Developer: Sports Interactive
Football Manager is one of those games that you cannot put down (as long as you’re a football fan). It really is the epitome of ‘just one more go’. It’s ruined countless lives and marriages and the PC version is one of the most pirated games of all time. With over 1000 enhancements from the PSP version, the Vita edition promises to be closer to its PC counterpart, and with the significantly higher power of the Vita, it really is.
Essentially ‘Classic’ Football Manager is the classic mode from the PC game. Which in itself is how Football Manager was a few years ago, before the humongous amount of improvements were added to give it the great depth and detail that it has today. Classic mode is more streamlined and massively easier to use, and with the innovation of the PS Vita touchscreen, it’s faster, prettier and much-needed upgrade to the old PSP game.
Football Manager Classic 2014 is a fantastic debut for the Vita. It’s the most feature rich and smooth of the handheld versions and is just as addictive. It’s visually on par with the PC version and features both career mode and the amazingly fun challenge scenarios, in which you try to save teams from relegation, win trophies against all odds or try get clubs out of massive amounts of debt. The career mode lets you journey through 30 seasons as a manager and you can either take charge of your favourite team or start unemployed and look for a club in need.
The game can be navigated in the same way as the PC game by means of the touchscreen. No longer a pain of using buttons as on the PSP, and the size of the screen also helps as the iOS version is ridiculously fiddly. An added bonus of a cross save feature with the PC version is another brilliant addition, meaning you can take you PC progress on the train or bus. The text can be a bit hard to read in some areas and this can lead to you having to read most things twice, although it’s not a huge problem it is a bit irritating.
The 3D match engine looks gorgeous on the Vita and works just as well if not better than the PC. The full functionality is here and it really makes the experience much more engrossing than the old 2D engine or the commentary only option. A new handy feature is the assistant manager advice which pops up during the game. It’s really handy and saves you from looking through the menus to see who’s tiring or underperforming.
Football Manager Classic performs brilliantly on Vita. While it’s not the entire Football Manager experience, it’s as close as we’re going to get for a while and as a debut for the system it’s full of promise for things to come. Having sunk hundreds of hours into the PC games I can only see my addiction widening with this iteration. It’s not perfect, but it’s well on its way to getting there.
Review code supplied by SEGA