Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten improvements needed for FM 2012

Football's a funny old game. With the season now over, fans across the globe all feel a little lost with plenty of free time on their hands. We're not glued to our televisions waiting for the final whistle to blow, there's no tension as the clock winds its way down those final few seconds, no one is left biting their nails to see if there team can stave off relegation or manage to cling onto their title challenge.

Several of us on the Megabits team are avid fans of the beautiful game and there's some healthy rivalry going on through our support of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and, of course, the champions and most successful English club ever, Manchester United (Come on you Reds - Bojeeva). But now summer is here there's a huge void that needs to be filled...

Thankfully, that's where Football Manager comes into play! Our FM 2011 game discs will once again be whirring into action until the annual release of the Megabits' favourite is inevitably released in the next few months. To help out those guys at SEGA and Sports Interactive as they work on the next edition, BaseAllstar and Bojeeva have come up with a few suggested improvements...

These ideas are in no particular order - and, as ever, let us know your views below.

10. Virtual trophy cabinet
Football Manager is renowned for its vast database of stats and figures. Every aspect of the game is accurately captured, allowing us to pore over each minute detail. We love it - but wouldn't it be nice to show off your managerial achievements a little more. Sure, there's the manager stats page and points table that shows how you compare to the greats. You can even see all your player purchases and win ratios. What would be great, however, is a virtual trophy cabinet.

A screen where you can gather all of your medals, trophies and even newspaper cuttings(!) to show your successes over your career. More should be made of your movements between clubs, the players you've discovered and cultivated, and your growing reputation. As a result of your efforts, there should be more clubs sniffing around and trying to tempt you away and world class players should be throwing themselves at you so they can learn from a legend of the game.

9. Players appreciate in value better
You finish a season well, having helped one of you strikers become the most feared finisher in the league. He wins the golden boot, player of the year and is coveted by clubs around the world. Thing is, his value hasn't edged up much from when you discovered him in some small Latin American club. In fact, the clubs that are now approaching you are offering a laughable transfer fee. The sad fact is, he's actually interested in moving on and even when you turn down his request to leave, he sulks, upsets his team mates and leaves you with no option to get rid. For a paltry sum!

All too often, players lose value rapidly if they're played out of position or have a barren spell in front of goal. But even if they do well and play like a God for an entire season, their value barely moves up at all. Sort this out SI!

8. Online play
Play a friend online...

7. More adaptable players
Any member of your team should be capable of playing out of position without fear of losing their transfer value or their skills being eroded! Remember John O'Shea playing in goal for Manchester United and not doing too badly?

6. Make players less sensitive - more realistic

Even when you lavish praise on a player in a press conference you can upset them! It should be made more obvious when you're likely to cause offence - how the hell can saying they're a brilliant purchase and an asset to the club make them hate you??? Shouldn't it also be worthwhile to occasionally criticize them? Some carefully timed criticism could make them improve their game, buckle down more in training and generally make them play as you want them to.

5. Regular and licensed updates
All these years, all these annual updates yet we still can't have all the player photos, kits and logos from every league. It's just plain annoying! What's more, if you can track them down online, the download is usually massive and installing the damn things is a right pain. For once could we please have a complete game out of the box? If I want to manage Manchester United, I want to see all the players' cheery faces when I change my tactics. And why can't transfer updates be a bit more frequent - smaller, more frequent updates would be a great improvement.

4. More scope during interviews
There is of course already a good number of responses to choose from during both press conferences and one to one player chats but it's never quite enough and there are inevitably times when none of the answers available really cover what I want to say. Add to that the amount of times over the duration of a season I must've repeated myself to the gathered press bods or said the exact same thing about five different opposition managers and it just detracts a little from the realism for me. Give us a larger array and variety of answers, and problem solved.

3. More graphics
Just a few shots of the training ground, dressing room, a slightly animated press conference maybe or a couple of snaps of the teams arriving before a match, any of these and more besides could all do their bit in terms of helping you to lose yourself within the game and breaking up the pages of text and stats.

2. Bring it back to console
I know, I know, it is a better game on PC, plus it's more accessable and the navigation around screen is far superior but, I would dearly love the option to grab it for my 360 or PS3 once again. The combination of achievments and any future possiblities for online play would make FM a cracking addition to the console games library.

1. Better crowd animation and real chants
The match crowd within the current incarnation of FM does a very simple job of jumping up and down when their team scores and erm....that's about it really.

What I would love to see would be a little bit more detail in there, flags waving, banners held aloft, maybe even the odd balloon or two (no beachballs please!) Again I'm just looking for more ways to add to the illusion of FM being a living, breathing football world. So, I'd also love to see some real life songs and chants from the various clubs incorporated into the game, in fact it doesn't even have to be crowd chants. It'd be just as cool to see your team running out to the correct song, Liverpool to 'You'll Never Walk Alone', Everton to 'Z Cars' etc.

(Photo credit: doug88888)