Review by M. Fletcher

"The most addictive game to grace any console."

Championship Manager. Can you be the next World Cup winning manager? Can you even keep your chosen team out of the bottom three? All this and more in this ultra realistic football manager sim.

Gameplay: 10/10
Jaw droppingly good. The game is entirely text based but this is still one of the most addicting games to grace any console. Features such as complaining about a referee and appealing bans make this game all the more realistic. The game also serves up shock defeats, just like in real life. You'll also demolish teams from the Conference 9-2 if you're Liverpool, again very realistic. In previous games, tactics weren't as important as the players. This has completely changed. The tactics are as important, if not more important than the players. A good tactic and half-decent players will bring up some lengthy winning streaks but a poor tactic crammed with Rivaldo, Zidane, Figo, Vieri etc. will provide shock defeats for your team. More emphasis is now placed on the purchases of 'promise' players such as Stefan Selakovic, who can be bought for 750,000 and sold four years later for 25m+.

As your reputation increases so will your ability to attract larger players. Again, this is fairly parallel to real life. Rivaldo won't come to Liverpool when their manager as only just joined, but when they win the Champions League a couple of years in a row, he won't be able to wait to pack his bags and go off on an astronomical wage package.

The ability for your club to go bankrupt is again similar to real life. Once your bankrupt, you'll be forced to release and sell players, cut the wage bill and be forced to resign if the situation becomes unbearably bad.

You can also be sacked in the game after a lengthy losing streak. Taking Liverpool down to the first division in your first season will result in a quick release for you from the clubs staff and force you to take a job at another lower club as no one decent will want you.

Shockingly realistic.

Controls: 10/10
The entire game is text based, so a quick click of the mouse is all that is needed. The menus are pretty basic, which makes finding things much easier and the formation and substitution controls are very easy to learn and use.

Audio: 5/10
There isn't really much audio in this game. The general crowd hiss and roars in the background in a match are as good as it gets.

Replay: 10/10
The MOST addictive game I have EVER played. I bought it well back about 7 months ago and am stilling playing it. You'll want to try and improve your tactics, experiment with new players etc. The options are endless and the ability to control different in clubs in different leagues in different countries at the same time is nice to do as an experiment but can become beyond frustrating if attempted in a serious season.

You'll also want to try to attract new players to your club without having to pay them 160,000 a week with a 25,000 assist and goal bonus which you will sometimes shell out just to have them play for you. The end result is your club going bankrupt.

The thing about Championship Manager is that no two seasons are the same. Upsets and thrashing happen, predicable scores happen as well and a team can go unbeaten for over 30 games before being beaten by a 16-year-olds first goal in the Premiership, with a shot from 30 yards out. I wonder where I could have possibly got that idea from? (For those of you who don't keep up with the Premier League, it was Wayne Rooney for Everton ending Arsenals unbeaten streak).

To conclude, this game is so addictive it is unbelievable.

Overall: 10/10
The most addictive game to grace any console.

Buy/Rent: Buy
Buy it. Now.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/27/02, Updated 10/27/02

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