Lets Make a Soccer Team

By on November 3, 2006

Let’s make a better game next time.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Think back to your childhood, think of the most unfortunately named individual at your school. Adam Twatt (pronounced Twott apparently) had without exception the most unfortunate name in my school or perhaps in any school for that matter. Sega’s ‘Let’s Make a Soccer Team’ (LMST forthwith) is similarly unfortunate and no doubt destined to be the subject of ridicule amongst its sniggering contemporaries. In a genre full of bland grown up names like LMA Manager and Championship Manager, Sega’s ‘LMST sits alongside its peers about as comfortably as Ronald MacDonald would do alongside the IBM board of directors.

And that is just for starters, open the box, put the game into your PS2 and you will be blessed with one of the most tedious and poorly executed games of our time. The game begins with the offbeat but interesting introduction of a plot, undoubtedly a first for a football manager game. Within minutes of beginning, a businessman offers to buy out whatever team you happen to be playing as on the condition that you win the playoffs. And so armed only with vast amounts of soccer knowledge, wit and quick thinking it is the players charge to guide their team through a promotion tournament; win and the next league becomes available, lose and it’s back to square one. The emphasis here is on running a club as a whole as opposed to the strictly managerial role adopted by other games of the genre. This may be a refreshing premise to hang a manager game on but due to the utterly uninspired micro management system and menus that are clunkier than a lorry load of Lego, the experience soon starts to pall.

Both on and off the field there is a sense that the player has little involvement with the onscreen

action. During matches the prompts available are limited and appear to have little effect on the outcome of any given match. In the dugout there are all of the options that one would expect of a football manager game but the loading times between menus are long enough to inspire no small measure of frustration in the player and again the effects of changing the various options and laboriously sculpting your team seem to be minimal. The whole game soon begins to feel like it is on rails and the reasons for interjecting a weak narrative backbone soon become painfully apparent.

All of the basic manager menus are here but there is a dearth of statistical depth and the absence of licensed players also limits the games capacity to engage its audience through its source material. In the east this may not be such a problem but the other more apparent design flaws do nothing to convince that this game suffers from being lost in translation. In fact some of the localisation is downright shoddy with choice phrases such as "Just like our supporters believe, I do definitely." eliciting belly laughs but for all the wrong reasons.

One of the more amusing yet still ultimately pointless additions to the game is the option to choose a secretary. This choice can be made based on such vital personal attributes as wether or not she is afraid of crabs or if she is fond of crying. There is the option to communicate with various other members of club staff but the persistent clumsiness of execution is enough to cause even the most patient of players to give up in a hell broth of boredom and irritation.

During actual matches there is the option to view the action in full and glorious 3D. In 1995 the

engine that is used for this part of LMST would have been impressive but in this day in age falls woefully short of the mark. And in spite of this the live matches are probably deserved of best feature accolade, however in a game plagued with a series of misfires this is not much of a compliment. Why SEGA are still plugging this admittedly popular (in the eastern territories) but ultimately turgid half breed title when they have a perfectly respectable football management sim already is anybodies guess.

So there you have it, if you like dated visuals, frustratingly awkward menus and secretaries that are afraid of crustaceans LMST is undoubtedly for you. Although not a full price title LMST is exactly the sort of game to be avoided; in the PS2’s last few weeks of tenure it would have been nice to see something refreshing in the sports management genre come to light. Unfortunately all we are left with is an ill informed and uninspired game gasping it’s last as the curtain closes on the PS2.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
3
Clunky menus, no statistical depth and a horrible micro management system all help to make this nearly unplayable.
GRAPHICS
3
Poor presentation, no flair whatsoever and a 3D engine from the dark ages.
SOUND
5
One of the least awful aspects of the game, I could not stop humming the theme tune for days.
VALUE
2
Even as a cut price title LMST is still a waste of anybodies money, unless you enjoy tedium.
FUN FACTOR
3
Looks, sounds and plays like a lump of concrete.
OVERALL
3.2
Utter tripe. Avoid at all costs, one of the worst examples of it’s genre.

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