After the FIFA World Cup was hosted in South Africa 2010 there’s been a dramatic spike in the number of Spain supporters. This is in no way surprising, after all who wouldn’t want to back a winner? Fortunately for these ‘supporters’ it is now possible to see Spain progress further than the first round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a some patience… and plenty of time of course. All thanks to the latest handheld reiteration of the FM series, Football Manager Classic 2014.
As fans of the series know FM is a digital form of drug addiction. Each year the managerial structures improves in baby steps. The the series has now reached a point where it is difficult to believe that this latest version could be more in-depth. Luckily for those new to the series there is the relatively new Classic mode. This provides a less intensive experience that allows you to hop in and out of the game at anytime. Convert this “Classic” mode to a handheld version of the game, that also cross saves to your PC version of FM 2014, and you have the general idea of what to expect in the Vita debut.
While there is a place for the iOS & Andriod versions of the game the Vita provides the closest possible ‘full’ experience of the classic title. The visuals are essentially identical to that of the PC version and, baring a few tweaks here and there, you might as well be sitting behind a desktop monitor. The screen is crammed with informative stats and data and at no stage do you feel overwhelmed; everything looks neat and in place. By pressing the right shoulder button you activate an additional ribbon similar to that of the home bar in the PC version. This contains all your additional in-depth settings required for vital and more tactical settings. While the appearance and layout of the screens are adapted superbly there is a significant, nearly game breaking, flaw. The touch controls are horrendous. Having the ability to manage more aspects in FM is fantastic… but more refined, responsive touch controls need to be implemented if another reiteration gets developed. Tapping icons numerous times before getting any sort of response simply isn’t good enough.
My primary concern around a Vita version of FM was the battery life. Thankfully these concerns weren’t escalated as the pace of the games and in-game loading times are quick enough to get a significant amount of games in before the battery runs out. The shift away from the more intimate tactics in the PC version also allows you to focus on the essentials of the Classic mode, in result cramming in more game time.
As in the PC version the popular 3D mach engine is available. The performance on the Vita is extremely impressive once again showing off how well the Vita version has been adapted. Not only does Football Manager Classic 2014 act as a fantastic, on-the-go edition that cross -saves to the home PC version, it also acts as an outstanding, comprehensive stand-alone title for those who don’t own the PC version. The game can’t be faulted often apart from the touch controls that are so frustrating one would be excused for wanting to take a bite out of somebody (Ed – I’ll give you a 4-month ban). Keeping this in mind, one red card offense in an otherwise great game is nothing to get suspended over.