Jun 13, 2006

PC Review: 'Sensible Soccer 2006'

At last, a chance to toss those silly looking joypads aside and grab what real men were always supposed to grab. Joysticks! Yes, joysticks, even better digital joysticks, for this is a review of Sensible Soccer's latest spawn, and Sensible Soccer was meant to be played only in the traditional way. The joystick way. Oh, in case you didn't know, it also happened to be the best footie ever, on any platform and of every possible universe. Of course not everybody believed this. The unenlightened ones grumbled about the lack of impressive eye-candy, the incompetent ones about the lightning fast gameplay speed, the stuck-in-the-past ones about Sensi not being Kick Off 3 and the really hopeless ones about the lack of realism. Well, my friends, if you want realism, go out, play football and feel the pain. If, on the other hand, you want the best feel of the beautiful game, the perfect footbaling pace, the anti-goalie aftertouch, and all this without risking a heart attack, then play Sensible Soccer, preferably on the Amiga and if possible with a digital joystick.

What do you mean you don't have an Amiga? Who says that's ancient history? Just kill the FIFA fanboy in you, gag your inner PES groupie, and stay with me, as I tell you an almost perfect fairy tale, lovingly named Sensible Soccer 2006, The Rebirth of a Legend, dealing with the second attempt to bring Sensible Soccer in the 3d era and the first one that actually manages it. A story of great successes and minor failures, a story of football wet dreams and ball porn. A story about the best, but unfortunately not without its flaws, contemporary footie on the PC. A story about a game that doesn't cost a fortune. This is the story of Sensible Soccer 2006.

Actually, it's no story. It's a review. Sorry about that.

Sensi 2006 is played in the traditional 16bit bird's eye view, just like its revered daddy, only slightly zoomed in, a bit angled and with a quite more dynamic camera. In case you were wondering, that's totally unlike the FIFA/PES viewpoints and definitely a good thing, as the player can see a much greater part of the field, thus having a chance to get imaginative with his passing, pull through smart long balls, deep crosses, or even score a 40 metre goal. All this was admittedly already there in the original Sensi. What the 2006 version added to the experience are some very stylish 3d cell shaded graphics and excellent replays, a greater variety of stadiums, weather conditions and outfits and quite a few new game mechanic changes. Every player now has a certain amount of stamina, that has to last him for the whole match. Then -and that's quite an important bit- 2 more buttons have been added to Sensi's original one-button gameplay, the first being for short passes and the second for sprinting. Finally, the (much improved) keeper can instantly be controlled with the press of a button. Oh, and there is a small arrow showing the direction the ball will follow if kicked. Aftertouch has by large remained the same (just flick the joystick right after the ball leaves the player's foot to the desirable direction), as has the two players mode. Make that the glorious two players mode, that shames the multiplayer capabilities of any MMORPG or FPS. Well, at least in the fun-factor it does...

Unfortunately, though, Sensible Soccer 2006 isn't perfect. It doesn't even give you the chance to lead the Dead Rockstars team to victory. There are also slight problems, a mediocre tactics screen, un-funny spin-off names for real players (there's an editor though), and at times a lack of polish. Nothing that couldn't get fixed with a patch mind you, but irritating nonetheless. The controls are at (rare) times unexpectedly unresponsive, some offsides spotted by the ref just don't exist, and graphic glitches haven't been 100% avoided. Add to this that the original Sensible Soccer was apparently much faster. And better (at least on the Amiga).

Still though. An amazingly fun football game. Codemasters just did it!

That's an (eight and a half) out of (ten).

And what follows is the trailer (via):




Related @ Gnome's Lair: World Cup 2006 tracker, Sweety Puzzle review, Lula 3D meta-review, 60+ hand-picked free games



Related Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

143 comments:

  1. Well, sorry Gnome, but its either Fifa or Winning Eleven here, and I chose to buy Fifa, and I think its a great soccer sim... of course I'd rather play Madden but...

    Sensible Soccer sounds great but I'm not a big enough fan to import it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Lord. That Sensi game looks like utter tripe!!! Give me Pro Evo Soccer 4 (pro evo 5 stinks) any day over Sensi!

    And Ross - Madden?! Are you insane?! It's the gaming equivalent of plunging your hands into a deep fat fryer!!!

    Oh, and lest I forget - Gnome, great review as ever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you liked the review Tom, but really, it's a great game. Try the demo... Did you like the Amiga version?

    And ross, Madden is a)incomprehensible b)boring c)slow... And of course I can't understand why American football is a game played with ones hands...

    ReplyDelete
  4. PES2 (even with all the editing) for me, but I did cut my teeth on Sensi, remarkably I still have my old joystick. Excellent review nonetheless.

    (heads off to bandage his deep fried hands)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Weird talking about hands...

    ReplyDelete
  6. To be honest, I only ever had sensi world cup 94 edition on the jaguar. It was alriiiight - i liked the team customisation options and i believe it was the only game at the time (and probably still is) to feature a 'foul throw'! But now...?

    I don't dispute that it looks like a fun, simple knock about, but i think opinions have changed over the last 15 years and the unique visual style of this new sensi will probably turn more people off than make them want to investigate further.

    Totally agree with your views on American footy though. It's simply hideous innit?!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Perhaps you're right on Sensi... I mean on how people will recieve it.. Eurogamer on the other hand did award the XBOX360 version a 9/10, which is an admittedly rare score.

    Never played Sensi on the Jaguar, but both the Megadrive and PC version were ok. The Amiga was just amazing. You can't understand unless you've played it...

    And finally yes, American footy is quite horrible. Baseball though, seems even worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How can you guys not enjoy the two greatest, most entertaining sports (baseball and football)?

    Now, dont tell me you dont enjoy basketball...

