Football Mogul 07 Review (PC)
With the console battles that continue to rage in the gaming industry, the often overlooked competitor is the PC gaming market. While PC gaming was the gaming platform just a short decade or so ago, it is often brushed over these days in the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo battle royale that is waged daily. While PC gaming is still an enormous market (I’m talking to you, World of Warcraft), sports gaming on the PC will likely never be as big as it once was and will likely continue to lose ground to console gaming. However, there is still one sports gaming genre that has and will live on for PC gamers, and that is the text-based sports simulation.
Text-based? Like no pictures? No graphics? No licensed shoes? Crazy, right? I would have been quick to agree with you a few years ago. Maybe it’s that I am getting older and not as quick on the control pad as a I use to be, but over the last two years, I’ve found myself becoming more and more entrenched in this genre. With titles available for just about any sport, if you’re an X’s and O’s or dollars and cents guy, there is a title for you.
With football being far and away my favorite sport for my console gaming, it was probably the most difficult transition for me to make to text-based gaming. I’ve played a few, (some more than others) but I am always looking for a new angle. Needless to say, I was excited to get a copy of Football Mogul 2007 from the team over at Sports Mogul.
If you’re not familiar with text-based sports simulations, they are built for guys who like numbers. They are a stat geek’s dream. Football Mogul 2007 is no exception. From on the field stats to franchise financials, anything and everything you wanted to know about the team you’re going to run is there in front of you and under your control. Unfortunately, the depth of the stats and the ease of the interface are really the only significant pluses for this title.
When I got into running a franchise with Football Mogul 2007, I was very disappointed to run into a lot of issues that really detracted from my gaming experience. For one thing, I thought the game-planning elements were not nearly as deep as other games, even older games, have offered. I found it slightly generic compared to the level of detail that you see in a game like Front Office Football.
While you don’t think of AI as prominently in a text-based sim as you might a console game, I saw a few things in games that left me scratching my head. Computer opponents seemed to have little to no clock and game management skills. More realistically, they seem to operate off of a very black and white piece of logic. For example, they went for it on 4th down almost 100% of the time there was less than two minutes remaining in a half. Didn’t matter the score or the position on the field, they’d go for it, often resulting in a late first-half score for my team.
As I progressed through multiple seasons of Football Mogul 2007, I also noticed a few head-scratchers. For one things, players seemed to play way too long. Skilled position players who are almost always retired by their early to mid-30’s were playing well into their 40’s. I’ll accept that from an occasional offensive linemen, maybe even a quarterback, but it was common at almost every position. And speaking of offensive linemen, I also found that there was little need to ever groom your talent or sign them in free agency, because most of the draft classes were chock full of Orlando Pace clones every year.
Simulation by definition needs to at least somewhat accurately mirror reality. That’s not the case in most of the areas of Football Mogul 2007.
At a very affordable price tag of less than $20, my first instinct is to tell people that it is worth a look. However, for experienced simmers, you’re going to be disappointed with the game and how it plays. And for people who have yet to jump on the text bandwagon, I’d rather see you spend the extra money for a more polished title.