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Product: The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000
Company: EA Sports
Website: http://www.premierleaguemanager.com
Estimated Street Price: 20
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

I am a great fan of football manager games, my favorite has been the Championship Manager series since it first came out for the Amiga all those years ago. During that time many companies have attempted to takes CM's crown, they have all failed, how will The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 fair? Read on:

  • THE F.A. PREMIER LEAGUE. All the teams, all the stadiums, all the players, all the logos and all the kits provide the most accurate management simulation of professional football.
  • New 3D Match Engine With Hot Keys
  • New Management
  • New Virtual Manager
  • Multiplayer Mode

Installation, Settings and Intro

When installing The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 you have 3 different installation options. Typical, Minimal and Custom, I selected Typical which installs over 200 MBs of data to the hard drive. Once installed it is time to selected the 3D Setup information. The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 runs in 800x600 and the in-game 3D Match graphics are done by using The F.A. Premier League Stars graphic engine (So you are stuck with 640x480 with those). The game begins with the obligatory EA Sports FMV intro, yet again nice to watch once but never again.

When you finally get to the first menu you get the following list of options:

  • Continue
  • Start New Game
  • Load Game
  • Save Game
  • Settings
  • Multiplayer
  • Quit To Windows

I checked out the settings area first, from here you can change the way you view matches, you can either let the match be played out and just get the result, have an on-view page of all the latest scores, watch short highlights from you games via the 3D engine or go the full hog and watch the whole game via the 3D match engine. I went for the highlights option.

Gameplay

Before you begin The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 you must first choose your team of choice, mine as always is Cambridge United (My home team) who play in the English 2nd Division. As usual with EA Sports games, the menus are all great to look at. The first thing I did was to check to see if the Squad details were all correct, for the most parts they are all right, but there are a few players out of positions.

faplm_2000_1.jpg (80913 bytes)

The main area from which you view statistics, stadium date and results are all in full view, moving the mouse over to the right side of the screen brings up a pop-up menu where you can jump to different sections such as training, results, transfers, and you can also move to the business area where you can employee new staff, change ticket prices etc.

The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 has many new areas over the first title in the series that EA Sports released, the changes are all for the better but there is far more detail for the Premier League teams and not enough for the lower league teams which is a bit of a disappointment for most football fans who are not as interested in the premier league or who support other teams.

faplm_2000_2.jpg (90996 bytes)

Managing your squad is quite an easy task, moving the players about to different positions is just a question of drag and drop, changing the way players play in terms of crossing the ball or doing through balls, the team formation, penalty takers etc can all be done from one page called Team Tactics. The difficulty level is quite high too which is in my view a good thing, but another bad point I noticed during the game was the amount of money certain clubs have available to spend on new players at the start of the season, it was yet again unrealistic, since when has Cambridge had 100,000 to spend on new players, let alone the 1.8 Million they are given in this game.

Buying players is done by the EAMail system (Shown Above), from here you e-mail managers/players offers and speak to other members of your staff, it is quite a nice feature, if a little fiddly to use but works well. There are a few features that appear in The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 that do not come up in Championship Manager. For example, you can better your stadium in terms of seating, drainage etc, while this is all well and good, in real life managers only have a small say in these matters though. Perhaps a feature where you request these kinds of upgrades to your directors would be more appropriate.

Graphics, Sound & Music

As I mentioned earlier The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 has some great looking menu designs. The 3D Match Engine uses the F.A Premier League Stars graphics engine, I don't like the look of it much compared to a game such as Fifa 99/2000 but for a Manager game it is more than adequate. The sound is also basically the same as was used in F.A. Premier League Stars too, but the commentary is a little worse this time around as there are not as many varied responses from Martin Tyler and Andy Gray. In games like these though it isn't really the graphics that can add to the grades, just the gameplay, detail and realism.

Final Comments

How It Grades
  Originality: 73%
Gameplay: 78%
Story: N/A
Graphics: 84%
Cutscenes: N/A
Sound: 81%
Music: 71%
Manual: 89%
Interface: 82%
Multiplayer: 79%
Overall: 79%

 

This is one of the few new football management games that has come out recently that gets a bit closer to challenging Championship Manager, but there isn't enough here to say that it can take on the giant and win. The 3D Engine is a nice touch over CM's text based management, but there is still so much more detail and realism in CM that The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000 doesn't reach into. The interface can also be a little fiddly when moving between menus, selecting players and moving on to new games. But one thing it does have going for it is the price (In the UK at least), it is surprisingly cheap for an EA Sports game.

 

Specs & Package
Overall Score 79%
Version Reviewed Version 1.0
Release Date Out Now (UK)
In The Box? 1 CD
1 Set of instructions
The Good Points Good 3D Match Engine
Great Menu Designs
All The Real Player Names
Nice Change To Championship Manager
Cheap
The Bad Points Still Not Enough Detail
Lots Of Statistics Are Wrong
Player Skin Colors Can Be Wrong
Annoying Music
Poor Commentary
Too Much Emphasis On The Premier League Clubs To Appeal To CM 3 Players
Reviewers PC Setup Pentium II 450
Windows 98 Second Edition
128 Meg SD-Ram
Matrox G400 32MB AGP Graphics Card
Voodoo 2 - 8mb
DirectX 7
SoundBlaster Live! Value
17" LG Electronics Monitor
Microsoft Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft Game Pad Pro (USB)
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80
Microsoft Intellimouse

DVD Setup: Toshiba SD-1202 DVD-ROM - 32x
DVD TV Player - Samsung 807

PC Required Pentium 166Mhz
32 Mb RAM
Win 95/98
2 MB Graphics Card
3D Graphics Accelerator Recommended (supports Glide or D3D)
150Mb Hard Drive Space
4X or faster CD-ROM Drive

 

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