    ReplyDelete
  9. lol, Ross - you've just named the unholy trinity of sports! Baseball, Basketball and NFL - (shudder). You couldn't pay me to sit and watch an MLB, NBA or NFL game. Forget deep frying my hands - i'd rather deep fry my whole body then eat myself.

    I do quite like watching NHL though, so it's not all bad.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Basketball is nice.. And we (Panathinaikos that is) has won 3 times the European Championship, and made it something like 5 or 6 times to the final...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey, Tom, Canada is north of my country :-)

    Actually, hockey is an incredibly exciting sport to see live. I've seen a few live NHL games and they are great. Even if you dont like watching it on TV you may still enjoy the excitement of it. The Sega Sport's NHL 2K4 game is fun, too, as well as NHL Hitz...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah yes...Hockey is interesting. Speedy, brutal, smart, technincal... almost like football on ice. I like that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yeah, Hockey is a bit like footy on ice - that's why I like it. Sadly, Manchester's ice hockey team (Manchester Storm) went bust several years ago, and the new team (Manchester Phoenix) couldnt afford the rent for the Manchester Arena so they had no rink...then they went bust too!!! Same thing happened to the Manchester Giants (Basketball). It seems there is very little interest in the UK when it comes to sports other than football (soccer)!

    Ross, I used to love NHLPA on the megadrive - that was ace, and the NHL games from EA are cool. I've actually got NHL 2K on the DC - that's brilliant too, but its a bit too hard to score! Or maybe I'm just rubbish.

    ReplyDelete
  14. (moves the deep fat fryer)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why isn't Man Utd enough? Why move the fryer?

    ReplyDelete
  16. move the frier?

    in case someone gets deep fried for playing ma mad....madden, there i've said it.

    (puts the frier back, dons asbestos scuba diving outfit)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yep. Man United is enough. And Man City, but the less said about that shower of sh*te, the better methinks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Interesting :) - thanks for sharing...

    Congrats on your silver medal. Thank you for stopping by and participating in the training camp. Your medal is read for 'pick-up'.

    ReplyDelete
  19. (hands gnome some gold paint)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you Mr. Elderly. That's so much better...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Spudofthegun6/20/06, 3:00 PM

    gnome, I have to agree with your review. Sensible Soccer 2006 is pretty good but nothing compared to the original on the Amiga. Sensible World of Soccer was the best footie game ever and the Amiga version was by far the best. (I still have my Amiga 500 and a copy of SWOS). Unfortunately, this new version has disappointed me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well, the previous version was much worse, and this could be much better if suitingly patched... And I do enjoy sensi on the Amiga, but only have one joystick left...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I absolutely loved sensi 96/97, so another go-round with it seems worth the try. The fact that it doesn't contain the management features yet is not something that appeals to me. I 1st played this, as well as the archaic but fun "Rogue" on the Amiga. It wasn't my system though and I lack the programing skills to support it so it's PC or nothing now. Question: where can I find a non-flight joystick? I used to use a Wico stick, but they seem to be gone now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. BTW Hockey as I've been a goalie for many years now, is a faster paced version of soccer, therefore it's worth your time as a soccer fan. I taped an NFL game once, then played it back. I found that, once you took out commercials, and everything that was not actual playing time (huddles, walking back to the line of scrimmage), the game amounted to 45 minutes out of a 3-hour broadcast!

    ReplyDelete
  25. also BTW, as I'm a "rookie" to your site, I thought it necessary to say I'm a Reds fan, for better or worse. what's anyone's thought on the reality of a "European Super League"? Is it a coming force to be reckoned with? Or just the pipe dreams of the gambling-ridden Juventus crowd?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Welcome to the Lair Hank (it's mice and cozy, isn't it?). Of course and every team's fan is warmly welcomed sa long as it's a) not a Real Madrid or b) a Lazzio supporter.

    Now, regarding a few points you're making...

    1)You're an athlete... wow! Haven't played anything but the odd basketball game (once/year) since I left highscholl, and that's to ancient a memory.

    2) National Championships are a brilliant idea, and the Champions is League is enough.

    3) The Juventus crowd will soon just hope to play the Serie B

    4) Totally agree on the Hockey thing...

    5) Sensi of yore > any 3d Sensi

    6) AMIGA THE BEST!!!11!

    Welcome... Grab a chair, have a drink and humor us...

    :)

    PS Have a look at the "Competition pro USB" joystick... It might just suit you

    ReplyDelete
  27. thanks for the heads up re: the joystick. It looks good to me, now al I have to do is get the game! Lazio hasn't interested me since the Alan Boksic days. Serie B, talk about your humbling! In defence of Sensi Vs 11 or FIFA, the aftertouch won me over. Ever since I scored a goal w/ Massimo Crippa from the end line by bending and swerving the ball like a wire-guided missle, I was hooked. Faustino Asprilla was my favorite, I scored 250 goals in one season w/ him. It was a shame that his real-life career was so plagued by problems. I loved watching Parma while he and Thomas Brolin were there (I met Brolin @ a bar in Manhattan Beach California once-being the soccer geek that I am I was the only one in the entire bar to recognize him). Anyway, I'm rambling...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Even though Boksic -just like any Croatian footballer- was an great player, Lazzio, or should i say SS Lazzio, will always be a loathed team... AS Roma on the other hand... :)

    Anyway, hope the joystick suits you, and you could also get a downloadable version of the game , over at Sensi's site.

    Asprilla...

    Oh, and do ramble on please...

    :)

    (why cant I access your blog? any idead?)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gnome, as I am relatively unaware of the inner workings of the blog, I'm not sure how to even set up anything beyond what got me here. I looked at some of the other bloggers profiles, but I don't know how to do the same with my own.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Etc...The Thomas Brolin meeting was kind of funny. He had ust finished playing for Leeds UTD, w/ Tony Yeboah (man what a hamer for a leg that guy had) but apparantly Thomas had picked up a bit of weight, perhaps too many Stouts? And the fans were all over him calling him "Fat Boy" (like Ronaldo from this years' WC) and so when I saw him in the States he was, "between jobs". I asked his agent if that was him, and he looked at me kind of funny like "you actually know him?", and said yes. Never one to miss an opportunity, I got Brolin's autograph on a bar napkin. Later my girlfriend had it framed for me, I think I still have it somewhere (the napkin, not the girlfriend-the napkin lasted longer).

