Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Gift of the Year

So today we have the last day of the year. Could there be any excuse if I didn't greet all of You? To be short, I just wanna send You all those classical regards and a few original ones. And here is my last gift this year.

Perhaps most of You have already seen or heard this song. But today Queen’s first new studio recording in ten years and Paul Rodgers’ first in 7 years, named "Say It's Not True," is officially out . Why Oueen, why here, You can ask. It is because of the "We Are the Champions".

‘Say It’s Not True’ comes as an enhanced CD single release carrying the full video shown at the December 1st 46664 Johannesburg concert. All royalties from world sales will be donated to Nelson Mandela’s AIDS cause, 46664. And that's the true spirit of giving gifts. And that's the true spirit of sports. Be happy: go in for sports and give gifts from the heart.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

FIFA 08 is still in gamers' hearts

Although almost three months from the first FIFA'08 release have passed, this game still sinks in high popularity. It is even still in some selling top-fives! And my poll which had got 129 Your votes, shows FIFA amuses most of You perfectly. 103 (79 %) of poll participants declared they "of course" still play this year version of FIFA. The second in popularity rank was an answer which said "I'm already waiting for FIFA'09". It gained 12 of Your voices (9%).

The army of FIFA lovers may widen cause 6 persons (4%) stated they were looking forward to buy their copies of the '08 (or maybe they'd like to find a copy under Christmas tree?).

8 voters, however, are unhappy with FIFA'08. 5 of them (3%) think it is boring and 3 (2%) do not like FIFA "as a race". (if You do not see clearly, click on the table)

What the conclusions could be drawn analyzing the results? First of all, of course here we have a little trick, cause if people come to the site about FIFA'08, they perhaps are acquainted with the game and have their own opinion about it. What is more, probably the majority of us search in the internet the things we like, not the things we hate.

On the other hand, almost the tenth of voters are already waiting for the next year version of FIFA, so there is a great possibility they are not satisfied with the game or it made them satisfied for a very short time. Therefore FIFA'09 creators should try to extend the term to keep gamers satisfied leastwise till Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Managing small and poor club - Tips for manager mode (2)

Last time I tried to provide some tips for those who take rich and well-known clubs in manager mode of FIFA 08. Today I’d like to touch Cinderella growing up to Princess strategy - when You take a team from the last league and almost without budget and lead it to champion.

If You choose this way, Board of Directors will be rather calm and gentle, leastwise in the beginning. You will be asked to avoid fall to lower league (if You play in the very last league, a request probably will be to stay in the top half of the table or something like that), to win derby matches or to extend a contract with a team star (if the footballer from the semi-amateur club can be called this way).

However, Your aim presumably will be to bring Your club to the top. To set things clear, to the top in the supreme national league. Therefore You must improve not only Your gaming skills but management and administration of the club.

I don't want You to imagine me as a pure materialist, but the thing which is really essential when trying to climb this mountain is money. As a poor and unknown club, Your team won't have it. What are the solutions?

First of all, I should mention that even if everything went in the right way and You made Your club developing fast, Your budget wouldn't increase in the same tempo. I believe the mentality of sponsors in FIFA 08 (in FIFA 07 too) is programmed to estimate their proposals not for club results but for manager rating -
manager prestige (a number near Your selected face in manager mode central)

Your budget can be increased by
enlarging Your club's stadium (this action also needs money, but not so much in the beginning cause clubs from last leagues don't have big ones) and setting tickets price to high status. However, before making a decision go to the Office - Financial prediction and learn whether these actions will pay You back. I believe (but the only evidence is my own experience in playing FIFA'08) it depends even on the population of the town if more fans will come to the enlarged stadium. And it is proved that the the number of coming fans is tightly related to the fan support (those numbers and flag icon in the manager mode central). You should examine both fan support level and the numbers in Financial prediction before deciding whether it is useful to raise tickets price.

However, these operations have their restrictions. You cannot enlarge stadium to higher level than 10 (and it costs approximately 25 or 30 million, if I'm not wrong) and raise ticket price more than

Therefore the best solution for making money is the one I've already stated.
Free agents market. There You can buy players for comparative low prices (cause You ought to pay only his salary) and then sell them to others clubs for their real market value and earn nice sums. It is more worthy than to send Your scout for searching new talents because as Your a club is undeveloped, a scout will have little rating and will be bring not very good footballers. However, scouting is also the way to get talents who will either good enough to play in Your team or expensive enough to sell them. I just want to highlight working with free agents is more efficient.

