Posts Tagged ‘Sports Interactive’

Premature Evaluation: Eastside Hockey Manager

As a citizen of Canada, it’s safe to say Paul Newman’s Slap Shot is the single greatest hockey movie of all time.

This is a film so mired in obscurity it’s not even possible to illegally torrent like its thematic cousin The Mighty Ducks, so allow me lay the scene for you instead. Slap Shot is perhaps Newman’s finest work: a comedy from the ’70s about a crappy mill-town hockey team who, after years of crumby results, decides to let their latest acquisitions, three brothers – depicted with glorious thug-moron precision – finally play. The brothers’ savage style of hockey reinvigorates their fanbase and the team is retooled using violence to draw in big crowds.

It’s a wonderful lesson for everyone: Embrace your talents, however impractical, illegal or violent they may be. This is the kind of meat-and-potatoes advice that helped turn Slap Shot into an honourary Canadian sports film and a favourite among the demographic of retirees who like anything vaguely nationalistic, all despite being filmed in Pennsylvania and havinng no Canadian actors.

But it’s a lesson you should follow to a T when playing Sports Interactive’s recently revived Eastside Hockey Manager.

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Football Manager 2015’s Best Players And Bargains

Football Manager‘s best players can technically be discovered by using stat-sniffing tools to reveal hidden information, but there’s more to players than numbers. Where a high stat might mean a player is theoretically proficient at something, you also need to know how they perform on the pitch, whether they can do it on a rainy Saturday morning in Watford, and whether they’ll play well with others, year after year, for the good of the team. That’s why I’m here.

In the grand tradition pub debates everywhere I’ve built a fantasy eleven (plus substitutes) of the best Football Manager [official site] bargains I can find. None of this ‘five attacking midfielders’ nonsense either, this team is designed to play together in a proper modern 4-3-3 formation. (I resisted the urge to use one of the avant-garde strikerless formations I’m so fond of). Everyone on this list is under £10 million, available at the start of the game and good enough for the Premier League, Serie A or La Liga. As always, no list feature is ever truly definitive, and consider the prices an estimate as each game of FM15 is unique and the whims of the game’s engine can result in strange fluctuations. Similarly if you think I’ve missed any great deals feel free to share your own in the comments.

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Game On! Eastside Hockey Manager Returns

You know, if you’re longing for deeper, stat-heavy, party-managing RPGs, you might not go far wrong with a sports management sim. Beneath the sporting veneer lie all the tactics, behaviours, and numbers you could hope for. Sports games are other games in disguise. I was only taking the piss a little bit with that FIFA demo post calling it real-time tactical action, you know. Football Manager has a fair few fans here at RPS, and now its makers are getting back into ice hockey.

Developers Sports Interactive have revived the long-dormant Eastside Hockey Manager series [official site] with a surprise new game which launched onto Steam Early Access today.

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Fan Film: An Alternative Reality – Football Manager

I attended Ole Gunnar Solskjær's testimonial in which he unsurprisingly came on as a substitute. In my ideal world, Berbatov , Solskjær and Juan Mata all retire from football and run a top notch delicatessen together.

Last year’s Football Manager [official site] documentary, An Alternative Reality, appeared on Steam’s video streaming service last night. The purchase is for streaming only, with no downloadable files available, and the standard price is £7.99 (there is a 30% launch discount at the moment). The documentary is already available on other digital video services, some of which do allow downloads as well as streaming, but its appearance on Steam caught my eye and I ended up watched it while cooking my dinner last night. Brief thoughts below.

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Have You Played… Championship Manager 2 Italia?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Football Manager didn’t always come with such a huge selection of leagues and nations. Back in the early days of its life as Championship Manager, leagues were separate games on separate discs: one for England and Scotland; one for France, Germany, Spain; and one, which I had and loved, for Italy.

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Gooooal! Football Manager 2015 Has a Demo

So, any of you football loving types out there who prefer managing spreadsheets instead of having to actually sprint about a field yourself? You know where this is going if you’re a footie fan, yes I’m talking about Football Manager 2015. Our Adam was fairly torn on this year’s entry, so it’s probably a good thing that there’s a demo on Steam. There has been for a week, actually. Sorry we never mentioned it.

So, what do you get in the demo? Me and my sports-averse brain will try and work that out for you.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2015

Another year, another trip to the dugout. It’s tempting to think of football as nothing more than a billionaire’s playground wracked with corruption and capable of reducing a supporter to tears for all the wrong reasons. The beautiful game can be extremely ugly. But there are still tales of tiny triumphs, of giant killing and last minute survival, and of windswept terraces on a winter’s evening. Football Manager 2015 captures the tears and the triumphs, but this year there’s a somewhat heavier dose of the former. Here’s wot I think.

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Moustaches And Match Engines: Football Manager 2015

It’s probably the case that the biggest updates to Football Manager every year, the ones that will make the biggest difference over the following months, are found in the interface. In such a complex simulation, with more data than a Next Generation marathon, it’s important to have access to important information on a single screen, or at most a single click away. The video below shows the return of the sidebar, along with cleaner graphics for scouting, manager history and the like.

But, lets be honest, everyone is going to end up talking about the burger vans and moustaches.

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The Football Manager Documentary Is Self-Descriptive

Football Manager is an odd cultural duckling. Its nerdy, number-heavy presentation holds it back from the ooh-it’s-like-a-film mainstream acceptance of Call of Duty, et al. Meanwhile, its being about football stops it from being embraced with the same open arms as, say, EVE Online, despite it inspiring similar levels of passionate brain-crazy among its far larger audience. Its far less talked about than its vast success would suggest it should be.

This news seems a good thing, then. An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary is a Football Manager documentary being released in select cinemas in the UK come October 7th.

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Scouts Honored: Football Manager Data Being Used By Pros

Oldboy is a pretty great film. No spoilers, but I like the scene in which the main character, after years of private practice, first confronts a group of street toughs. “Can 10 years’ worth of imaginary training… be put to use?”

Apparently it can. Hopeful players of Football Manager have been wondering for a long time whether their expertise would convert to the real world, and as reported by The Guardian, it seems at least their scouting data would. FM’s famously vast and detailed database is now going to be included as part of Prozone Recruiter, a software tool that many real clubs use to help with finding players to buy.

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