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think, that when you log in to your blogger account you'll be presented with an option to "create a blog".

    It should be on the first page (the dashboard) and towards the upper part of the screen. A blue button...

    Mind you, that's a precious football appreciating girlfriend. A rare breed indeed. Kudos to her.

    Brolin.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'll have to get to the account info @ a later time, my wife and I-she's also a respecter of fussball, and hockey :)-are off to spend some time w/ her Dad while we're traveling here in the Midwest. More stories later...

    ReplyDelete
  33. No rush... I'll be here...

    Have fun there!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You made what I took as a curous comment about Lazio, you called them SS? What's that in reference to? AC Roma, why do you favor them? I haven't heard anything about them since the Brazillian defender Aldair played for them. It was a funny thing that happened to me when I began playing Sensi, when I found a player that I liked say, Lilian Thuram (another Parma player at the time), I began to actually follow the sport to see why they were either so well-rated, or not so well. I found players like Filipo Inzaghi for $600k and used them to their maximum potential. But it intrigued me that these were actual players on teams that I could occasionally watch. As you probably know, as I reside in the USA, (soccer, AKA footie) has eluded us as a nation. Even the MLS being here has done little to elevate the sport from a prep sport to get ready for somthing else like it was for me getting ready for hockey over the winter. So, as I said in a previous transmission, not having the management features included in the game are a definate minus for me. Are there any timetables set for their inclusion? BTW, do you guys have any slang term for our MLS program, I'd be interested to hear them. I've been enjoying some malt beverages so...Ramble, ramble, ramble...as oe cocktain waitress put it one night, "Beer's like batteries for you"...

    ReplyDelete
  36. the last portion of the ramble should read "as one cocktail waitress..."

    "honest eeficer, I'm not as think as you drunk I am, as some theeple might pink. I've only had tee martoonies and 6 bubble durbins..."

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hank, welcome back!

    Nice to have a hockey player who uses beer as a life-sustaining medium around :)

    As for (the much hated) SS Lazzio. First of all they are indeed called SS, even though I don't know what this SS means. One of the Ss though must definitely mean something like Sport. On the other hand Lazzio was Mussolini's favorite team and is still supported by Rome's fascists. Guess this also answers why I go for AS Roma...

    Sensible Soccer already has an admittedly rudimentary management feature, but if management is your thing I would suggest you have a look at the ultimate life destroyer: Football Manager. Then again who knows... Sensi might get an add-on, but I don't really know.

    Msl...hmmm... don't think anyone cares about this. Sorry. We have Spanish, Italian, french, English, local, Champions' and quite a few interesting S.American leagues... MSL just doesn't seem more interesting than the league of the Emirates...

    Cheers

    PS Drink and drive, the surefire way to get your driving license suspended... Still, I've never been caught (mostly because I don't use the car for my nightlife sortees anymore..)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gnome, I axed a comment earler, and I believe it was something I wanted to ask you->I would assume by your salutation of "Cheers" that you hail from England, is that assumption correct?

    I also believe that your ranking of soccer entities in order of importance told me more about "The Continent's" feelings towards our little "program" which BTW appears to have a rather critical financial leak in it's infrastructure, so, if not for the rich boys seeking write-offs it might have already gone the way of our earlier endeavors.

    Beer...I must admit I haven't had this much in a long time, but family troubles seems to bring out the worst in everybody. I'm finding out that once an elder member of our family becomes ill, the vultures circle hoping for their cut. Thankfully Mom put me in charge of healthcare affairs while she was on the ventilator, else her sister would have pulled the plug. She's doing wonderfully now, I'm glad I was here.

    Enough of the real world, I hope Christ was right about the next since I've got my ticket.

    About This "Football Manager" game, 1) Is it fun? 2) Are the games playable? (that's what I like about Sensi, the playability, I could always take over and win my way into a promotion or the Euro-Cup tourney. The addictability issue won't matter, I can get lost in reading a book, and Civilization always peaks my interest, especially when I want to make someone pay (nothing like a swordsman hacking away on some poor warrior to make the hurt go away) :).

    But why the allegiance to Roma? I can get the whole Nazi picture easy enough (all you need to do here is travel down to Mississippi or Alabama to get the same "vibe"). I didn't meet my first black person until I was about 8 or 9 years old, so the whole race issue still, for the most part, still escapes me. Thuram, Thierry, Weah, Asprilla, Yeaboah, Ferdinand, etc, they're all great players in their own right, but racsm marches on all the same...BTW, I don't work for FIFA so for me this isn't rhetoric...talk about rambling, Gnome or should I call you Gnoma? This blog brings out the wanderer in me...out

    ReplyDelete
  39. Gnome, I did a little homework, (my wife is a research geek by trade so it rub off on me), and here is what I found for SS Lazio:

    S.S. Lazio (Italian: Società Sportiva Lazio SpA) is an Italian sports club based in Rome, Latium. Its football team is among the most renowned in Europe. They play in light blue shirts, white shorts and socks. The name Lazio was chosen as the original founders wanted to name the club after something which was greater and encompassed more than just the city that they were from - Lazio is the name of the region in which Rome is located. The sky blue and white team colors were inspired by the Greek flag and the country which gave birth to Olympic tradition; the eagle as an acknowledgement by its founders to the symbol of the Roman Empire. Lazio is historically the first club to ever have played organized football in Rome.

