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Football Manager 2012


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I know this doesn't get a great deal of love in Mukland but I also know that a fair few of us do still enjoy it!

Football Manager 2012 is out in a little over a week (on the 21st) and has the usual number of small changes with a few big ones mixed in for good measure.

The highlight for me is the ability to add and remove leagues to your game as you go which will be awesome for long career games. Also the ability to set a tone to your team talks and whatnot seems to add a lot to the game if the official forums are anything to go by.

Annoyingly (for some, probably no one on here) the game can only be run via Steam. Available to pre order from all of the usual places. I managed to get it for a little over £20 a few weeks ago on Green Man Gaming with one of those generous coupons they seem to like giving out. Not too bad!

Key new & improved features for Football Manager 2012:

Transfers & Contracts – significant changes to the transfer and contract systems, including loyalty bonuses, better implementation of amateur and youth contracts, an improved transfer centre and the ability to lock areas of the contract negotiation when you aren't prepared to budge. This helps you to manage your budgets and gives you flexibility in what you offer money hungry players, or agents, as incentives.

Scouting improvements – using several real life scouting reports, a new in-game report has been devised which includes squad analysis, tactics information and information about goals scored and conceded alongside lots of other scouting improvements, giving you all the information you need to prepare before kick-off and throughout the season.

3D Match Improvements – new animations, a whole new crowd system, improved weather system, more stadiums, plus two brand new cameras - "Behind Goal" and "Director Cam" as well as all other camera angles being reversible - meaning you can watch and analyse every aspect of every game.

Manage Anywhere, Anytime – the ability to add or take away playable nations in your saved game as often as you want. Manage in that country at the start of the next season- meaning you don’t have to stay in the nations which are chosen by you to be playable at the start of your career.

Tone – a whole new level has been added to team talks and conversations, with the new tone system, which allows you to specify the way you want to say things – be as cool as a cucumber by saying things calmly or throw tea cups around by saying things with passion. There are 6 different tones to choose from with specific comments per tone.

Intelligent Interface – a new adaptive layout system, which means the higher your screen resolution, the more info is easily at your fingertips. The new interface also contains new filters, customisable columns, a new tactics screen, and lots of new overview screens.

Brand New Tutorial – standing separate from the main game, a mode to help new players find their way around the game easily, whilst also offering tips to experienced managers on how to get the most out of the game, as well as a new in-game “how to” system.

On top of these key innovations, there are lots of areas of the game that have had huge improvements, such as the media system, press conferences, the youth system, newgens, the social networking options, friendlies, international management and many more which will be detailed in a series of video blogs over the coming months, alongside more information about Football Manager 2012.

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After taking a break from this last year I am looking forward to getting back into it this year. Not a big fan of the match engine as it makes the matches last too long but overall you really cant beat it once you get heavily involved in a game.

Late nights, arguements with the missus and hours of detailed football analysis on the way :) brilliant!!

Also, I cant wait to rip the face off of underperforming players in the team talks...

'Tevez is unsure of his squad place and is not looking forward to the game'... tone set to 11!!

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God the amount of hours i have spent in this franchise of games, is crazy. Upon each release i always say i will bother picking this years up. Then coming the dark winter nights and i find myself spending the early hours trying to find the next wonderkid or Messi whilst also bring Liverpool back to their former glorries.

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The highlight for me is the ability to add and remove leagues to your game as you go which will be awesome for long career games. Also the ability to set a tone to your team talks and whatnot seems to add a lot to the game if the official forums are anything to go by.

That sounds like a great addition, I always struggle to find the right balance of number of leagues vs performance so this time I can just select all of Europe and South America and adjust as I go along. Still wait to see how it pans out SI haven't been the best in implementing new features, I mean how long is it we've had team talks and people have been complaining about them being rubbish, I like the sound of the improvements to them.

Interested to see how transfers and contracts work out especially contracts, agents can be so inflexible at times it gets really annoying.

I'm going into this one blind, I've not read much about it but I was able to get it so cheaply on GMG with vouchers and credit I couldn't say no.

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Has anyone actually played the demo yet? I haven't and never seem to get round to trying out the demo before the game get's released despite downloading it each year.

Mostly positive vibes on the official forums which is a good sign at least!

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I've yet to bother with the demo on account of still playing FM 2010. It's 2048, England defeated my Ireland in the World Cup final, and Liverpool still haven't won the league since 1990. How can I possibly quit?

I'm pretty much holding out on getting a new copy until I have a new PC.

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Looking forward to this, as always. FM is my most played game each year, and has been since 1997. The time I've spent on it is kind of scary really.

