20 11 2006

Once upon a time, they were two genres of football management sims, with each genre offering one title that dominated that particular market. On one side sat the expensive Personal Computer with the realistic and statistic filled Championship Manager series. On the other was the home games console and, specifically, the pretty Premier Manager series. PM may have had the looks, but when it came down to real gameplay, the PC and CM took the crown.

Fast forward ten years and while the Premier Manager series is struggling to attract any fans on the console market, Championship Manager, now under the guise of Football Manager, is leaping and bounding through technology. No longer is FM restricted to the PC. An X-Box (and later X-Box 360) release was followed by a portable version of the game on Sony’s PSP system. Now SIGames have a game that can dominate all types of gaming platforms. But while FM has fought off tough competition from various challengers for the PC top spot, portable football management sims are rarer than a three pence piece. FM Handheld on the PSP may be a great game for those who wish to play on the move, but can, and should, SIGames try to take this avenue even further?

I think so. And the first place to start would be to develop a Football Manager title for the Nintendo DS. While the PSP may have better graphics and more features, it has been said that gamers wanting a quick, fun, challenging and easy to pick up system favour the DS. As a DS owner myself, I must admit that the attractiveness of the console – i.e touchscreen, a variety of unique games, etc – is a big winner when Nintendo go head to head with Sony. And while a Football Manager title on the DS may be restricted in its features, the uniqueness of the console could give FM:DS an edge over the PSP release.

Below I have listed a few basic ideas that I think could be incorporated within a DS release. Of course, I know little about the physical limitations of what the DS can do, how much memory can be stored on the game cards and such, but most of the ideas I have raised could be implemented on any DS game.

  • Firstly, the game could make great use of the dual screen, touch-screen capabilities. Using four or so buttons to control the many menus on Football Manager is difficult, but with a touch screen menu system, this would save time and make the game more playable. Imagine being able to drag your team into position, or create runs simply by drawing on the screen – quicker and probably more fun than holding down a number of buttons.
  • If game size was an issue, SI could release country-selected versions. So in England we could have a release with all four English leagues, plus the Conference, whereas in Spain they would have the Spanish leagues. Of course, people in England do want to play as Barca or Madrid, et al, which would be an issue. I doubt many people would buy four versions of the game in order to play as their favourite teams. But if you just want a quick fix of Football Manager, then surely a game with just over 100 teams could keep you going?
  • While the graphics won’t be as good as the PSP version, the game could utilise the dual screen feature. The bottom screen could be used as the main screen, but there are a number of ways two screens could be used, such as: Use the top screen as a menu system, with the user pressing the DOWN button to bring the menu screen to the touch screen; Use the top screen as a hints and guide section for the bottom screen you are viewing; During a match use the top screen to see match, and the bottom to change tactics without having to go into various menus or to see player ratings at the same time as watching the game.
  • Quick friendlies between you and your friends: Using the Wi-Fi technology built in, you could take the team you have built up and play a friendly against another mate and their team.

These are only a handful of ideas that could be implemented. At the end of the day, a Nintendo DS version would not aim to draw in the gamer in the same way that the PC release does. A game the size of Football Manager could only be enjoyed in full on such a vast and clever system. However, I’m sure a DS game would be fun and addictive. The DS is a great multiplayer tool – and I’m sure some sort of mini-game could be adopted to fit a multiplayer mode.

I, for one, would certainly buy FM:DS if it was to be released, but this takes me to my final point: Would they be too many Football Manager titles? Some people are lucky enough to own a host of consoles, but would you be willing to buy Football Manager on the PC, X-Box, PSP and DS? And if not, which system would you choose? Ultimately if too many games were released, this would become unprofitable for the developers. People would shun one title for the other, and so while, for instance, DS sales may rise significantly, the PSP version may struggle to sell as gamers choose one over the other.

Let me know what you think about a possible DS version, and your comments on the amount of FM titles as a whole below.



4 responses

22 11 2006

I have allways rated the DS highly and think that Football Manager on the DS.. would be a pretty interesting thing to see but in all honesty, i think that SI should have just stuck with a PC game and a PC game only.

Expanding in other markets where the game cannot do it’s best, it’s useless.

3 08 2007

Great site and interesting reading

24 06 2008
Ciaran From Belfast

i have been thinkin about this for alot of time, i personally think that FM:DS would be an amazing game no matter wat the graphics LOOK LIKE but wat i think that SI could do if planning to make a title for the ds is use the slot 2 for memory and the slot one for the game and run program, the slot 2 could be anything up to 32gb with these little devices they are making and they could store all the data from all leagues and players on that, if i remember correctly the pc version only needs up to 780mb of space,,, for example look at the R4DS card it can hold up to 2gb with the micro SD card! wat if Sl bring out a little cartridge of there own with the 2 gb build in with all the data or wat about a 8gb cartridge for slot one use,, and i hear all this about not enough processing power to cover all this data,,,,,,LOOK AT HOW WE STARTED WHEN TALKING ABOUT GAMES FROM THE ATARI TO THE XBXO 360 OR PS3!!! that is wat i call a big JUMP forward,, which means that if they can do that jumping from a little half a megabit to 8gig of disk space for the xbox 360 then they can sure as hell make a FM game for the NINTENDO DS

17 07 2008

Just use the original CM93 code, maybe keep the original data too, that would be awesome!!!

Cantona at Utd anyone?!

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