    If this made you vomit for hours on end, I sincerely apologize, so, to bring comfort to your soul here's the entry for AS Roma:

    Associazione Sportiva Roma (ISE: IT0001008876) is an Italian football club and the major in Rome and in central part of Italy. Nicknamed the giallorossi (yellow-reds), they currently play in Serie A. Roma's home uniforms are purple red shirts with golden yellow borders, white shorts and black socks.

    The emblem of the team is the capitoline she-wolf lactating twins, symbol of Rome, superimposed a bipartite golden-yellow over red shield; official colors are the same as those of the city of Rome, red for imperial dignity, and gold which represents God in Christianity.

    These were obtained from Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.S._Roma

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  40. I understand that "FM" can be addictive, but even after looking at the official website I can't find any info on the playability of the actual game. I work spreadsheets well enough, but I certainly wouldn't call stats and schedules a game.

    The question for this game:
    Can I win a game and increase my team's value overall including berths into playoffs and tourneys?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hank,

    unfortunately you missed quite a bit... No relations with England here, here being Greece. I just didint mention the local league as it's not really worth watching... i would defnitely not include it in a top 10 list, but probably would in a top 20.
    The MSL i'm afraid wouldn't quite make it there... Still, I guess it would be nice for US to get its own decent league, even though its mostly women interested in the sport... :o

    Glad things are going well in your real world. Perhaps a nice opportunity for more beer?

    Hmmm... I cant say I was thrilled to find out what Roma's colors symbolize...Still... the fans are definitely anti-fascist (beside a small part, that is)... Thanks for the wiki links too, it never occured to me...

    As for Football Manager (the only true Manager game and a creation of the people of the original Championship manager), it is just brilliant. BRILLIANT actually... You dont get to "play" the game per se, but you get to handle everything a coach/manager does. The transfer market, the teams system, managing the match, substituting players, searching for talent, the whole shebang. You even get to dabble in the team's economics... So, no, you don't get more powerful in any way, other than getting to understand the game..

    Cheers

    (off to sleep again)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Gnoma, is just a pun for Roma.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Gnome, I purchased "FM 2006" from Sega's website and have downloaded and installed it. If my family and friends never see me again, and I look like a Vietnamese boat person in 3 weeks, I'll have you to blame-
    :)
    Oh, by the way, what was it exactly that bothered you about AS Roma's team colors?

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm pretty sure you'll get to blame me, as this game is the absolute time-sink.. More of a time blackhole actually...

    As for Roma's colors, it was just that I never thought they'd be so un-democratic... They tend (nowadays) to be seen as footballing italy's progressive colors...

    Nothing important really.

    Now, quick-quick, back to FM!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Gnome, I'm lost in the attempt to even begin this game. It seems to me that they're asking me to memorize the wiring diagrams for an airplane before I'm allowed to get a ticket and fly. I downloaded the game direcly from Sega's website with no directions included. Any tips on how to jus get the game going?

    ReplyDelete
  46. :)

    Hank,
    not to worry. It's a complicated game, but also one featuring a brilliant interface.

    Start off by browsing through a few links:

    http://www.sigames.com/
    http://www.footballmanager.co.uk/en/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_Manager

    Then select a team you know, and start by creating a formation you like. Better choose one of the standard formations, something like a 4-3-3. You should then try to play a few friendly games, just to get a feel of the match engine.

    Don't worry about training or the transfer market just yet.

    Let me know how it's going.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Gnome, I'd love to play a friendly, but I can't even figure out how to do that much with this game. I looked at the links you gave me, but I don't know what I'm looking for, so it makes it hard.

    It's got me so frustrated I'm drinking scotch tonight! (with a beer chaser)

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Gnome, I've come to realize that this format of instruction isn't an immediate gratification sort of medium. I so appreciate your help up til now, and I'll probably continue to bombard you with pointless rhetoric, but at last I've got that going for me... :)

    BTW I chose Real Madrid as my first team to manage, and I feel that I owe you at least an apology for that. They are my son's favorite team, and besides, being the immedate gratification kind of guy that I am, where better to start? I'm still loyal to Liverpool though. Go Reds!

    ReplyDelete
  50. :)

    Well, Real it is then...

    Oh, and just remembered that FM 2006 hasalso a tutorial feature. never actually used it, but they tell me its fine!

    Oh, and I'll have a nice tequilla!

    www.sigames.com/the_bootroom.php?type=view&article_id=1188

    ReplyDelete
  51. Gnome, I feel like a crack addict! I played all night last night, passed out on the couch with my laptop still running and woke up at 4AM and went to bed, then, after getting 4 hours of sleep I got up, had some breakfast and got right back to it again. I proceeded to play all day, forgetting about lunch and managing to drink some water from time-to-time, and, after a walk around my neighborhood, I'm now getting ready to go again at 10pm! Oh yeah...I'm 1st in my division :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Ah.... perfect! You got it! That's the whole point!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Gnome,
    Tonight it's off to win the Spanish 1st division title then to beat the cross-town rivals Barcelona for the UEFA Cup. Not bad for my 1st season coaching (maybe it wouldn't be so easy if I were coaching Newells Old Boys in the Aussie 1st division)

    Absolut Citron and tonic with some Grolsch beer chasers

    :)

    Did you read the story about the guy who applied for a major coaching position and actally used his experience of FM as a reference? He did had some actual coaching experience, but what balls!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yeah, quite a bally guy, but *really* I dont think he ever got that job... besides I've heard tales of exploiting FM's game engine and going on to win the Champions League with FC Nowhere...

    Good luck with your league then... And do try now that you got the hand of it) to ty uing a smaller team.

    :)

    Tequilla!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Well Gnome old boy, it's been a couple of days and so I thought I'd send another question your way...FM, is it possible to change your name once a career is under way? I began this whole thing with a goofy name, but now I'd like to gratify myself for all of my career goals...

    Captain Morgen's Rum and Coke :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Glad to see you back Hank... Unfortunately I haven't ever tried changing my name mid-season... Guess it should be possible. Did you chaeck the FM forums?

