Football Manager 2007 Handheld Edition - 02/08/2007

Football Manager 2007 is the sequel to the successful Football Manager Handheld [FMH] PSP game. Its easy to use interface and easy style for beginners will put many fans of the more involved LMA manager series off, but new players and gamers that simply want to play a less deep game will love it!

FM2007 tries to be a more user friendly manager game, there's no man-marking or anything complicated in this game. The only tactical decisions that you can make are changing the team's objective from attack, defence and normal, telling the players to either tackle softly, normal, or hard - you could tell your team to tackle softly to prevent any yellow cards, but this may prevent your defenders from stopping the opposition. Another thing you could do is to tell your team to press, or back off [or stay normal] which is good if you want your team to get forward, or stay back, without having to go defensive or attacking. Basically, all the tactical options are basic, but all have noticeable effects.

You pick a team from a whole host of countries from England to Spain, and a host of leagues from La Liga to the French Leagues. When you're all ready, with your name picked and your team chosen, it's time to do some transfers. Although it can be hard to get your man, transfers work extremely well. You are able to search for positions, ages, players names, certain abilities, club they play for, contract status, the list is endless. [Well not endless, but you get the point.] It's highly satisfying when a teenager you bought grows up to be the next Rooney. Which isn't impossible.

The actual matches work slightly different to what you're used to if you've been playing LMA Manager, or Championship Manager. Whereas in both of those games you get to see what's going on, in FM2007 you only get a few words going down the bottom like:
"Johnson's running down the wing"
"Passes To Davids"
"Well, that one went into row z!"
It's designed to sound [or rather read] like the commentary you'd get at a normal football match, and it succeeds. You can look at match facts, action zones, player ratings [more on this later] and each team's stats. Not to mention the standard view that shows the goal-scorers.

The players have a lot of different skills, and they're all rated out of 20. So, unlike the scores the FIFA series give [out of 100] it's harder to tell if a player is better than another, and it’s better to scout them first. Your assistant manager is always there to lend a helping hand, he’ll help you pick your first 11, and give his opinion on each player.

The game's longevity speaks for itself. You’ll be glued to this season after season, and if you choose a conference club when you start the game, and stick with them all the way. It’s great to see born and bred club players reach the top, and the same goes for the team you carried up the tables. You eventually get an emotional connection to the team, and even some of the players. After you’ve finished your 30 seasons [the maximum] or you just get fed up, and want to start a new one – you start liking that team in real life, for example I root for Burton Albion, even though I’ve never even been there.

Verdict: This game is flawless, everything works well, and if you’re into management games, but want something for on-the-go gaming, FM 2007 is your best bet.

- Tyler Roberts



Sports Interactive