I know it's a terrible thing to admit but I've never been to a football match in my life! Dreadful, isn't it? But that's why I'm doing this review. Y'see, according to CDS, European Superleague is the biggest and the best football management sim ever in the history of the world - so Andy said it'd be as good a place to start as any. Mmm. I'm not convinced. But let's have a look anyway.
Ooh, I don't know how you manage!
European is played out with the old menu and cursor method so it's pretty easy to pick up. As the new manager, you take over the team's account and squad files. You've got 20 players whose various abilities change throughout the season and so it's up to you to pick and change the squad at various junctures so you can go on to win the Superleague. To do this you have to beat 7 other teams.
And it's a hard slog all the way. The chairman's always keeping a watchful eye over you, and if you're really awful then you'll be called into the boardroom - eek! (His tolerance level depends on which level you choose to play at - in the first he's very nice and in the third he's a right bast. To keep him sweet, simply win a few matches!)
How to win matches
In the days leading up to a match there's plenty to sort out with the press, the trainer, your secretary, the groundsman, your scout and the other managers. All your contact with people is done over the phone or the intercom (which both make very nice buzzing noises!), unless you go out for a training sesh with the lads.
Of course, the most important thing is to get your team in shape. This means giving them loads of training and arranging meetings to work out which tactics you want to adopt against which teams. You don't actually get to play the matches (like Kick Off and Gazza 2) which is a bit sad, but you can alter your tactics and make substitutions.
So what did I think of my first proper footie 'experience' then? Well, I didn't find it that addictive. But then that's probably because I'm not incredibly into these management things. It's very long and very difficult - which is why it'll probably appeal to so many enthusiasts. And it's not just the size that makes it stand out (oo-er) - there are lots of neat touches too, like the little pics of the team and all the other characters you come across (which are a nice surprise). And it certainly comes up trumps in the way you can interact with the other players and members of staff. So - not perhaps the intro to footie that's going to make me a die-hard fan for the rest of my life, but all in all (and for all the rest) really quite good.
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