    Havana Club and Lemon!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hey Gnome, the communication has been a bit spotty lately as I've been busy, but my addiction, I mean the game, is coming along well.

    I'm in my 3rd full season now winnning most of the titles, cups etc, but I'm still working out the balance of using support players and trying to keep them happy when I can't use them on the first-team all the time.

    Also, you had said the training of the players would be better left for another time as I had no dea of how to even begin a game, let alone deal with those types of issues. I see some players who would be much better if only a few attributes would come up into the "red zone", but the general training doesn't seem to always hit those issues. Any tips?

    I have also wondered about my retiring players, and whether or not to offer them coaching or scouting jobs as they enter the final stretch of their careers. Like, when Zidane retired I let him go and had the thought about him maybe coaching too late. Any thoughts?

    We've got a big weekend planned here at my Dad's house as the local racetrack, Arlington Park, had their annual "Arlington Million" and a lot of my relatives wil be decending upon the house like locusts. I'll have to get back to you on how my luck holds, I won $88.00 last time my Dad and I went, so who knows?

    C-Ya, Hank

    ReplyDelete
  58. Oh, I almost forgot, the MLS All-Star team beat Chelsea in a friendly match last week. It wound up 1-0 after full-time.

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hank,

    glad you are still around my friend :)

    As for training tips, I usually focus on tacticts and developing the attributes of my younger players, who I usually go on and sell at ridiculusly high prices. After all I always play this game to create rich teams...

    Veterans on the other hand are quite a sentimental thing. I tend to offer them jobs, mostly because I'm actually using the team I also support in real life (Panathinaikos).

    Anyway...

    Have fun (and a bit of luck) during your weekend. I'll soon be taking some more time off (12-22 August) too.

    Take care Hank.

    gnome

    ReplyDelete
  60. Impressive..did this happen in real life?

    If yes, then I guess it's just a freak result...

    ReplyDelete
  61. Gnome, yes the MLS result is an actual game score. As for the flukey nature, the All-Stars probably hail from other countries rather than being home-grown, and Chelsea surely wasn't looking at this like a Champions Cup match.

    Re: retired players as coaches, do they work well or do they just hang around and get a paycheck? Also, is there any way to improve the coaching stats?

    In the wake of the UK terrorist plot, I hope your holiday won't be to inconvenienced by all the heightened security measures.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Gnome, re: friendlies for the 1st division and "C" teams, do you make a full schedule for your younger players, or do you just let them train. They do generate income, but I don't know if they make the team any better.
    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  63. Gnome, I couldn't help but notice the drunk captain on your header. Is that from Monkey Island? I know it's an obscure referencde, but I've always been on the lookout for gaming geeks like myself...

    ReplyDelete
  64. Ahh, yes my friend, Monkey Island it is, and to be more precise Monkey Island 2 it is...

    The UK terrorist thingy (which I really don't believe is as serious as they try to show it off) can do absolutely nothing against my vacation... Ship's the way.

    Usually I don't bother with younger players, unless I use one of them in my first team.

    On the other hand my old striker, Warzycha, made an excellent trainer/asistant coach. But I guess he was meant for the job...

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  65. Gnome, I saw recently that Warzycha is actually a coach in the USA, although I cannot recall the actual team just now. This is in the 2006 version of FM. I guess the answer for retiring players would be to give everyone a try and see if the year/6 months they are given prove them valuable.

    Monkey Island (2), now there's a throwback... It reminds me of Industrial Might and Logic, Civilization, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, etc...

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hank,

    despite the intolerable heat summer is quite over and Warzycha will always be the best player to have ever played for PAO. And a smart one too...

    Ah yes, Cannon Fodder.. the days...

    ReplyDelete
  67. Gnome, so how was your vacation? Did anyone fall overboard? There's so much press coverage for those incidents these days it would seem that someone falls overboard (or commits suicide) every day... :)

    My wife and I are in Wyoming right now on our return trip to San Diego from Chicago. We went and saw Mt Rushmore in South Dakota for the 1st time today and it was rather spectacular I'd have to say.

    Anyway, it's good to know that you returned safe and sound from your cruise.

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  68. well, dear Hank, my vacation was fantastc, even though a bit short. Still... I'll make it up to me after October I hope...

    Ah, so you live in San Diego... isn't it a beautiful city?

    Anyway. Chicago is nice (i've heard) too... Did you enjoy yourselves?

    Have a nice trip home my friend

    ReplyDelete
  69. Gnome, we're back in San Diego again and the weather is a bit chilly for the season. It's good to be home, and we're looking to actually purchase an actual home now-let the stress begin!

    I began a dual career in FM today, Real Madrid and the Brazillian national squad, talk about busy. I thought I might lose the first career when I accepted the national job (in Sensi that's what happens), but not so.

    Any tips on what to do when your team starts getting multiple injuries all of a sudden? Perhaps my players are just getting older, or maybe the team needs an occasional day/week off?

    ReplyDelete
  70. The weather here s ht as hell, and we've already started doing horribly in the new season... Damn. Guess FM is so much more enjoyable...

    Good luck in your dual career...AS for injuries there is not much you can do. Try squad rotation, avoiding overtly oushing older/injury prone players and use sorcery...

    Player's bought in their late 20s and without important injury history should do well too..

    Being extremely tired does indeed play a role, but only if their condition at the beginning of a match is -say- below 75-80%.

    ReplyDelete
  71. The squad assembly is proving to be quite tedious, going team-to-team attempting to get the best players for the national team. I also am having a hard time motivating the players. And, I have gotten additional "scouting reports" from an unlikely source-Raul, an ex-player who is now coaching the spanish national team. I not only get national team reports from him, but local matches as well.

    I could always resign the job, but what the heck, it's only pixel-pressure :)

    What do you do for a living? I'm a nurse, and my wife is a professional computer geek (her words not mine).

