Games review: Football Manager Classic, PS Vita

SPORTS Interactive’s engrossing football management simulator has never quite made a convincing transition to handheld devices, with various mobile iterations so pared back that they felt insubstantial compared to their PC progenitor.

Football Manager Classic brings much of the joy of the PC version to the PS Vita. Picture: Contributed
Football Manager Classic brings much of the joy of the PC version to the PS Vita. Picture: Contributed

Football Manager Classic - PS Vita

Score: 8.0 / 10

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The inaugural PS Vita version, however, goes some way to remedying this historic problem. Adapting the Classic game mode, which dispenses with the time consuming intricacies of training, scouting and staff management, this is a lithe yet sufficiently detailed take on the age-old Football Manager formula.

Cross-platform saves

The feather in its cap is the inclusion of cross-platform save functionality, allowing those fledgling managerial careers cultivated at home on the PC version to be transferred to and from Sony’s handheld.

The 3D match engine offering an isometric view of how well - or poorly - your eleven charges put tactical theory into practice also makes the cut.

Graphically, it is no more than proficient, and the frame rate is prone to the odd stutter, but the visualisation of the play serves its purpose well, allowing for a lucid of where your team might need tinkered with during a game.

Frustrating errors

The ambitious transition to a portable device - even one with the processing punch of the Vita - inevitably involves compromise. There are occasions when the touchscreen functionality results in frustrating errors, especially when navigating and selecting the micro menus and buttons used to tinker with the tactics of your team or an individual player.

For the most part, however, these are easily corrected and are a niggling inconvenience rather than an indication of a fundamentally broken interface.

Indeed, the developers are to be lauded for electing to create such a fully fledged iteration of the iconic management sim, when a pared back lite version would have given them significantly fewer headaches.

As it stands, the Vita version holds its own and gives FM’s obsessive fan base yet another way to while away the hours in the hope of taking a motley crew of long ball sluggers to the pinnacle of Europe’s greatest club competition.