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FMLFootball Manager 2009
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Developed over three years with support from SEGA's Sports R&D Division, the 3D Match Engine was the headline addition to Football Manager 2009, revolutionising the way managers saw their team in action. After years of text commentary or watching 2D circles, seeing your motion-captured players take to the field for real was a special moment.
Naturally FM09 made as much hay as it could from this new feature, including a special TV View that let you watch matches in full-screen with custom widgets docked to the image showing you information on player performance, action zones, pitch radar and scores from other matches. The addition of widescreen support for the first time in FM (remember when everything was 4:3?) added to the sense of new horizons.
All this focus on the 3D Match Engine didn't stop us getting stuck into other areas. Your Assistant Manager would now pop up before and during games to help you judge performance, player motivation levels and tactical efficiency. Away from the pitch, press conferences let you fire up the mind games more than ever, while you could dig further into the board's confidence levels too, learning their take on squad harmony and club stature.
- 3D Match Engine - This was the big one. Developed with support from SEGA Sports R&D, the new match engine let you watch your team in action as never before.
- Widescreen Support - It's funny to think this ever wasn't a thing! But as the tech became widespread, so we adapted the game to take advantage.
- Assistant Manager Feedback - Top managers can't do it without top support, and FM09 let you draw on the experience of your number two directly.
- Media Management & Press Conferences - Get into the heads of your rivals by using the media to your advantage.
- Expanded Board Confidence - Learn about squad harmony and club stature as you take in whether the board is happy with your performance.
WHAT THEY SAID
"FM09 is still easily the most in-depth, enjoyable and addictive way to pretend you manage a football team. When you have a formula as compulsively successful as this, one that guarantees you top the PC best-sellers list year on year, it’s churlish to suggest reckless tinkering for the sake of it."
"If you want a high stress virtual job on top of your real one, have hours to burn each day looking at an interactive database, and fancy yourself as the next Alex Ferguson, Football Manager 2009 might be the only game you'll need until this time next year."
"Strip away the hiccups and this is a must-have game, with the added excitement provided by the 3D match engine worthy of the entrance fee alone. And while it may not be quite the finished article, Football Manager 2009 still has more than enough quality and strength in depth to be considered championship-winning material."
With PC and Macintosh managers dancing down the touchline at the inclusion of the new 3D Match Engine, PlayStation Portable owners might easily have felt left out. But they needn't have worried. After years of retro text commentary, PSP sheepskin-wearers were finally able to enjoy a full 2D Match Engine experience in Football Manager Handheld 2009.
Released day-and-date with the home computer versions for the first time, FM09 Handheld's principal innovation was the match engine, which brought football to life in a way previous instalments could not. Finally, you could see your charges dot around the pitch (literally, as they were little dots), occupy the space you highlighted on the whiteboard and dart into the channels you moaned at them about in training.
In addition to this, FM09 Handheld introduced the ability to play up to four top-tier divisions at the same time, allowing you to move around the continent just as you could on PC and Mac. We also included new light and dark skins to help your eyes cope with the strain of watching all those well-worked goals fly in (hopefully for your team).