    ReplyDelete
  72. Raul, a coach? Oh dear, where has the world gone to...

    tsk, tsk

    :)

    Oh, and I'm mostly an urban planner (as well as a surveyor), while also trying to finish a PhD on urban theory and teaching at the University...

    ReplyDelete
  73. The Raul coaching position is only made worse by his attributes-motivation is his only high-level ability.

    Urban planner and surveyor I can figure out easy enough, but what does one study in "urban theory"? Is that the effect someones coi pond will have on his neighbor?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Well, guess Raul could simple be a 3rd assistant coach... Simply there to spirit the players.

    As for urban theory... No, not quite :) It's more on how urban space is being socially produced, divided etc.. (At least that's what I'm into, that and trying to figure out where the metropolis is going)

    ReplyDelete
  75. Gnome, how do you set up your coaches? I went a little nuts w/ Real, I had a rather large setup. I got sacked and now am coaching At Madrid instead. I really have to keep the salaries under control too, since I've moved teams I see how small my wages have become. Oh well, my 2nd team will bring many changes I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I usually don't fiddle a lot with the coaches, only substituting those gone and mostly trying to keep decent veterans in the team... Oh and you really don't need a lot of scouts either...

    From Real to Athletico? Weirdest of the weird... :)

    Regarding salaries: don't be afraid to send over-demanding players away. Youngsters should fill their gap. Don't overspend...

    ReplyDelete
  77. Yea, the At Madrid move turned out okay, so far we're in 1st and still in all of the competitions. The best part of course is beating my old team :). It was funny, when my wife and I went to look at apartments (just in case the house thing falls thru) we came across one complex that a floor plan was the "Madrid". I explained to my wife the significance of this name. She laughed.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Well they do tend to catch on rather quickly, don't they ?

    New appartment huh? Nice.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. My Wife's become a FM widow, but I do try to maintain my marraige as best I can :)

    I don't know what it is about Sunday nights, but consistantly now they have been the nights that I've done my most partying, so now, here at work I'm paying for it :(

    I had an interesting night though. I wound up down by the ocean (Pacific that is) after dinner and I stopped and talked with a younger man who was suicidal. I sat and bought him a couple of beers (I had some Red Stripe's) and got him something to eat. We talked for a couple of hours then he went on his way.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I wouldn't like to say "I told you so", even though I actually did...

    Anyway... Bsides FM, regarding Sundays, I too have to admit they really make me want to drink and generally have fun. Yesterday for example I managed to crawl back to my place at around 4 o'clock, having just finished my seventh tequila. Not bad methinks...

    Oh, and that's quite a night there my friend. Bravo!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  81. Gnome, well, here it is Sunday again, so I wonder how this one will end up?

    I wonder if I could impose upon your extensive knowledge of games for a friend of mine's son. He (Andrew) is doing a report and has chosen online multi-player games as his topic. These are the 2 questions that would aid him the most:

    1) Top 5 RPG'S (games)?
    2) Approximate # enrolled players online?

    Or @ least where to find data.

    I appreciate any info that you might have so he could complete his report.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Ok... let's see now... (mind you MMORPGs are not my forte)...

    Top #1 RPG is definitely World of Warcraft (WoW) by Blizzard, currently having around 7 million players on the official (legal) servers...

    Then we have Second Life, not so much of an RPG, but more of a game-like life simulation, featuring a booming and very real economy.

    Korean RPGs like Lineage II are also very popular.

    Ultima Online (now in a state of a rennaisance of sorts) was the first true contemporary MMORPG (excluding previus text-only or MUD efforts).

    Oh, and Everquest is quite popular too... Guild Wars also.

    Matrix Online and Star Wars Galaxies on the other hand, don't seem to be doing that well...

    Anyway have a look at these links:

    www.gameogre.com/mmorpgs.htm
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MMORPGs
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMORPG
    www.mmorpg.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. It's a good thing they weren't your forte, or else I'd have had to opened an attachment! But all sarchasm aside, thank you for the resources, I'm sure Andrew will be grateful.

    Also, Sunday came and went with no discernable "blips on the radar". My wife was up really late preparing for her new "computer geek" job (that's what she calls herself, otherwise I might be thought a cad by using that term). She had to do all of her benefit enrollment prior to her first shift which of course was today. 3am used to be a coming home from the party time for me, not a time working...

    Atl. Madrid is still rolling along in 1st place in DIV 1-I've beaten Real Madrid twice in a row now :), although my tactics of hard tackling for the 1st 30 minutes has of course led to the whole 5 yellow = madatory 1 game suspension thingy for several of my players. I had something funny happened to me while attempting to purchase a player from Arsenal. Pat Rice, the Caretaker/Manager didn't like me so he wouldn't sell to me. So, I offered him a job, hired him, then bought the player too! He's retiring after this season though, but the player (DC Steven Taylor) has been a regular 1st-teamer for my side.

    On a side note, I imported an Israeli player, I told my wife that it would probably be a good thing to have one of God's chosen pixels playing for my team :) maybe I'll nickname him "The Rabbi".

    ReplyDelete
  84. LOL

    :)

    And it's always nice knowing everything is fine over there and of course that Real is taking another beating.

    ReplyDelete
  85. A quick question lest I ramble on ad nauseum...how much experience do you have with specific player instructions for each game (mark tallest player etc)? I'm see how detailed this game can become, but I'm questioning how far in I really want to go...BTW, it's really fun to get into the media battles, my stats are 20's in everything but temperament and ambition.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Don't really comment through the media, thus wouldn't knw much on media battles...

    Individual player instructions can be very handy, especially in the defense , where the most important of the opponents can be assigned to smeone (man-to-man) with similar characteristics.

