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Archive for November, 2008

England Vs Germany

Posted by Jarv on November 17, 2008

Well its time for another pointless international friendly for England this week. I’m sure there are some reading this saying “ but its Germany, it’s a big game” well no actually its not it is at best a B international friendly and a lot of the big names seem to not take it seriously either.

Look at the list of absentees which include Heskey, Rooney, Gerrard, lampard, Ferdinand and Terry, arguably that’s pretty much the entire spine of the team missing. Both Ferdinand and Rooney missed the demolition of stoke city on Saturday but both Terry and Gerrard managed to play for their clubs and will no doubt most of those missing through “injury” will make miraculous recoveries for the next round of premier league fixtures and will probably play 90 minutes.

For a few players it’s a chance to impress the national manager with Call ups for Agbonglahor and Ashley young, who you might remember I said should have been called up previously. The most surprising call up for me was Michael Mancienne who I had only previously heard of playing Football manager ( a review of Football manager 2009 which can be found here) he was decent on there but then again so was Nii Lamptey. A few of the regular posters at the Away Goals Rule Football Forum have seen him on loan at Wolves this season and said he is top quality, if he should he play he will need to be.

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Football Manager 2009 Review

Posted by Jarv on November 16, 2008

Well first of all it’s become apparent that the launch of the game was a almighty & complete farce with a large amount of people who bought the game, including myself, unable to activate the game and play it, while anyone who downloaded it could play it fine. Obviously this is the opposite effect which SI games were after and hopefully in future they will realise their error. Denying customers who have paid for the game the ability to play it is just going to drive more people to piracy.

Anyway onto the game, after playing the Demo and receiving an inordinate amount of injuries I’m glad to say this has been toned down to more normal levels in the full game. Players are harder to sign in the full game too; several players who were easy to get a hold of in the demo are now committed to their clubs.

The assistant advice is much better on this version of the game and they usually recommend a few decent players to shore up your team early on. FM2009 seems quicker than the previous incarnation too, not as fast as the demo was which moved on at almost a lightning pace.

The new 3d match engine is unnecessary in my opinion, ok it looks a bit better than the 2d version but wasn’t needed and does seem to have a few little bugs, players running on the spot or standing still for a minute with the ball as 2 examples. The whole match feedback from your assistant is much improved and I actually find this useful now.

All in all its an improvement on 08 but time will tell if it has better stick-a-bility in the long term.

I’ll add a follow up when I have played it more, in the mean time for more Football manager 2009 Discussion, visit the Away Goals Rule Football Forum.

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FIFA 09 Review

Posted by Kieran H on November 4, 2008

First review here, so don’t expect any great works of literature

Several big improvements from FIFA 08, the physics of the ball have been upgraded dramatically, it swings and curves in the air realistically, likewise the animations on the players when they are fouled (crunching players you don’t like with a late tackle is a joy), Be a Pro’s been greatly expanded to allow players to have a full career, as well as the doubling in size of the online version.  Other nice improvements include the variation in the background of the Arena (Rio de Janeiro, Urban Training Complex, Far Eastern City at night), and players moving off onto the sidelines when injured, sometimes to continue, sometimes to go off.  All teams have also been updated with as far as I can tell, flawless accuracy, unlike the latest installment of Pro Evolution Soccer.

The major problem with the new game in my view is one of the new features being used as a selling point – the Adidas Live Season.  The changes to a player’s ability based on his form, or even his current fitness are grossly exaggerated to the point where you’re selecting Dirk Kuyt upfront rather than Fernando Torres.  call me a traditionalist but I don’t want to be playing someone on FIFA and have to worry about the player’s real world fitness.  Stats aren’t just exaggerated on the downward side either, Rooney has had a few very good games recently, and his rating has shot up to 92.  This seems reasonable until you consider that franz Beckenbauer, the best player in FIFA 09’s Classic XI, has a rating of 91.  Ronaldo’s rating has also risen to 94, now I know they’re in good form, but this does not make them greater than the greatest of all time.

Speaking of the Classic XI, there are some extremely notable ommissions.  Keane, Zidane, Pele, Best, Maradona are all out of the squad entirely (although Abedi Pele [who?] does get in).  Now I’m aware that it’s almost certainly got to do with licensing but it’s a bit ridiculous to have an all time XI without most of the greatest players in history.  If they can’t do it properly they probably shouldn’t do it at all, it makes the game appear cheap.

Overall, the flaws mentioned in the last two paragraphs are far outweighed by the improvements, the passing is very nice and it actually feels for the first time like you’re controlling actual people rather than just characters.  I’m aware I’ve devoted more space to the Cons than the Pros but the Pros are actually difficult to describe until you play the game.  There are so many nice touches, it really feels like a finished version of FIFA 08, although this does make one question the wisdom of paying £40 for a game which is what you should have got a year ago.  Still, I suppose that’s why EA are such a succesful company.

Recommendation: Buy it.

for more football game news, reviews and discussion visit the Away Goals Rule Football Forum

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