You'll either be over the parrot or as sick as the moon to hear that yet ANOTHER football management game has been released, or should that read 'has escaped'.
My opinion on football games has been recorded often enough; even if I was a mad keen footy fanatic, which I'm not. I wouldn't want to see another soccer management game as long as I live. How many more variations can there possibly be on the "choose team, buy player, play match, sell player" theme?
So you can imagine the enthusiasm with which I approached Footballer of the Year II - not only a soccer management game, but a SEQUEL to a football management game.
At first it's not altogether obvious that this is a new game at all. The aim's the same: you're playing for your own glory, scoring as many goals as possible to make yourself an attractive transfer prospect for teams higher up the league table. Move from one team to another, from one match to the next, until you're voted Player of the Year. The opening icon-driven menu is certainly familiar; the globe representing your team's league and international records, the player's head for your own performance, the tape save load icon, and the match-play boot. Two new options are the transfer page and the trivia option.
The trivia quiz allows you to boost your funds by gambling money on answering multiplechoice footy questions, within a time limit which depends on the difficulty level you choose. If you get the first one right you see a hypothetical football (that's like a real football, but flatter) zoom into a hypothetical net (more holes) and then you can choose double or quits. And why do you need all this money? It's not to get your hair permed or to open a boutique, no, it's to buy goals. HUH? I knew the football league was fixed, but I didn't realise it went this far.
Each time you opt to play a match, to score a goal you must buy a "goal card", the cost of which depends on the level of the match. Even then you're not guaranteed to score; if you choose to play a goal card during a match, you see a blackboard drawing of the tactics chosen for that goal. You have to remember the position of the goalscorer, and use the keyboard or joystick to position him correctly in the action replay if you hope to see the leather slam into the back of the net. The top-down graphics here are minimal, and the whole business seems like a bit of a palaver. It hardly draws on all your hard-won footy skills and split-second timing: it's more a matter of whether you can remember the patterns. In any case, you aren't allowed to score more than three goals per match. Try telling that to Roy of the Rovers!!!
My idea of a football game is lots of little men running around a pitch kicking some pixels about. My idea of a football management game is the same thing, only you get to choose the players first. My idea of Footballer of the Year 2 is that you shouldn't bother with it, unless you're so addled by soccer mania that you'll buy anything with the word Football in the title.
Label: Gremlin Graphics Author: In-house Price: £8.95 Joystick: various Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
More a trivia/memory test that a footy game; kick it firmly into touch.