New Star Manager has hit the Switch and I must admit that it’s nice to see more sport management games hit the Switch.
New Star Manager is a port over from the mobile version, dubbed a premium version, it doesn’t have adverts, there is no in-game shop for microtransactions and the editor is unlocked already for you.
When you start New Star Manager, the game takes you by the hand…. A lot, not letting you deviate away from what it wants to show you. You basically must spend the first match or so doing what the game tells you, using the energy boosts when it says and getting yourself set up. While this does die off after a while, there are still elements were your assistant manager will pop up every now and then to tell you that a player is tired, or we could do with upgrading the medical facility, training facility or other items there.
However, when things did open up and the game allowed some freedom, this is where the game shined for me, being able to check on facilities and upgrade to your liking as you pile through the leagues, you can also upgrade your stadium from a mediocre league 2 ground to a Premier League super stadium, and this took me back to my PS2 days when playing LMA Manager or Total Club Manager, New Star Manager had that kind of feel to it, which was nice.
The tactics are very simplistic, you choose your formation and then the team that you want to play the match. Then when you’re in the match it runs kind of like Football Manager in terms of commentary will show on the screen and when your team has an attacking opportunity you go into the game and play this out yourself. You also have ‘cards’ that you collect within the game which help players recover stamina before a game as well as help to cure any ailing injuries. You can also get players going off the wall at you and causing issues, which you can try to nip in the bud as quick as possible, you can also keep an eye on things as well through the player page.
I had a few issues with this, mainly the controls, which to me felt a little strange, one instance is passing, there are times when the player will pass to the feet of a teammate, and other times they will play it ever so slightly in front of them…. Why? I would have preferred it to this player’s feet as well so I could make one of my other players make the run and I can then pass to them to shoot on goal, but nope…. Passed in front and lost the ball. From this then, and I will say 9 times out of 10, although I’m pretty sure it was every time, the opposition would just boot the ball out of play…. Literally smash the ball into the stands, not pass and move out when there is plenty of time, nope, full on get rid tactics!
I found the shooting mechanics in the game to be a little off, when I press Y to take a shot, the camera pans down to the ball, now, I’ve just made a beautiful telling cross, across the box, the animation comes up and the ball is trickling barely onto screen…. How am I meant to hit the ball with any conviction and score when it’s trickling across to me? The annoying thing here is, I’m passing the ball across or through with some pace to make sure it’s getting to the player, but the animations aren’t matching that. Another thing with shooting as well is the ball is always coming in from the side and being hit while moving, what happens if I’ve passed straight to the feet, the ball would have stopped dead, then I’m shooting? The animation is still showing the ball as rolling across my path? Why? I’m hoping this is something that can be amended, maybe it’s me being picky, maybe I’m just wanting that bit of reality as not all shots are done coming in from the side.
What I did like about match days was the camera work, when it came to you having to make a pass to another player, you could rotate the camera right around to get a better view of where your players were. This allowed you to see if there was a player a little out of shot who was in a better position to make a run. Also, being able to reply any part of the play to check offsides and other decisions is a nice little feature.
One of the things I do enjoy about the game is the added extras to it, the being able to build your stadium up, building training areas, a spot for your scouts and medical areas. It’s that little bit extra that gives more depth to the game, something beyond just playing in matches and powering through seasons, which can get a little repetitive, so having the extra elements to play around with nice.
The layout of the game is well presented, it did take me a while to find my bearings but once I got used to where everything was, it made it a lot easier. Using the touch controls on the home screen can become a little disorientating as I was finding hard to differentiate between the different buildings that had. Also, as you build your club as well it can get a little cluttered on the screen, but some of the detail is very good.
I am a big fan of the football manager genre, and to have this alongside Football Manager Touch on Switch is brilliant. It’s not the same as Football Manager as the match engine allows you to play and there are more visual elements to scouting and medical, plus there is a lot more depth in FM Touch than this. But take nothing away from New Star Manager, it holds its own very well and if you’re looking for a football management sim game then this might be the choice for you, and I will say that if you’re a fan of FM Touch on Switch, you will like this just as much.