Oh, and Fry needs to get it and play with a big team. He's to scared though!;) (of a big team, not of buying it)

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I take little teams and turn them into big teams. I've taken Tønsberg to the CL knockout stages, Merthyr Tydfil winning the Big Cup itself and Ireland to a World Cup final, all startng from a position of being unemployed with no reputation. Starting at the top is for people with connections to bypass the hard graft, the Alan Shearers of the world who'll flop as soon as given a job to do. It's for timewasting chancers, not real men.

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Hence why I started my career as Luton manager ;) (sorry to any Luton fans out there... er... *runs*)

Have given this a miss for the last few years - it's a lot slicker than I remember it all being. Loads and loads of things to tinker with... spent the first few hours simply re-arranging my backroom staff without even looking at the team I had!

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The last version of this I played regularly was FM05; for me it struck the most reasonable balance between speed and options. I feel that since CM4 really the series started to get bogged-down with too many distractions that didn't really add a great deal (not a fan of team-talks/press conferences) and the biggest change - the 3D engine - just slowed everything down too much. Do players still have 6-month strops if you fine them for getting a red card?

I guess this release isn't going to change my mind at all, sadly. Have to say that the ability to add and remove leagues as you go is a really good addition though.

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The last version of this I played regularly was FM05; for me it struck the most reasonable balance between speed and options. I feel that since CM4 really the series started to get bogged-down with too many distractions that didn't really add a great deal (not a fan of team-talks/press conferences) and the biggest change - the 3D engine - just slowed everything down too much. Do players still have 6-month strops if you fine them for getting a red card?

I guess this release isn't going to change my mind at all, sadly. Have to say that the ability to add and remove leagues as you go is a really good addition though.

The thing is though that you can go into as much depth as you want to with this game. I hate team talks and conferences too so always send my assistant. You can even play in the classic text only mode or with the 2d pitch still (unless they have taken that out in the last year or two).

You can use default training regimes and use the preset tactics. You can even have the assistant pick the squad for you if you wish.

Alternatively you can go into great deal and micro manage the game to your hearts content!

In other news, if you preorder on Steam you can get some TF2 goodies.

- The Merc's Pride Scarf can be worn by each class.

- The Ball-Kicking Boots are available for the Scout and spawn a team-colored ball that everyone can play with.

- Vuvuzela Noise maker.

:unsure:

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The thing is though that you can go into as much depth as you want to with this game. I hate team talks and conferences too so always send my assistant. You can even play in the classic text only mode or with the 2d pitch still (unless they have taken that out in the last year or two).

You can use default training regimes and use the preset tactics. You can even have the assistant pick the squad for you if you wish.

Alternatively you can go into great deal and micro manage the game to your hearts content!

Yeah, you can, but to actually do well over a period of time you do need to invest in a fair amount of micromanagement (unless you just pick Man City and buy all the best players in the world). It's a game of fantastic depth but CM01/02, for example, allowed you to dip in and out of and feel like you were making progress.

Maybe I'll download the demo and give it a whirl, I may fall in love with it all over again.

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Yeah, you can, but to actually do well over a period of time you do need to invest in a fair amount of micromanagement (unless you just pick Man City and buy all the best players in the world).

Not necessarily. Unless things have drastically changed in two years, it can be a case of letting the game do the work for you, with your main involvement being selecting solid backroom staff (then letting them get on with it) and all the fun of team selection and transfer hunting. In FM 2010, I've achieved success with two different clubs, starting at the bottom of their respective leagues (Norway and England) and turning them into the best sides in their country without having to micromanage.

That said, it takes time to determine a style of play you're satisfied with and learn the types of player you need to fit into it. I play a 4-3-3 where the central attacker is the main playmaker with his back often to the goal, slipping balls behind the defences for the two wider men to run on with their pace and technical skill to score, and the centre of the park needs a strong player who'll put the yards in all over the pitch (and usually knackers himself in the process, so a good backup is essential for those packed schedules). It also took me a while to realise that my defence worked a lot better when they let attackers come on to them rather than being pulled out of position.

Once established, it's been a matter of poaching talented youths and watching them blossom into the system, and I've also had moderate success internationally with it too, although unsurprisingly it's difficult to find quite the same class of players in the Irish or American setups as I'm used to now in the Premier League. :D

So you need to get a little hands on, but mainly only in the area that matters - tactics. That's where the meat of the game lies, so more complexity here is a very good thing in my view.

