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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Striker Manager: My Thoughts

Well, I had let my blog almost out of updates for a month, as I already got a long term writer's block in updating this. But anyway, just recently (not really from a near past), I just completed a season of Striker Manager, an online Spanish-based football manager game. 

Basically, in the game, you are to manage your given players, train them to improve their attributes, making sure you have the right staffs, managing your given stadium, establish training schools for your team, and balance your decisions on the financial status you were given. This is more challenging when compared to Football Manager, for you manage everything in this online game. 

Well, to start off, this is my team. 

And I called it Revolution 360 to date. There is no particular reason for me to select that name, but the first name I gave to the team was "Virtual Juventus" with a lack of creativity sparked in my mind. The jersey's original design was similar to Juventus when I first took over this squad. 

And in case you ask how you were given a team, the answer is: When you first sign up for the game, automatically you were given choices to select the team you want to lead. You are later being introduced to the league you are competing in. I am currently in Division 5, Group 250 in this 3rd season of the year after being promoted from Division 6, Group 99 as champions. 

Your matches will be played every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays every week. For cup matches and friendlies, your matches will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While private leagues (created by online managers) matches are played in the weekends. It's encouraged for users to participate in private leagues for extra credits, for you really need to generate much money in order to survive in your group. 

In the previous season, I joined a private league that made me acknowledge this awesome blog called Avoiding The Drop. It's basically about American soccer, with some updates from the European leagues. I did not really had a great season in that league, as I'd finished 5th, however I learned what it's like to deal with tougher players. 

As for players, you were at first given a set of them, and their nationality depends on where you signed up for. In this case, I signed up from Malaysia, and therefore, my starting players were Malaysians. And it's kinda funny I got the exact variable names which are from the actual Malaysian football squad. For example, I got Fahmi Amer as my right forward, and the name Fahmi is found in Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, the current Malaysian top goalkeeper. The funnier coincidence is I had names which are from Mohd. Sharbinee Allawee Ramli, the actual Terengganu FC goalkeeper. (the Italic highlighted words). 

Besides, you are also given a set of youth players which may be the future of your first team. Each squad you have cannot exceed more than 25 players, therefore you have to organize them well. 

And if you either found some useless players in your squad, or seeing a need to purchase new players for your team, obviously, there is a transfer market for you to do business with other players. You can sell your player into an auction and pray that the minimum value you set on them will go as high as it can within a given period, or to compete for setting the highest price on your prospect at that same moment. And that explains why I got players from other nations. 

Now that you know how to manage your players, you also must know how to organize them well as a team. You can have flexibility in your formation setting, and sometimes, your players could even adapt themselves into other positions. For example, your right wing who has an average score of 41, can be played as a right forward with an average of 39. 

Stadium and schools are great features that both provide you income and challenge your managing skills at the same time. You have to know when to purchase upgrades for your facilities in order to progress further. As for schools, you have to ensure the right amount of money being invested to the right nation. Maintenance values are the trickiest obstacles you have to deal with everytime you have to upgrade your facilities, and it's a must when you got promoted into a higher division. 

Now, in this new season (Sept-Dec 2011), Striker Manager introduces a new simulation where difficulty levels are increased to challenge managers to a fairer competition between teams. According to the gamemaster, the old system relies on general midfielders and attackers' placement and quality alone in a formation to win. Now, to rebalance the opportunities for two different players to win, the new simulation system focuses on formation lines and tactic attributes (which also includes substitutions) that determines the match like how real life football is. Besides, you can even adjust the tactics whenever you want your team to adapt them throughout the game. 

Your matches are all simulated right before the game starts. Meaning, when you are informed that your game starts at 6 am today, the simulation of your game will begin after that moment. Compared to the old simulation system, the visuals are 30 minutes long and it is totally more entertaining than to see a bunch of Twitter-like game comments for 90 minutes. 

Seems like there's a lot more to learn from this new system. However, the training system is still flawed and the technicians and engineers of the game are trying to fix them, while we users are currently in the pre-seasons. 

Overall, among many of the online football manager games I'd tried, like Soccer Manager, Top Eleven Football Manager, etc, this is still the best, and most equal free game ever! Sure, you have to pay more for extra Golden Balls or premium statuses, but at least you are not facing inequality like the ones in Top Eleven, where you have to bid using tickets (1 available per day) just to bid for players or instant upgrades/cash. 

Therefore, as long as this game's glitches are fully recovered, I'll stick to this game and I recommend you football manager fans to try this game out if you seek for online challenges. 


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