So You should upgrade negotiator who is strongly related with the success in the bargain with free agents. Upgrading and
other staff is also highly welcome. Even if You don't notice the improvement in playing Your manager prestige will increase.

In the end, I also want to remind You don't be afraid of veterans or players with intermediate skills.
As I have mentioned before, bear in mind that numbers and figures don’t show real situation even in videogames.

On the other hand, it is worth sometimes to examine Team management-Player growth. There You might find out that some of Your leaders have reached the peak of their skills and his numbers will drop in a few seasons. Then You will have to decide if it is worth to sell it and get younger player for the same or even less sum but with more talent and brighter future.

All in all, think like real businessman. Be active in buying and selling, comparing players and their contracts. Otherwise, do not forget that if You want some success the most important thing You should do is to football.

If You have got some more tips about the manager mode, You are highly welcome to share them in comments.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Tips for manager mode (1)

I regularly notice that lots of people are searching for some advice about manager mode of the FIFA’08. I’ve posted a few ideas in my blog posts but now I want to shape some structure of this kind of tips and get as far as I know of this topic.

As it was mentioned here, there are different strategies of playing manager mode, but we can extinguish two most opposing ones:

1) When You take a team-Cinderella (from the last league and almost without budget) and grow it up to the Princess (champion of national league and cup and European tournaments leader).

2) When You take a well-known (perhaps yours favorite) club, buy a few your beloved players and struggle to survive pursuing everything the Board of Directors requires.

Of course, we can create a lot of in-between variants, but every strategy is the combination of those mentioned ones. Naturally, the situation can change if You get team-Cinderella and then bring it to the leaders. Every year the expectations of the Board grow and suddenly You will find Yourself trying to meet with heightened standards. But it’s obvious. Let’s better talk about some specific tips for those two “pure” strategies and then everyone will be able to take from the list the tip he or she needs.

Firstly, when You take a rich and very reputable club, be sure You will be able to reach high results immediately. The Board of the club normally doesn’t like to wait till You get familiar to the team and find optimal strategy and formation. If You lose a few matches in turn, Your season with the team could end at the very beginning. Therefore I highly recommend either to take lower difficulty level, or to take less ambitious club, or to summon up all Your skills.

By the way, here is one more tip for the start of playing with teams like Barcelona, Manchester United and so on. It maybe a little bit psychological but it works at least for me. I usually try not to change the formation or strategy of the team radically, no matter that my heart shouts me to pick Ronaldinho or Rooney right now. I do it step by step, because it seems Team Chemistry (those two gearwheels with percents) is very sensitive to that.

Despite the fact You are managing a rich club money still can be problem: You have best players, You want better ones; Board of Directors requires to sell or to buy someone; some contracts expire; etc. At the beginning You’ll be able to enlarge Your stadium (but this action also needs money) and set tickets price to high status. But these ways have their finishes and they usually appear soon enough.

Money is one of the reasons You must raise Your manager prestige (that number near Your face in the game), so attempt to win every match and meet Board’s objectives. Sometimes You’ll have to sell a few Your stars, but I know how it hurts. So I suggest You to look through the market, especially a free agents list. There You can buy players for comparative low prices (cause You ought to pay only his salary) and then sell them to others clubs for their real market value and earn nice sums.

Here is one more tip. Sometimes it is worth not to be too quick to get rid of players who are getting old and their abilities drop, especially defenders who doesn’t need as much speed as those in the front lines. Bear in mind that numbers and figures don’t show real situation even in videogames. Veterans have experience and the whole line (defenders, midfielders or forwards) is used to play and share position with them (Team Chemistry). What is more, think how often You realize whole of Your defenders potential. And finally, veterans demand lower salaries.

If You have got some more tips about the manager mode, You are highly welcome to share them in comments.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

A POLL: Are You still playing FIFA 08?

It's about two months since FIFA 08 was released in Europe and Australia and about one and a half since it appeared in USA.

Was it enough time for this game or it was not? Do You and Your friends still play it or You got fed up with it? Maybe You already look forward for FIFA 09? Or maybe You hadn't try to play this version yet? Finally, maybe You wouldn't play FIFA'08 even if Your life depended on that?

State Your opinion, answer in the poll on the top of the blog.