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Just tried installing the game via Steam from my retail copy that arrived early in the post today and got the following message:

'You cannot install FM 2012 as it has not yet been released'.

Oh well, I am able to pre-load it via Steam so it is all ready to go first thing Friday which is good. It even has a countdown clock on the FM 2012 steam page!! I might have to stay up until Midnight tomorrow then!!

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Already got my Friday evening planned. Going for take away Chinese with my friend, and we'll pick my brother up after work. Home to eat out food then load up FM to start our 3 player hot seat save, a tradition we've been enjoying since 1997. I'll be taking over Arsenal, my brother is Liverpool and our friend is Man United. :D Can't wait!

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Already got my Friday evening planned. Going for take away Chinese with my friend, and we'll pick my brother up after work. Home to eat out food then load up FM to start our 3 player hot seat save, a tradition we've been enjoying since 1997. I'll be taking over Arsenal, my brother is Liverpool and our friend is Man United. :D Can't wait!

HOT seat are you crazy - that shit worked back in the day but the amount of time one person can take now is staggering. I ideally try to get through a season each session that just wont work hot seat style. But I do love the fact that one person is playing while the others can do something else and the slow pace of the game.

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It's just what we do on a Friday night. Have a lot of fun, we normally have Fifa on or something too, so if someone is taking ages the others can have a go on that or something. Love it though, cries of "Mates Rates?!" when trying to buy players from each other, setting up deals while going about the rest of the week, arranging extra sessions to play in the week if things hot up. All good fun. Already got the first deal set up, I'm swapping Arteta for Lucas with my brother. He's now trying to go back on the deal though.

We normally get around 4-5 seasons done, which is enough, in the olden days we'd do much more of course.

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I downloaded and started the demo. All seems like genuine, gradual improvements - then the match engine plays and it really is still amateurish. Poor animation and a lack of players doing things like letting the ball run across their body really kind of took the life out of it for me.

I can totally understand that it's not an easy game to make, but hasn't this match engine been in place for 3 versions now? Even some basic updates to a lot of the animations would make a huge difference.

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I think you'll find there have been lots of updates to animations and such. It must have been really terrible when it first turned up but I don't really remember.

They've updated the animations from the 2012 demo?

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I'm not convinced the display is an accurate representation of what the match engine has calculated, instead it's a visual guide, so you know player's positions, orientations, and a vague idea of what they're doing with the ball (kicking, heading, etc. which you didn't have in the 2D engine).

The game's engine - distinct from its display - ran something like 8 frames per second, last I heard. I don't know if they've increased that, but with plenty of full ninety minute fixtures to calculate every week they're going to make concessions here and there with the minutiae. All the game is likely to care about is if a player has the ball and has it under control, the finer points of how and where aren't strictly tactically relevant.

It is a shame that the visuals still look clunky, especially if you get in closer to the action, but then visuals have never been the game's strong point nor selling point.

In the future though, it's something they do need to look at, because atmosphere has always been lacking. If the graphics are poor, the sounds are utterly dreadful.

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Aye, you can see its not a totally accurate representation when 'keepers make totally impossible saves at times. The ball will suddenly magnetise into their hands even though it looked like it was going for the top corner.

Couldn't really give a tinker's cuss though, there's much more important things to be worrying about when a match is playing than prettiness!

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While what you're saying is kinda reasonable, the animations are just that basic that it makes the whole thing seem like it's been knocked together by a bunch of A Level students. It really shouldn't be that hard to tweak over the course of a year to improve. It was first slotted in for the 09 version; so that has been 3 years and it still doesn't feel professional.

The match engine also seems to suffer from a rather solid ping pong ball effect. Rarely does it seem to curl either; everything is pretty straight.

While it is just a representation it still does show flaws in the match engine, as I've already noted.

When the ball arrives at a player they invariably always take a touch. Then maybe a second or third to turn.

Real footballers would let it run across their body or only need one touch to turn. With those nuances you can't blame the 3D engine, it's the underlying logic that's the issue.

It looks like improvements have again been made in navigation - for once they do actually make things flow a little better for me. Although since they improve it every year, and every year the media seem to agree it's improved...someone is just wrong there :P

Changing it every version to much acclaim makes you wonder if the reviewers actually have any sort of standards or whether they believe everything FM does it always great.

(It doesn't make you wonder really, it's the latter :P)

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I've just bought it from a link on the Dugout for £24.99, I received the activation key for Steam within 10 mins and its downloading now.

For anyone interested FM2012

My wife has bought it for me as a Wedding anniversary present, which was very kind of her. I've got her a three year contract as my Assistant Manager in return.

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