Football Manager 2006 XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 6.0
Sound 7.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: Atari
Classification:
G+
Review Date:
April 2006
Reviewer:
Kyle Sudukas

8.0

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Football Manager 2006

At last, gamers of the console persuasion will be able to enjoy football management like never before! Football Manager 2006 for Xbox 360 weaves its way past the opposition and slots one in the back of the net to complete the treble line-up for this season. With hundreds of divisions across 50 countries, 250,000 players and staff, the degree of depth is undeniable for even the most vocal of rival managers!

FM2006 is a football manager game, which means you are the one to yell and curse when the team is losing, because you are the boss! You can take control of any team from the 50 leagues available in the game and on top of that, there are more than 270,000 players and staff members available. It sounds like a lot right? Wait until you learn that every player has at least 44 different skills, in addition, there are height, weight, age, birth city, and favourite clubs and so on. There is a lot of data in the game and this is what helps make the feeling of realism possible, but it also slows the game down a little, but weíll address that part later on.

Your job as manager is to make the team as successful as possible by trading players, renewing contracts, making sure the players in your team are content, set the training regiments, make sure you have trainers and scouts and make sure your board and the fans are happy, and so on.

The most important and hardest aspect of the game is the tactical part. If you have a good tactic, you can win games that you might not have won otherwise, and vice versa. To aid you, you have lots of information, statistics, and you can also watch the games! The matches are shown in 2D and the importance of this is not the graphics, but the overview. Of course, most people tend to think that watching a game for 90 minutes is a bit too time consuming when you donít get paid with actual money, so you can choose to watch only the most important sequences if you want.

To make good tactical choices, you need to keep a close look on these sequences, since you can then see where your teamís strengths and weaknesses are, and you can also look at the statistics of the players in the current match. Letís take an example; say you notice that the midfielder with number 23 from Real Madrid seems to make superior passes to the forwards, what do you do?

Maybe you should let one of your players cover him tightly and tell him to tackle hard when number 23 gets the ball? Or perhaps you should get a better mid-defender in? Or even let your defensive midfielder, who can play mid-defence, take a step down to make it harder for the forwards in Real Madrid? Many thoughts like these will go through your head when you play the game, and that is a good thing. The wealth of tactical choices is nearly endless and each choice does matter Ė you can even see it in real-time!

This game doesnít really need nice graphics, but the interface looks simple and the menus are easy and logical to handle. The 2D interface during the games works really well, although 3D might have improved the things. The graphics are simply more than enough for a game like this.

Right after the graphics engine, thereís the audio department. The sound isnít the reason why youíd play a game like this, and most people will probably tend to listen to music instead of the in-game sounds, since the sound effects are only available when you play matches. The effects are really good though, and help make the matches livelier. When there are scoring opportunities for the home team, the spectators get excited and explode when the shot beats the keeper, or boo in disappointment when the keeper blocks the shot. It is hard to grade the sound in games like these, but the audio (or lack thereof) is simply great for this game.

The goal of the title is not obvious. Sure, most people want to win everything, but if you play a lousy team in the English Northern Conference, then your aim might be to save the club from bankruptcy and/or from relegation. If you are managing a team from a small town, then your objective might be to make the board improve your youth training facilities to be able to produce players for your team and so on. You can set any objective you want in this game, and if you are good at what you do, you might even get offers from other clubs who want you as their manager!

Best football management game on earth? Itís definitely in the lead for the title, and the gameplay is what helps make it so good. The atmosphere, the realism, the tactical choices, the beautiful goals your players scores, etc, all aid this in making the game as good as it can be.






 
 



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