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FIFA Manager 09 is the 2009 successor to the FIFA Manager series from EA's sports brand, EA Sports, following up FIFA Manager 08. FIFA Manager 09 was developed by Bright Future and published by EA Sports. It was released on the 30th October 2008. On the 29th October 2008, the first database update was released, including the first division of Cyprus and the necessary adjustments. The game gives you the chance to control a wide range of features from discussing tactics with individual players to creating monster stadiums to house your fans.
As a mainstay of the series from the Total Club Manager years, FIFA Manager 09 has a massive and comprehensive database of teams and players (not all of them licensed, however). Although info on teams and players all over the world can be seen, the player must choose his team from those available in 65 leagues in 39 countries across the world:
- Austrian Football Bundesliga and Erste Liga
- Jupiler Pro League and EXQI League
- Gambrinus liga
- SAS Ligaen and Viasat Divisionen
- Barclays Premier League, Coca-Cola Championship, Coca-Cola League 1, Coca-Cola League 2, Blue Square Conference
- Ligue 1 and Ligue 2
- Fußball-Bundesliga, 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, 3. Liga and the Regionalligen Nord, West and Süd
- Super League Greece
- Soproni Liga
- League of Ireland
- Ligat Toto and Liga Leumit
- Lega Calcio Serie A and Lega Calcio Serie B
- Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie
- Ekstraklasa and Orange Liga
- Liga Sagres
- Frutti Fresh Liga I
- Rosgosstrakh Championship and Russian First Division
- Clydesdale Bank Premier League, Irn-Bru Scottish Football League and Scottish Football League Second Division
- PrvaLiga Telekom Slovenije
- Liga BBVA, Liga Adelante and all four groups of Segunda División B
- Axpo Super League and Dosenbach Challenge League
- Turkcell Süper Lig
- Ukrainian Premier League
- Cypriot First Division
- A-League (New Zealand has 1 team in the A-League, the Wellington Phoenix)
- New Zealand Football Championship
- Primera División Argentina
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Série B
- Primera División de Chile
- Copa Mustang
- Primera Categoría Serie A
- Primera División de Paraguay
- Copa Cable Mágico
- Primera División Uruguaya
The match engine features more sounds, new pitch textures and new player faces, most of these are taken from FIFA 09. It also sports a new interface during the match.
It also has a new improved text mode, with lots of new commentary with Internet ticker style scores of other games happening while yours is. A text mode editor is planned but no release date is given.
This year does tactics a little differently, it replaces the 5x5 grid (which had on/off ball movement) with available tactical options like:
- Attacking mentality
- Tackling hardness
- Running frequency
- Time wasting
- Passing (risky or cautious)
- Passing Style (long or short)
- Cross height
- Crossing frequency
This section of the game has been re-written from scratch, rather than selling items, you sell by category.
The game now acknowledges holidays with new categories specifically for those times. Also, signings from abroad will give you the opportunity to sell scarves of that player's nation. To further capitalise on this, it's possible to open up shops in different countries to boost sales.
It is also possible to market your merchandising through an agency, this will lead to increased sales.
Staff now have categories they fit into on the recruitment screen to reduce the amount of items in the dropdown lists. For example, there is a "management" category with the likes of assistant manager. There are new staff positions such as fitness coach, lawyer and psychologist.
The scouting is very similar to last year's installment, it has a few new tweaks with filters and such but the game now has a scouting difficulty option when creating a new game, the exact effect of this is still not known.
Dressing Room Chemistry
This option now gives new conversation options with players, you can tell players to "be stronger" and try to improve quickly, you can tell them which areas of the game they need to improve in and the option to advise a player to look after a new signing as long as they speak the same language.
Manager trust now plays a part in player morale, if a player has no trust in his manager he may get unhappy and request to leave.
The transfer system has been improved quite a lot since last year, the main issue people had was with swap deals being too easy, this year they're a lot harder.
When negotiating a new contract there are new options, for example, a release clause if the team doesn't qualify for European competitions. The strengths/weaknesses section has also been expanded with new items.This can help choose the best player in a more advanced search
Also available is the option to pick players you're interested in but leaving the assistant manager in charge of all the negotiations.
It is now possible to offer other team's youth players contracts, as long as they're 16 years old or over.
In previous installments, a 5 star system has been used with a 6th star added for legendary players. This year it's been turned into a 10 star system, although 5 stars are shown the number is devised by the colours, an empty star counts as 1, a gold star counts as 2. (For example, 4 gold stars and 1 empty star would equal a talent rating of 9).
The game only features four 10 star players in the default database. 11 star players are possible according to the official website.
Story of the Season
The newest feature is the story of the season, after certain events a "cutscene" will show. This will happen after getting a job, winning a competition and after transfer windows. But this particular feature tends to give players a frustrating experience due to its rather repetitive nature.
There were too many bugs in the unpatched release of the game that made it almost unplayable. But the Updates that followed fixed some of the bugs that were in the unpatched version, so it is playable if you have the original version.
FIFA Manager 09 received mixed reviews from Metacritic, with an average of 69%. Scores ranged from a dire 30% (Total PC Gaming) up to a more than respectable 85% (GameStar). Most reviews commented on the level of depth and realism involved in the game, while noting that it might well be too much for some. Play.tm called it "more a lifestyle than a game", observing that "a season, if played thoroughly, will take as long as most full games these days". IT Reviews commented that "it may still feel like you're awash with a tsunami of statistics but FIFA manager 09 has injected a number of new features to appeal to micromanagement fans".
The first update is already planned after a few game-breaking bugs were found. The main bug involves a complete crash when creating your own club. Update 1 will also include 200 new player pictures, the option to be unsackable when managing a national team and a new data update. Update 1 deemed to be unsuccessful as many bugs continued to exist and resulted in Update 2.
Update 4 is now available through many download servers around the internet, and Update 3 was released as well. In Update 3, the most important feature is that you can now go to many other training camps that weren't in the original, unpatched game, and that it contains all the winter transfers that were done.
- ↑ http://play.tm/review/22324/fifa-manager-09 Play.tm
- ↑ http://www.itreviews.co.uk/games/g519.htm IT Reviews
- Official EA Sports FIFA Manager 09 Website
- Unofficial website featuring FIFA Manager 09 downloads (Manager FIFA.com)
- Forum with the best stories and information about the game (Spanish)
- Fansite with everything regarding FIFA Manager series
- Fansite with everything regarding FIFA Manager series
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