Recently I joined the 21st century and bought a smartphone, and one thing I promised myself when buying said smartphone was that I wouldn't get sucked into the games that can become so life destroying. Sure I got my five a day with Fruit Ninja, revisited my old checkout job with Bag-It, and fled those evil Temple Run gorillas more times than I care to mention. Each one provided a welcome distraction during a boring period at work or a particularly stubborn shit, but each one was easy enough to put down.
Then New Star Soccer happened, and everything changed.
For the uninitiated, New Star Soccer is a frighteningly addictive hybrid of Fifa and Football Manager that lets you play as yourself, guiding your football career from conference obscurity to international level stardom. As well as improving your skills, you also have to negotiate contracts through a "price is right" style game of higher or lower, acquire properties, vehicles and clothes to appeal to sponsors, and keep your boss, fans and team mates happy through a combination of performances on the pitch and actions off it.
The whole thing looks like it was knocked up on paint.net...so why on earth am I typing this with one hand and upping my work rate to grab a last minute winner for Inter Milan against Siena with the other?
Games are played in a pleasingly primitive fashion, with a timeline of events punctuated by moments in which you have a pass to make, free kick to take, shot at goal or play to intercept. This is done pretty simply too, controlling strength with an arrow and power / curl by tapping the ball in the correct place. The whole thing looks like it was knocked up on paint.net...so why on earth am I typing this with one hand and upping my work rate to grab a last minute winner for Inter Milan against Siena with the other?
The reason for the success of the game is in its simplicity. Football Manager is like social kryptonite, but it's also a hard beast to tame. A certain amount of tactical nous is needed, a great deal of patience too. Not so with New Star Soccer, which plows ahead quickly without letting you go back to re-play a game you thought you could have done better in. There's no cheats (...that I know of?), no tricks, to proceed in the game, you just need to get better at it.
Indulge me for a paragraph while I tell you about my New Star Soccer career to date. A young buck, my talent was spotted by the academy at Staines, breaking into their first team at 16, a creative midfielder with more of an eye for an assist than a goal (initially frustrating because "assist bonuses" are non existent). I had ambitions from an early age, moving up the divisions with Salisbury, Hereford, Bournemouth and Bristol City, before breaking into the Premier League with Everton and then making the move to Arsenal. However, I soon felt the same pull that Thierry, Cesc and Song felt too, those Catalan breezes calling me, and I jumped ship to spend two successful years at Barcelona, winning La Liga, the Champion's League and the Spanish Cup before signing for Inter Milan, where I'm currently having, by my standards, a fairly poor run of form. Fans are on my back and sponsors are getting frustrated. However, my horse "Road Runner" is proving to be a very lucrative investment.
JESUS CHRIST IT WHY DO I GIVE A SHIT? IT SHOULDN'T MATTER BUT IT DOES! THIS IS WHAT THE GAME DOES TO YOU! IT FEEDS YOUR EGO TO THE POINT WHERE YOU DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT'S REAL AND WHAT IS NOT! ALL I KNOW IS THAT I'M GETTING PAID 30 STARS A GAME, AM A REGULAR FIXTURE IN THE ENGLAND SQUAD AND ONCE TOOK A FUCKING BUNG AND DIDN'T GET CAUGHT. THIS IS GETTING OUT OF HAND.
I'm currently having, by my standards, a fairly poor run of form. Fans are on my back and sponsors are getting frustrated. However, my horse "Road Runner" is proving to be a very lucrative investment.
Just a warning folks. Downloading this game will cause you to return to your phone charger multiple times during the day. It will cause rifts between yourself and your loved ones. It will also make you a reckless gambler, as you aim in the early days of your career to turn your meagre goal bonus into something more substantial at the track so you can afford that new pair of boots which increase your pace ten fold (you'll need pace, mark my words, otherwise those interceptions are a fucking nightmare). It's too late for me, but you can still save yourself.
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