:

    FM takes way too long to play these days, give me CM2 and seasons you can finish in a few hours. that said, i was impressed by the demo and saw enough to pick up the new version, it will kill a few long, cold winter evenings i am sure.

  22. Radiant says:

    I’m terrified of this game.

    Just through seeing what it is capable of doing to otherwise normal people.

    If they ever managed to squeeze this into a phone version we’d lose half the worlds population.

    The addiction levels are IMMENSE.

  23. simbo says:

    Pah! Football Manager was in 3D over 25 years ago!

  24. Radiant says:

    @Jam
    Do you remember International Soccer on the c64 [I had a cartridge version for instant fun]. For decades that was the best computery footie game.
    But before Kick Off 2 and Sensible Soccer changed everything; there was a GORGEOUS football game called Matchday 2.
    It was the first football game you could play 2 player co-op; it was also the first footie game where you could jump – which led to fantastic moments where your mate would sky the ball towards you, you’d jump, stick the ball to your feet, turn in mid air and then volley it past the cpu goalie.
    Bloody glorious!

  25. Jubaal says:

    Ah yes I remember saving up my pocket money and buying Football Manager on cassette for my BBC Micro from Woolworths.

    Man I feel old after typing that.

  26. Radiant says:

    oh special shout out to Microprose Soccer and it’s 90 degree banana kicks.

  27. Radiant says:

    oooh just found out that the guy who did Matchday 2, Jon Ritman, was also the chap who wrote ‘Head Over Heels’!

    Dear Scientists
    Where is this Time Machine?
    lots of love
    Radiant.

  28. LEEDER KRENON says:

    i know this a controversial opinion, but Emlyn Hughes International Soccer on the Speccy knocks all of these into a cocked hat. dooijes, kooleman, DIK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. LEEDER KRENON says:

    when i started at uni and found the internet for the first time, i was astounded to find jon ritman on the spectrum usenet forum. i sent him a fawning e-mail professing my love.

  30. Radiant says:

    I’d do that now!
    Did he reply?

  31. LEEDER KRENON says:

    yes!

  32. terry says:

    I have Football Manager 2008 and it makes no sense to me at all. So many variables, so little brains :(

    I liked it better when it had Kevin Toms on the cover.

  33. clovus says:

    Using “gay” as an insult is not necesarily homophobic. For example:
    TF2player1: SomeGuy is camping the spawn!
    TF2player2: That’s gay!

    TF2player2 is hardly saying that SomeGuy must be a homosexual since he is doing something annoying. Now, if you call someone “gay” because they are being a girly-man, or decorating really well, that would be homophobic since those are actual homophobic stereotypes. I think using “gay” as an insult is usually kinda’ funny…

    …but I’m not gay. It is certainly insensitive to use it in a derogatory fashion though. There’s a significant chance that someone playing is gay and is understandably offended at the word being used that way.

    So, to sum up, using gay in a derogatory fashion is pretty gay.

    BTW, I find it strange that I’m being an apologist for misuse of the word “gay” in response to someone named TheApologist.

  34. LEEDER KRENON says:

    radiant: “thank you” and a little more. it was 13 years ago, my brain has long since forgotten the detaisl :(

  35. futage says:

    @Clovus

    It’s not really a matter of whether the person saying it is meaning to imply that the thing being called gay is actually homosexual.

    It’s the fact that a word which means (in common, current use) homosexual is being used to (also) mean bad by reference to that prior meaning. i.e. it relies/builds on the conception that homosexuality is a bad thing.

    Having said that, it’s probably become abstracted enough from that prior meaning to lose its offensiveness, particularly when used in irony which is what I hope/trust Urael was doing.

  36. Citizen Parker says:

    No tea? If you’re in Seattle, you can’t be more than a few feet (or about a meter for you British types) from this quirky local chain called “Star Bucks” I believe. They server a variety of these “teas” that you speak of.

    (Although stay the heck away from anything actually containing the phrase “English”. Apparently we Americans find the most vile teas imaginable to mankind and label it “English” as some kind of lingering frustration from that revolution thing.)

  37. jam says:

    @Radiant
    No, I don’t remember International Soccer, but then I had a Speccy, not a C64.
    The only pre-Kick Off footy games I remember were Microprose Soccer that you mentioned, and Gazza II and Italia 90 on the Speccy, which seemed great at the time, but in retrospect were rubbish.