    ReplyDelete
  87. It's funny, and a bit nerve-wracking that my team seems to take a bit of warming up before we register the 1st win of the season. And this Tequila thingy, I was making pizzas last night and ruined one of them because of the dreaded elixer...

    ReplyDelete
  88. You should see my team in real-life, desperately struggling (as I type this) to overcome an Ukranian underdog... Damn frustrating and dissapointing...

    Still... Tequila cant be bad, even if pizza destroying...

    ReplyDelete
  89. You make it (TQ) like a small mammal, like a ferret or something. And, judging from my hangover and overall lethargy today, maybe I do have a ferrett in my brain...I guess my expectations are to dominate every game and draws and losses go against my impulse control problem.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Uhm..yes.. right...

    I'm sure you're absolutely correct, even though I don't have the slightest idea what we're talking about...


    :)

    ReplyDelete
  91. Tequila...you made it sound innocuos and friendly (hence the small mammal reference). I admit the last posting went off a bit, must have been the residual effects of the tequila. And the last part was of course in reference to my frustrations about losing or tying games early on in the season. There are times that I'm sure I've been educated beyond my own understanding...

    ReplyDelete
  92. Ah, I see, coach... All is clear now... Order has been finally restored.

    ReplyDelete
  93. so what's the weather like in Greece this time of year? Here in San Diego it's around 70 or so, maybe 50 at night.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Well, that is in Fahrenheit, right? Here it's still un-naturally hot, around 30-32 degrees Celsious...

    ReplyDelete
  95. no, actually I meant Celcius...It's kind of like the movie, "The Chronicles of Riddick" when the sun came out it fried everything in its' path...

    I had a stellar week (due to my schedule my days off are Wed and Thurs), I finished of a bottle of tequilla over a 3-day period. I'm sure I won't miss those brain cells, maybe I'll hold a memorial service the next time I'm in the bathroom, maybe a 21-flush salute...

    ReplyDelete
  96. Yikes!

    You must be burning there. Amazing. Right next to the ocean. I do remember SF and SD as pretty cool places, and it was the summer you know.. Then again it was 15 years ago too...

    Anyway. Drinking is always fun. Just like football. As long of course as the Air Conditioning is on...

    ReplyDelete
  97. So how's your local team doing? Liverpool just seems a bit out of reach in the EPL (10 pts sitting in 7th place). It's nice to see people gearing up to gun down Chelsea though. Man U and Portsmouth (unlikely as they may be) are 2 pts behind the league leaders.

    Re: weather conditions, actually it's chilling down at night and even though I enjoy the cold weather it's bringing me inside earlier than usual. I usually like to sit w/ the laptop on the porch until the house dies down a bit.

    About some games...Lemmings was always a favorite of mine, but I can't find any that are compatible w/ the new operating systems. It seems Windows 98 killed most of my old favorites. Even the compatible "Cannon Fodder" download I got from "the-underdogs" site had some glitches. I was able to get Sensi 96/97 from them, but now the new system won't run it. Any suggestions? (I mean other than purchasing an Amiga)

    ReplyDelete
  98. Ah..my local team... sad subject, but things have started looking up now our new coach is here... He did disqualify Real Madrid to make the spanish cup-final last year, so he must be decent...

    Lemmings... Have a look at my "Flash for Fun" post, I have posted a link to a free (excellent) online version of Lemmings...

    For old games, I'd suggest you use dosbox, preferably with a front-end to make things simpler...

    ReplyDelete
  99. "dosbox", "front-end" are terms my wife would certainly know (unless they're specific to the gaming end of computers) but I must confess my ignorance to these terms. Do they refer to game systems that are detached from the computer, or something entirely different?

    ReplyDelete
  100. DOSbox is a piece of software that emulates older dos computers... Front-ends are programs ran on top of it to make it easier to use...

    ReplyDelete
  101. so the dosbox program loads into my computer and the older games run by using it?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Exactly

    have a look here:

    http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/

    ReplyDelete
  103. while I am intrigued by the concept, and my wife thinks the concept is interesting too, she's just not that enthusiastic about possibly losing me forever to my alternate pixel-universe. Sensi 96/97 and FM is too frightening to think about, I might only exist on a powerpoint slideshow presentation of past photos...text messages would be my only link to the carbon-based world... :)

    ReplyDelete
  104. but maybe just one Lemmings puzzle wouldn't hurt....

    ReplyDelete
  105. I'm [retty sure it wont...

    ReplyDelete
  106. but don't Lemmings plunge headlong off of cliffs?

    ReplyDelete
  107. Yes, yes that's true, but only if they don't drown in the ocean, get crushed by 15-ton weights or get burned to death... Other than that, they could be saved...

    ReplyDelete
  108. you forgot about the self-destruct and the parachutes/umbrellas!

    ReplyDelete
  109. apparently their bridge building abilities too...

    ReplyDelete
  110. I wasn't sure if your (?) meant confusion at my "Yets Dough!" or not. If so, thats what it sounds like when you start a Lemmings puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Excellent! (?) 100% answered!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  112. I've noticed something that I find kind of annoying with FM. When I get a decent player, allow him to play a bunch of games and his playing percentage increases, then the vultures descend from out of nowhere, and I've had to decline anywhere between 5-20 requests for info about the sale price. I wind up checking off "reject all", but then my players can get upset because of all the commotion.

    ReplyDelete
  113. No, no, never "reject all", unless of course it's about an extremely crucial player. Say the team's captain and star...

    Other than that, always sell if you are offered more than twice the money you initially invested... BTW, do check out schoolboys around the world with shooting 20.

    ReplyDelete
  114. when you say "shooting", do you mean finishing, first touch, or long shots? I am in the midle of an experiment with my team. I've taken 1 month off at a time after selecting quality players and excellent assistants and coaches, and I'm still 1st in the division, have won the Spanish Cup, and am now vying for the Champions Cup title as well. I wanted to see if I could 1) stay employed with all the time off and, 2) win anything worth note while not in immediate attendance.

