What We Would Like to See Added & Improved
When looking for a football game that has the complete package in terms of all-round sporting entertainment, ideally you want a title that immerses you into the world of football and everything that comes with it (training, matches, club business, off-pitch activities), while simultaneously possessing an in-game interface that is both simple and effective that gives you as much control of the action as possible. Real Football 2013 is one of the few football titles that I have played that makes a serious attempt at providing all these things for the player and more. After playing the game for a considerably length of time, I felt as if there could be some significant improvements to the whole thing. The following ideas are merely general musings and ideas that would make the future sequel of Real Football 2014 significantly more entertaining to play, as well as being more accessible for the more casual mobile gamer.
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We’re not all career people
Ok, the first and most obvious improvement that would make the sequel instantly more accessible would be the inclusion of a few more modes of gameplay. Real Football 2013 begins with you selecting a league and a club, and doesn’t let you deviate from this career progression throughout. This rigidity resulted in serious detriment to my opinion of the game: what if I just wanted a casual kick-about? Perhaps I’d like to have a relaxed training session in which I can hone my shooting skills, polish up on my passing, or simply get myself used to the controls without being instantly forced into real matches which affect my standing in the league. A separate practice/tutorial mode is definitely missing, as is the option to have isolated friendly matches outside of the scope of the league. How about a few on-the-side activities which allow you to earn money? Hell, New Star Soccer has a casino in which you can gamble your winnings. I know it’s not a responsible way to deal with (virtual) fame and (imagined) success, but I’d like the option! A few extra gameplay modes would go a very long way, and having some instantly-accessible, immediately-rewarding friendly matches or even ‘skills drills’ (I know that’s not their actual title) would make the game more appealing to the less serious football fan or casual gamer.
Out of Control
On the whole, the control system of Real Football 2013 is adequate, possibly even bordering into the realm of falling slightly short of ‘above average’, but Real Football 2014 could do much better. The controls firstly need to be a little more responsive, but most of all, there needs to be a dedicated button that lets you switch between players. The automatic switching to the player nearest the all simply isn’t good enough and results in you having to take a finger off the controls to tap a player, making for some frustrating play. Manual selection doesn’t fare well either, resulting in your players being swapped before you are able to intervene. A dedicated player switch would eliminate these issues and give you more control over the action
Ain’t Nobody got Time for That
One of the major non-gameplay issues in Real Football 2013 is the utterly ridiculous amount of time it takes for your upgrades and various other activities to complete. The timer for some things like healing your player is a full 24 hours; this isn’t the fictional, accelerated, in-game football time, this is actual, real-world time. Though it is clear that this is perhaps a purposeful delay in order to get you to purchase the accelerated route for in-game (and actual) money, the timer doesn’t even continue to count down if the app is exited. I cannot imagine a single person out there that would be willing to keep the application open at the expense of the speed and battery life of their device just to heal Suarez for the next match. If you don’t have a full team, you also cannot play the next match; this almost forces you to either quit or purchase some currency to speed up the whole process. Not cool, Real Football 2013; not cool.
Go Easy on the Freemium
Alright, so developers need to make money in order to be able to continue developing games for us. The thing is, when these games are as heavily reliant on the player spending amounts of real money that are wildly disproportional to the benefits you receive at your own expense, it kind of defeats the whole purpose entirely. Players aren’t going to want to part with their cash, particularly if it feels like they are being pressed to do so. Real Football 2013 gives off this impression at every turn. I urge you, future Real Football 2014 of the future: this cannot go on!
Reviewed by Craig Sherratt