  38. friendlypervert says:

    @LEEDER KRENNON
    @Panther
    and anyone else who wants old champ manager style with modern players should search for “tapani” at their favourite torrent site (currently available CM01/02 but with July 2008 teams!)

  39. Jp1138 says:

    3D engine is… horrible. No way this couldn´t be done 5 years ago.

    I´ve had three crashes in 2 hours of play : (

    I will buy it anyway : )

  40. Urael says:

    @James G: To clarify – my use of the word ‘gay’ was not merely a substitute for ‘bad’. I meant it *literally*. Considering the amount of kissing and hugging and petty bitching you see in a modern game of footy it is entirely reasonable to assume the players are all homosexual, latent or otherwise – the irony being the reverse is usually assumed to be true of fans and players. My issue is not with the homosexuality itself – that I will defend as a perfectly normal and natural state of being but with the societal pretense at being a defining factor of masculinity. My jibe was carefully constructed to expose the ludicrous hypocrisy of this situation – rugged ‘manliness’ defined by a sport in which the principal agents have displays of touching and embracing on the pitch (emulated by those in the stands) – and not to merely suggest football was ‘bad’. Any homophobia, therefore, is entirely imagined and was definitely not my intention.

    Football = as Gay as Julian Clary or that crummy Channel 4 comedy (and I use that word loosely), Will & Grace. Why not just admit it rather than hiding behind plainly untrue assertions to the contrary?

  41. LEEDER KRENNON says:

    friendlyperv – i want that kind of game but with a nice interface! too demanding i guess. CM01/02 is incredibly clunky.

  42. Panther says:

    Much appreciated friendlypervert…

  43. Chris says:

    Funny i stopped playing at CM00/01
    After that it became a different game if you ask me.
    I just didnt want to play a game where you have to tie a players shoe laces and give him a detailed individual training schedule.
    The game lost something.
    The closest i have found in a casual way is:

    http://www.soccermanager.com

    Really fun free casual web game.
    I am yet to play £5 to play the gold set up which looks miles better. Which has international management as well.

  44. LEEDER KRENON says:

    training schedules is the stupidest addition to the series by a long shot. there should at least be an option to have the assistant manager run this. is there?

  45. aldo_14 says:

    @James G: To clarify – my use of the word ‘gay’ was not merely a substitute for ‘bad’. I meant it *literally*. Considering the amount of kissing and hugging and petty bitching you see in a modern game of footy it is entirely reasonable to assume the players are all homosexual, latent or otherwise – the irony being the reverse is usually assumed to be true of fans and players. My issue is not with the homosexuality itself – that I will defend as a perfectly normal and natural state of being but with the societal pretense at being a defining factor of masculinity. My jibe was carefully constructed to expose the ludicrous hypocrisy of this situation – rugged ‘manliness’ defined by a sport in which the principal agents have displays of touching and embracing on the pitch (emulated by those in the stands) – and not to merely suggest football was ‘bad’. Any homophobia, therefore, is entirely imagined and was definitely not my intention.

    Football = as Gay as Julian Clary or that crummy Channel 4 comedy (and I use that word loosely), Will & Grace. Why not just admit it rather than hiding behind plainly untrue assertions to the contrary?

    Because you’re talking a load of complete tosh; and writing on the assumption that those who disagree are so homophobic they’ll be instantly outraged by the use of the term ‘gay’ as a description.

    When in reality people are just going ‘hey, that’s really offensive’ because you’re either a) equating ‘gay’ with ‘bad’ or b) defining it as some ridiculous stereotype.

    Also, it’s pretty much softcore trolling you’re doing there.

  46. Ben Sizer says:

    I notice this iteration continues the tradition of resolving the event before playing it back to you: you can see in the video the flashing GOAL in the status bar before the ball has gone into the net.

    As for the nostalgia trips… Matchday 2 was great, but Emlyn Hughes arguably beat it with the extra kick directions. C64 International Soccer was great in its own way though. And did anybody play Super Match Soccer, the spiritual successor to Matchday 2? The game engine was pretty decent but it lacked the depth of something like SWOS, sadly.

  47. luckystriker says:

    @Chris
    I tried out Soccer Manager at your suggestion and I must say, I’m pretty impressed. FM (and Hattrick)-Lite, but still allowing managers plenty of opportunity for work-procrastination (do ppl really play web-based games anywhere else but at work?) through scouting. Good stuff.

  48. nuno says:

    gravar no computador portatil

  49. nuno says:

    eu nao queria comprar

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