    One other question for you, when you said you wanted rich teams, how rich are we talking? Right now my balance is $225 million without using any cheats.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Very well done I guess :)

    Oh, I was mostly referring to long shots and to rich teams by greek standards... Think i've made Panathinaikos come close to 200m euros...

    ReplyDelete
  116. The experiment went well, I won the division and most of the major tounaments including the U18's league. Kind of disappointing to think it could auto-pilot that well (it seems to make the day-to-day decisions less critical).

    About the stats though, was it finishing you meant when you spoke of the 20 shooting stats?

    ReplyDelete
  117. sorry, I missed the long shots clarification you made until after I'd posted my last comments...

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hey there Gnome, got a question for you-what's the average Grecian day like?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Pretty average really :)

    Actually, I wouldn't know how to answer hank. I mean, what's the average greek person like? And, average in what respect?

    ReplyDelete
  120. I guess I could be more specific...do you sight see? I've seen lots of pictures of the ruins. What do people do there for enterainment? National past times? Favorite color :) ?

    ReplyDelete
  121. Do we sight-see? Well, depends whom your asking... I do regularly visit museums and/or "ruins", but quite a lot of Athenians haven't bothered to ever visit the Acropolis.

    As for entertainment. Hmmm... People tend to listen to (horrid) international pop and local folk-pop shite and dance while drinking murderously and over-priced drinks at kitsch bars. I and most of the people I know tend to go to bars or a select few clubs that would go for a rather more rock or jazzy feel... Mind you concerts here are ludicrously expensive, starting from 50 euros per person...

    Uhm.. there's more... I'll get back to it eventually... Sorry, I'm incredibly pressured right now...

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  122. after looking at the current euro-dollar exchange rates, the concert prices here aren't that far off now here. It cost's almost $50.00 to even go to Disneyland these days. I recall when it was around $25.00. My friend's family and mine are going to an NHL game next week up in Anaheim and the seats, the nosebleed seats, range from $16-$28 per seat. It's not comforting to see more of my income going for "amusements and entertainment". It's getting harder to relax and enjoy a game, concert, or a movie these days.

    ReplyDelete
  123. gnome, do you have any info re: the Spanish National Ice hockey team. I would lke to get mailing info or an email address to et ahold of their business offices. I've done a google search, but I don't get anything of substance

    ReplyDelete
  124. Sorry hank, haven't the slightest idea...

    ReplyDelete
  125. Great to see sensi back i also hear SWOS is in the pipeline. The only gripe i have about the game is they should have left it as we all remeber it with the old style looking down at dots, fast game play. I think the graphics revamp has totaly spoiled the feel of the game and thats why im going to stick with PES on my console and get my SWOS fix on my old amiga.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Actually dear Anonymous, the graphics aren't much of problem.... It's the lack of full Snsi speed and the addition of all these buttons that change the feel... Still, a good game.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Gnome, it has been quite a long time since I posted...with that being said I have a problem that I couldn't find a specific forum that addressed it. I have Civ 3, and my install disc has a crack running thru it about a 1/2 inch into the info. What can I do? Is it possible to transfer the info to another disc, write it onto my hard-drive, or maybe something else? Oh, BTW, I've discovered Stella Artois from Belgium and it's quite tasty, although not a "full-bodied beer" by my tastebuds...just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hank! Hey mate, welcome back and I hope everything is allright my friend. On the other hand it does sound like a destroyed Civ 3 disc, which would probably mean it can't be fixed. You could try this :

    http://www.cdscratchremover.com/

    though I wouldn't know if it works.

    As for Stella, well it's a fine (very) lager beer, perfect for a hot summer. You should rather try something like Lucifer or some monk-bear.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Hey Gnome, I getting kinda frustrated with my Sensi Soccer 96/97 download. My Lemmings and Cannon Fodder games run fine (I got the DOSbox like you suggested) but Sensi won't run. Is it possible I downloaded an Amiga version somewhere? Or do I need a different game system (besides DOSbox) to run it maybe? I oredered that joystick you recommended and it's on the way, but I might not have a use for it
    :( Hank also, I'm having trouble logging in with the blogger account.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Well, you could have gotten the Amiga version, but that would mean you wouldn't have an .exe file and you would probably have to have a look at www.lemonamiga.com for emulation stuff. Have you tried the latest DOSbox? Any Dosbox frontends?

    What's wrong with Blogger? I can see your account perfectly fine really...

    ReplyDelete
  131. Gnome, nothings wrong, just operator stupidity. I couyldn't recall which login I used. Anyway, the DOSbox I have has recently been uploaded. Do I have to do anything for it to work? Does it just run the programs by itself? I just gt word today that my joystick has been shpped, 1-3 week wait now as it's coming from the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  132. btw, it does have and .exe file. but since I' not computer-savvy like my wife, I don't know what to do when things should work but don't.

    ReplyDelete
  133. here's what one verson I downloaded says when I want to do the basic install:
    "please enter the full drive/path where sensisible soccer is to be installed". Where should I place it?

    ReplyDelete
  134. As it's an exe file it will work on the PC. DOSbox has a nice tutorial over at its webpage and I there are lots of fantastic frontends making things easier. I'm using DOSSHell.

    Don't place it anywhere... It's asking for a virtual drive you have to create through DOSbox...

    ReplyDelete
  135. hey Gnome, got the joystick, it works well. Also got SS '06 which I've finally gotten the hang of. The only lacking game now is the attempts I've made for a download of SWOS 96/97 to actually run with me new joystick. I've gotten the keyboard to work, but it's just not the same if you know what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I absolutely see what you mean and that's why I still try to play Sensi on the Amiga... Getting a joystick to work on emulation though should be tricky, but I'm quite sute it's possible... Dosbox definitely supports joysticks and probably so does UAE.

    ReplyDelete