Category Archives: Sports

Managing with Monk – Football Manager 2015 Review

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A New Season

Football Manager, still the only series where you can go from complete agony to ecstasy in a few seconds and vice versa!

This year’s edition is the 12th in the successful spreadsheet series. But what makes 2015 stand out from the last year? Previous editions always stated that there are hundreds of new features for us to discover, some of which are more noticeable then others. However, I always felt that I could only see one or two big changes, mainly in the match engine and the overall interface. FM2015 is different, this time I can clearly see  many changes and new features to play with. What’s more, they actually enhance my managing experience.

He’s Signed!

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It’s not easy being Rotherham

I took over as Rotherham manager, don’t ask why, I just did (Fate edit * Because they are the best team ever). Straight away I am greeted by a main screen that looks new, but also feels completely familiar to an old veteran like me, everything just seems to be one simple click away on the new side bar.

First order of business is tactics, the essence of football managing. Again, the new tactics page has had an upgrade…. and I am pleased to say: It. Is. Wonderful!

(Defence is the best form of attack…. hopefully)

Every bit of key information I need to choose a winning tactic is right here on one screen. Gone are the days of having to click through several screens just to see if Becchio is a worthwhile Target Man, then what his finishing is like, it is all now in one place. Simple.

Take a look at this guy, might be worth tracking this player?

The joy of FM 2015 and the FM’s before it, is that you can micro manage as little or as much as you want. Don’t want to run individual player training sessions? Don’t! That is why we hire assistants! I feel that sometimes I missing out on little neat features when I tell my staff to pretty much do everything but pick the players for the match, but I am glad that when I do feel like taking full control, it is easy and rewarding.

Scouting is... Different.

Scouting is… Different.

Another new overhaul is with the scouting system, it is now simple and easy to tell your scouts: This is what I want; this is how good he should or can be; I want him between these ages; have these key stats; and finally, I want him cheap, or not – if you’re so inclined.

Match Day

Matches are what FM2015 is all about, pre-match press conferences haven’t altered much, Sports Interactive say there far more variety in questions, but I just don’t see it. A new feature includes the Tunnel Interview, so just before you begin your important match, you may get asked a quick question. I find these generally are about you dropping or player or that the opposition is missing one.

Touchline Team Talks are another staple added to liven up nail biting matches, along with a new and improved match engine. You can now shout at your players to focus more on defending, or encourage them passionately to keep going. At first I thought these could be match turners, a key shout could help defend a lead or score the winning goal… but part of me feels that these shouts just don’t do anything.

(I generally use the ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Demand More’ actions myself)

Final Whistle

I have always loved FM, no other game can toy with your emotions as much as a title deciding match, or an epic cup final. FM 2015 has certainly added some new key features which have added to an already fantastic game, making it even more personal and gripping to play. As mentioned, Sports Interactive have helped make a simple and easy to use interface.  Although FM 2015 is a solid spreadsheet game, I still feel it needs more improvement. I get frustrated when a player is unhappy and there seems to be that one line missing when talking with him that I want to say. Or the repetitive nature of the press’ questions, I tend now to not even read them and just go with that same old answer. The atmosphere at big cup matches or rival games just seems flat, I want to hear more of the crowd roaring when we score or booing and jeering if we are playing horrifically.

Overall FM 2015 IS an upgrade of 2014 and so it should be. Yes there are faults, but it is a game that continues to get better every year, and every year we go out, buy it, and shout at our screens when our star player misses an open net. So here’s to another season (or 15) of taking Fate’s beloved club from local whipping boys, to the Kings of Europe! (Maybe).