LMA Manager 2007 Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

The easy to use interface has made the LMA Manager series a comfortable yearly console fixture, and it has always been some distance away from the deeper and more thoughtful approach of management games belonging to the PC. Things have changed in recent years, with the arrival of the deeper management game on consoles thanks to the advent of suitable hardware, does LMA Manager still have a comfy place?

If you wanted to play Football Manager 2006 on your 360 then it was necessary to be equipped with a hard drive, such is the amount of information that makes the game the hardcore experience that it is. Codemasters like to point out (and do so on the back of the box) that a hard drive isn’t a requirement for LMA 2007, but then again it never was, so we assume that this is fighting talk from the company to try and woo potential customers away from anything with SEGA and Sports Interactive on the box.

As we said in our Football Manager 2006 review, on the 360 the great game is still there, but there were some definite issues with the menus that just weren’t present on the PC version. It took a lot of time to find where everything was due to the poor PC-to-console port, there is no such problems with LMA Manager 2007 as it’s a game that is made with the console in mind, and navigating your way through the menus is as easy as you’d expect it to be. Simplicity has always been the philosophy of the LMA Manager series, and this is something that Codemasters should never forget.

Before beginning your managerial reign for your chosen club you firstly create a manager. The customisation features for this duty are pretty good, allowing you to alter tons of cosmetics, the question is are you a tracksuit manager? Or a pinstripe suit manager? Regardless of your choice, you’ll see your created manager whenever you view your matches, which is a nice touch that adds further realism to the series.

The 3D match engine (yes you can still play god from the dugout) is obviously visually enhanced over previous versions, although it suffers from the same bugbears that have blighted past games in the series. Watching matches is almost like viewing two teams of circus clowns kicking a ball around the pitch as they make some comical mistakes, and you’ll be wondering why your highly paid players are running past the ball, rushing backwards in defence, but not tackling the opposition players and passing the ball around as effectively as a man with a white stick. It’s not deserving of too much flack as it does look rather good, but somehow we felt more involved in the no-frills matches of Football Manager’s very primitive engine, it’s silly but true, perhaps it’s simply because everything of FM2006 is much more hands-on.

On the subject of hands-on, LMA Manager 2007 still allows you to play the game almost anyway you desire. You can strip your duties down, making the game an ideal entry-level footy management title, or if you prefer to take the bull by the horns, you can involve yourself in the whole financial and coaching sides of football. There’s also an expert difficulty level, which disables player stats, leaving you to rely on your scouts judgement (or your football-filled brain!) as to who should earn an exclusive contract to be a part of your club’s successes and failures.

Obviously there’s improvements over last years game, but they’re tweaks opposed to anything else. The training system and transfer market (summer 2006 transfers are available on the Marketplace for free download on this 360 version) have additional depth, but apart from that things are pretty much as they were last year, which will disappoint all but the most feverish of stat heads.

LMA Manager 2007 is lightweight when you compare it to Football Manager, although the series still has a place in the market for those who want a more intuitive and less feature intensive game for their money.