13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Career (Manager) Mode Review,
This review is from: FIFA Soccer 12 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
As a lot of people have commented on the gameplay, I'm sticking with the Career Mode for my review. I don't play online for FIFA at all, and am more of a intermediate-level player, and here are my experiences so far.
FIRST CAREER MODE CAMPAIGN - MANCHESTER UNITED
I love that you have an wide array of players, from skilled to strong. Playing in Semi-Pro mode (I agree with another commenter, the jump to Professional difficulty is way to hard for this gamer) the game is kind of easy. You can go pretty much undefeated in the EPL, League Cup (Carling Cup), FA Cup etc. with your original squad. The transfer budget is sky high too, so you can buy players at will. Basically for me, there's no challenge playing such a good and wealthy team. I did find it funny that Wayne Rooney asked to be traded out of the blue right before the January transfer window. I stalled, hoping he would change his mind, but the Board of Directors sold him over me to Real Madrid (at least it wasn't to City!). No worries though as I was able to get Schweinsteiger AND Muller from Bayern Munich with the fee.
SECOND CAREER MODE CAMPAIGN - BLACKPOOL
I found it more rewarding and fun to go with a team that has smaller budget ($10M) and a bunch of youngsters and a bunch of aging veterans. It's also more fun to fight for promotion to the EPL and you have good balance of similar level teams, and the big boys in the EPL (during the Cup runs). Also, you have to be smart to be able to out play some of the good teams. It took me three tries to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final using different combination of players and tactical formations.
With a small budget, you have think smart. I found myself looking to acquire players on loan (18-20 year old players from top flight teams like Arsenal and Inter Milan) who are maybe 67-70 on ratings, but have lots of "tools." These players proved to be instrumental in big games, and lacking the transfer fee, is a good use of your funds. Also watching your youngsters grow with playing time is fun too. As the injuries can range from several days to six months, squad depth is very important. Scouting and Youth Academy can be huge for a small team - I just promoted a CB from the Youth Academy to the first team, and at 16 years old, has a transfer value of over $4M at skill level 63. I could probably sell him two years down the line at over $10M, which is great for a small team like Blackpool. Squad construction is really half the fun for me in FIFA, and playing with a lower level team makes it more interesting, as transfer budgets and youth development is much more consequential. Your player's form + overall skill number seems to fluctuate their transfer value, as I've watched a 20-year-old youngster triple in value in 1.5 years overall, but also go up and down during the season based on his form.
Going from season 1 to season 2, I found that my transfer budget doubled to $20M. I also discovered that it can vary based on how much money you have left over from last year. I spent all my "leftover funds" into my youth system at the end in one scenario, and my transfer budget for next year I found was significantly less.
It's a pretty good game. As I tend to gravitate toward "empire-building" games, the Career Mode in FIFA 12 is a lot of fun with a lesser team. Gameplay is fun, and so is searching through thousands of players to find the few who will enhance your squad on budget.