"Somebody shoot me..... I can't stop playing this game!"

Please excuse me, I've just finished playing this game and I'm still trying to get over it. This amazing instalment of the classic Football management simulation by SportsInteractive is easily the best yet (until CM4 that is) and it will have you coming back for more and more. If you like footie management games, this is the one for you. Let's take a closer look at what I thought of the game....

Gameplay-Superb. The control system (basically just click on the option) is terribly simple, and although the various menus and sub-menus take a while to fathom, once You've worked it out the game is so much simpler to get around. This game is very realistic, with Barcelona and Real Madrid rolling in the cash and Everton and Sheffield Wednesday struggling to keep their club afloat. Some surprises in results (the first time I played Southampton won the Premiership) keep the player on their toes but usually the expected result will occur, i.e. Man Utd will beat you over 90 minutes even if you were leading for 85, so there is no point thinking you can take York and win the F.A. Cup in the first year, oh no. It takes time and patience to build a successful club, which is what will keep you coming back for more.

Sounds-Optional. You can leave them on and listen to the crowd roar when you score a goal or go silent when you concede (this happened to me as Barcelona at the Nou Camp, very creepy). There is a downside though. To get the full effects of these sounds you must play the match on slow or very slow, both of which should be re-named painfully slow. I find these 2 levels of speed just too annoying and the whole season will take about 10 hours of playing. Do yourself a favor, turn the sound off and the speed onto very fast. Not only does it speed up the game, you will learn to read quickly! Amazing stuff.

Re-playability-Superlative. You will keep coming back to this game again and again. Why? The belief in the back of your mind that you could go up this year, you might win the Champions League, you could just hang onto your job for another week or two. The fact that you love your club, and want them to do well for a change. Every fan says at one point, ''I could do better than our manager!'' Well, this game gives you that chance and an amazing amount of resources to do it with. An amazing number of staff feature in the game, I believe about 100,000, and 26 leagues to manage your favourite players in. Take Bangor City to victory in the Welsh league, or Galatasaray in the Turkish. The choice is yours.

Buy it or rent it-Well, I'm not sure you can rent PC games, although if you can, feel free to correct me, therefore I would definitely recommend this game to everyone that likes the good old game of soccer. Although if you can wait until November, that might be a good idea. I belive that is when Championship Manager 4 comes out, and it has the potential to reign supreme over all footie sims. But this game is still superb, as you might have grasped by my review, so I would definitely recommend this game to buy.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/30/02, Updated 09/30/02

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