Sequels are preaching to the converted and the chances are that if a publisher has deemed a second game of a franchise worthy then there is probably the fan base, hence sales, to warrant the sequel. The problem is that often sequels just don't add enough to the existing game and end up a shadow of the game they in theory should surpass. Granted some sequels turn out to be great but that's the exception to the rule. Unfortunately FOTY 2 follows the rule rather than the exception. Unlike the original FOTY you now begin in a UK super league that as well as the English big guns, contains the giants of the Scottish game, Celtic and Rangers, as well as those Welsh underachievers Cardiff City and the most famous of all Irish Rovers (who were probably made up). While the original featured a similar European Super league format it did also have the other four English Divisions which FOTY 2 lacks. The thrill of working your way up from a division 4 nobody to Footballer of the Year was a huge part of the games charm.
All those medals and still not FOTY
Got to have a plan
So after picking your team and nationality once more you come to the main screen which for a sequel has lost the colour it had in the original. The layout is more or less identical except its in black and white. The smell of a Spectrum port is in the air. There are a few changes to the way you progress in your career. No longer is there a player rating value which would increase as you improved in FOTY you are now a fully fledged super league player. This I think is a change for the worse as you no longer have the player improvement to aim for but its understandable why it has been done. Instead FOTY 2 opts to chart your career which is a good thing. It gives details of the clubs you have played for and the number of goals scored in the league games played. On the second page you get details of what medals you have won, how many caps you have, the number of times top goal scorer and total F.O.T.Y. Points. This coupled with FOTY's original player status screen would have been great but it wasn't so it isn't. Before getting to the all important match day engine the incidents cards of the original have been curiously replace with a double or nothing quiz. Here you gamble between £10 to £500 on football based questions. Get 3 questions in a row right and you just have won 8 times your bet. The questions range from who won the world cup in 1972 to who won the FOTY title in 1986. While the questions are varied its unfair to people who have no football knowledge but then the questions will start to be repeated pretty fast so it you have a good memory it shouldn't be a problem answering correctly.
The match day part has under gone a turn for a worse. While the original FOTY was basic in its representation of the playing aspect FOTY2 does an even worse job. Unlike FOTY you choose how many goal cards you wish to add per match. So assuming you have the money you can go for the maximum 3 efforts per game. Hence in a league season of 20 games goal counts of 57 are not rare if you are any good at the actual scoring, this itself is a big let down. You pick your goal cards and these give you random blackboard tactics plans. This entails you having follow a move and positioning yourself in the correct place to finish the move. Sound good? Well not really its a case of just moving to a place on the pitch and letting your automated team deliver the ball. You have no control over the ball itself it just hits you and redirects like your some sort of wall. While its tricky to position yourself at first after a while it becomes second nature and soon a almost 100% shot to goal ratio will follow with only the odd miss. The fact that this match part is played out with some of the most awful Spectrum graphics does not help its cause.
I love it when a plan comes together
But for all its faults its still strangely addictive. With the pull of the FOTY title still strong. Its just a shame that the game to preserve some sort of longevity cheats. Having won the 4 medals including a World Super cup with England and a goal tally of 90+ for one season I failed to win the award. While I can see that achieving the aim of the game in a hour spoils the game's length maybe they should have include more divisions to offer more of a challenge. I'm afraid its another case of sequel failure it could have been so different.
THE END RESULT
Disappointing Spectrum port.
Sounds so average I didn't mention them.
The aim of FOTY is still an addictive one.
But its repetitive and an inferior sequel.
THE BOTTOM LINE: 52%