Football Mogul 2007 Review

Football Mogul 2007 is, without a doubt, a game only for the most hardcore of football fans. The type who spends hours pouring over statistics, managing their fantasy teams, and analyzing the weekly spreads. Mogul places in you charge of your favorite NFL team, with the ability to control everything from the depth chart right down to the price of souvenirs. This level of control is far from groundbreaking, and the sloppy interface doesn’t help the game’s cause.

The most apparent issue that gamers will run into is the play mode. Come Game Day, you’re given the option to either simulate or play the game yourself. Calling the option "play" is quite misleading — you do nothing more than don the position of head coach, calling all of the team’s plays. The presentation — keeping in mind what it is — isn’t particularly bad, sporting a play-by-play near the bottom of the screen, with a box score and view of the ball’s position on the field at the top. But, considering that in this position your only real indication of on-field action is play-by-play, it’s poorly done. The descriptions are quite repetitive, and even though I wasn’t anticipating this block of text to capture the excitement of actual color commentary, I walked away thinking that the play calls were the equivalent of an utterly boring monotone. To make matters worse, typos and incorrect calls — like saying one team has recovered a fumble, when in reality the opposing team did — are sprinkled in, occurring often enough that you’ll be simulating the majority of games.

That may or may not strike you as a distressing problem. After all, what matters is that you have control of what’s going on out on the field. But play-calling won’t be rectifying any problems, thanks to its extreme lack of plays to choose from, as well as your inability to alter them in the slightest. After picking from a generic category — short passes, inside rushes, etc. — you’re presented with up to 10 plays. But beyond that, there’s nothing more. No second page of plays, ways to choose the primary receiver, or option to reverse the play. Nada. What you’re left with is a very bare bones playbook that is extraordinarily underwhelming. Combine this with the repetitive and boring play-by-play, and you don’t have a great formula for "playing" a game of football.

But in all fairness, that is clearly not the focus of Mogul. What is thrust upon centerstage is the management of your team. But, much like play calling, it feels watered down and underwhelming.

For starters, the trading block is nothing more than a way for you to gauge other teams’ interest in any trade bait you have. You can’t leave anything on the block to see what new offers you receive — instead, you have to manually go in and add in your players/picks/cash each time you wish to see offers. And other teams seemingly have no access to the trading block; you can’t peruse through a list of teams’ offerings. Instead, all the trading block serves as is the preliminary step to offering a trade to every team in the league. While that’s certainly part of what the block is, it’s just not as complete as it should be.

Trading in itself is broken. It’s incredibly time consuming to do something as simple as match players of the same skill level up, as you have to individually go in to each player’s page and check the scant few ratings provided. That’s not to mention the fact that there is no indication of salary cap implications while making the trade. The entire interface is sloppy and unintuitive, much like the rest of the game.

The interface found throughout the game suffers from that exact problem; it’s difficult to navigate, and things are too difficult for their own good, oftentimes relying on memory over logical presentation. There is no way to easily look at how many players you have at a particular position, any easy method for efficiently rearranging the depth chart, or to analyze your opponents.

Scouting players consists of looking at statistics from his NFL career, and getting ratings in five areas related to his position. In addition, you get a line of text that outlines the outlook for the player’s career. They do a poor job of offering any sort of insight, and can be downright nonsensical. ("Oh, my center has the potential to put up MVP numbers each year? I guess that’s good…")

The same goes for scouting players in the draft: there’s nothing to it aside from looking at a few numbers and making a decision that may as well be random. For an event that’s one of the major points in an NFL season, Mogul‘s version of the draft severely diminishes the excitement created each spring.

Ultimately, that’s really what the game does to the experience of running a team. It turns it into a fairly watered-down bore fest, plagued with terribly unintuitive menus which — under normal circumstances — wouldn’t be so detrimental. But in a game that is almost exclusively based on text, it really hurts. An extra layer of polish wouldn’t have been enough to fix Mogul 2007‘s problems; it needed to go back to the basics, because that’s where the game really loses its footing.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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