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Game Review #142: New Star Manager (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Bradford “The Waffinato87” E.

Developer: New Star Games

Publisher: FiveAces Publishing

Category: Sports, Simulation, Strategy, Role-Playing

Release Date: 01.31.2019

Price (At time of Review): $19.99

Buy New Star Manager from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Welcome Boss

You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me that I am not a sports player or sporty type—I’m just kidding, I look like I ate the old me. About 15 years ago, however, I was really into sports. Well, two sports: baseball and football, and I played both. I always wanted to get into Soccer, but it looked like too much work, and I just enjoyed watching it from the sidelines. If I could go back in time and do it all again, I still wouldn’t, because I am lazy. But with the great simulation world of New Star Manager, the game in which you oversee the soccer team, New Star, I get the soccer experience without having to put down my cupcake.

At first, I was like, “Great, another sports game! I bet I get bored with it quick!” Boy was I dead wrong. What I liked about New Star Manager versus the other sports games I’ve played are the scenarios. Now, you play games against other teams for standings, but not in a traditional-style sports-game way. Each game is a mix of simulation and strategy. What I mean by that is you must choose how much energy you want your players using, what kind of focus you want to use (defensive, balanced, attack, etc.) and what kind of formations (tactics) to use. At first it simulates the game, and it will get to the point where it puts you into a scenario. If you want to win the game and be successful, you must master being able to score when you get to control the players.

I am going to be completely honest, I am nearing my 2nd season, and right now I seem to be on a lose or draw streak and I am getting frustrated, because I feel like if I had control of the players the whole time I would win more. But you know what? That’s not the name of the game, and how this bad boy plays, you need to be more strategic and really put some thought process into how to do things. Because of the game doing most the work with the simulations, you may get a few chances to score in the game or only maybe twice. It makes you really put some strategic thought into who to play, and how to play.

Frustrated like me to be on a losing streak? Don’t worry, you really are the manager and get to go all out. What I mean by that is you build everything that has to do with your team and the overall success of you as a manager and your team. You can build and upgrade all kinds of buildings like a scouting office, youth center, medical and training facilities. The youth center trains young and upcoming stars that you can use, and the scouting office helps you find new players.

Want to make some extra coin (money)? You can build a store as well. This game brings a whole new meaning to simulation and will keep you entertained, but you are not the one you want to keep happy. You want to keep the players happy, the fans happy, your sponsors happy, and the press happy—oh, and board members! Don’t worry, no pressure!

What To Do, Coach (Controls)

For a sports game, the controls are very user-friendly. There are controls for when you are out-of-game, and controls for in-game. Just like any other game, you can set the button layout to your own custom settings, but the default controls are so user-friendly that I found myself not having to change them. This is one thing I wish newer sports games could remember: the joy of simple playing and not making the buttons and controls over complicated. One of the features I enjoyed the most was being able to play a sports game without over-complicated controls.

New Gen Console, Old School Feel

I am going to be brutally honest again for a moment here. One of my favorite aspects of the game was the audio and graphics. Now, why would I say something like that? That is because, for me, this game seemed to bring up a lot of nostalgic feelings. I say this because, even though it was more 3-D for most part it, reminded me of growing up and playing John Madden for Sega Genesis. I know the graphics are way better now, but for some reason, the nice simplicity reminded me of the good old days, and made me feel like a kid all over again.

I guess it is one of those “you had to be there” type moments. Even the sound effects when you are playing on the field… it all sounds very, there it is… there is the word I am looking for…. RETRO. If you can manage to score the goal, the sound effect and cheering has a super retro feel to it, and it feels amazing. Maybe that’s why I can’t get enough of the game, because even though it is a new-gen game, it has a very old-gen feel.

And Break… (Final Thoughts)

Like I was saying, this game reminds me of a retro-style sports game, and that’s what draws me in the most. I used to love playing sports games, but now they all feel the same and have gotten boring to me. The only thing that is usually different from this year’s game versus last year’s game is that the graphics are slightly better, and the controls are more complicated. Because of that, I haven’t picked up a sports game in like five years, and had started to lose faith. Then, this gem came across my life and I can’t put the controller down—I think I’m getting addicted. If you want a new-gen console sports game but with a retro-style play and feel, this game is worth adding to your collection and playing. I can’t wait to see how far I can get my team. Go NEW STAR!

Score: 8.5/10

Buy New Star Manager from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by New Star Games

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