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Championship Manager Season 00/01 PC CD-ROM

Published by Sold Out Software
Developed by Sports Interactive
Released: Out Now
Price: £4.99

There is no other news for the PC gamer in this nation of ours (UK) that raises our hopes like the news that a new Championship Manager (a football management sim in case you've been on the moon for the last 10 years) is about to be released. No other game has consistently won praise from the critics throughout its evolutionary process. Championship Manager Season 00/01 has now been with us since last October and it has sold an incredible amount since then. Rarely has this title been out of the PC top 3 let alone top 10. So what does this version contain extra to CM99/00 that makes it so appealing? Let's take a look at some of the key extra features.

  • 10 extra leagues including Wales, Turkey, Greece and Croatia.
  • The ability to ask coaches/physios their opinions of players.
  • In the event of a fixture pileup you can request the FA to rearrange your fixtures to ease the congestion.
  • You can react to comments made about you and your players in the media.
  • Players now have extra statistics that allow you to see the amount of tackles/dribbles/shots on target etc. made during a season.
  • There is now a pre-game data editor so you edit player statistics should you feel the need to (although the accuracy of the statistics within the Championship Manager games is now legendary).

So how does this all add up in the gameplay then? Well while the above list of features is not huge, the game really has been taken to the next level. The interactivity with the media and players is realistic and it makes you wonder how you enjoyed the previous episodes without it. The match commentary has been improved (even if the number of bicycle kicks is ludicrous) and your management skills are tested to the full.

The extra leagues are a bonus and some, particularly the Welsh are particularly difficult as the clubs have very little in the way of resources to improve them. The Turkish league is also notorious for dismissing its managers in no time at all. Even if you don't fancy managing a team from Finland or Greece you can still run them as background leagues so as to increase the number of players you can choose to sign from.

The interface is the same as the previous two games (CM3 & CM99/00) and therefore still brilliant. Any information you want is usually only one click away. The deaf gamer does not lose anything with Championship Manager as it relies on your imagination and not audio. There are no real niggles at all with this game except perhaps that it would be nice to be able to print all of your player statistics out with one click and the clear squad button should have a confirmation screen instead of just deleting your selection. It could also be argued that the assistant manager does very little and the training could be a little more logical.

The amazing thing with Championship Manager is that although the each episode betters the previous one it is not long before you start to wish for more features such as the ability to communicate with your players or the press in a more detailed way etc. etc. But it's rewarding to know that Sports Interactive (the game's designers) always listen to the game's fans and incorporate so much of their wishes into subsequent versions. All in all Championship Manager is a class act and stands alone in the PC football management simulation genre. There is just no competition.

Recommendation: If you have yet to experience Championship Manager this is probably the best place to start. At only £4.99 it's simply superb value for money. You can still download unofficial data updates for the game too.

Suitability for deaf gamers: Absolutely perfect for deaf gamers.

Overall Game Rating: 5/5