Football’s coming home

I’m a football (or soccer, as Northern America likes to call it) fan for nearly twenty years now – which is basically my whole life because before that I was mostly a fan of eating, sleeping and keeping my mother busy.

I remotely remember the semi-final of the European Championship in 1996 where Germany beat the Czech Republic in extra time. It was the first golden goal in a European Championship and scored by Oliver Bierhoff with a header. Funnily enough, I can’t remember the final where Germany actually won the cup.

So, I’m a football fan more or less since then and even actively played for some time in a team. Nowadays, though, I only watch some games at home or play football videogames. Which – at last – brings me to the real topic of this post.

As with my deciding points for or against Playstation and XBOX (read here – it’s German, though), I mostly played FIFA and only recently got to play a bit of PES (2013, that is). While both are fun in their own ways, I find myself more and more entertained and challenged by Football Manager (Sega Interactive, not EA) where you’re not actively playing the games but sit on the sideline and instruct, train and motivate your team.

A manager game involves way more math, statistics and tactic, which suits me just fine. Building up my own youth team, looking for staff and trying to meet the board’s goal while making my players and the fans happy is quite a balancing act. And it takes time. Lots of time.

The demo version of Football Manager 2014 let’s you play half a season. I clocked in over thirty hours before I even made it to December and that was just the first team I managed. Even the classics mode of the game, which is a more basic version with less options takes forever to hit the half-season point. Playing for 30 hours on FIFA probably sees you in your second or even third season.

And the best thing about it is, you don’t even have to pay that much attention to the actual game or listen to commentary or such stuff. It’s like a side activity while browsing the internet, chatting or whatever. And who can say he won the league while doing the laundry?

Mid-April will see the PS VITA version of Football Manager and I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t really played the iPhone version because I’m not really a smartphone gamer but the VITA game… I’m curious. And I really hope it’s more like the classic mode than the handheld version. Some first impressions can be found here under the PS-Vita tab.

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