Championship Manager Season 01/02
What?s not to say already about the Championship Manager series? It's a classic. It's the only football manager sim for the serious Mac gamer, and while it lacks competition, the publishers have never used this as an excuse to rest on their laurels and not improve what, in many people's eyes, is already pretty damn near perfect! Can you improve on near perfection? No. Rather, this upgrade is akin to getting a new leather sole and heel on your best pair of shoes that fit like a glove. Tremendously satisfying, and a necessary expense to keep them usable.
Season 2001/2002 brings the game bang up to date and Mac gamers in line with PC users (as usual, a few months later!). This is, and let's be straight about it, an upgrade first, rather than a new game. The fundamentals of the game remain the same, and as a result the levels of game-playing satisfaction are still high.
The game's appearance, for example, is exactly the same, while the main game playing engine and interfaces seem similarly unchanged. That's not a problem: why change what is an inherently successful and popular format that despite limitations (speed of loading up, anyone, lack of match highlights?) simply works well. The detail remains incredible (it has detailed profiles of over 100,000 players) and the matchplay scenario (words flashed up on screen, a souped-up "videprinter") still delivers the same simple but incredibly nail biting match experience that users of Teletext have come to know and love.
The new version is fundamentally about having the latest statistics to hand and for most players of CM, that's the mother lode. There have, true, been a number of game improvements. Attribute masking means you can be less sure whether the striker you're buying from Torquay is a future Michael Owen, or a future Adi Akinbiyi! To aid you in selecting and buying players, two can now be compared head-to-head; though it?s a neat feature, I didn't find myself using it on a regular basis. Where it does come into its own is in buying players. You can also send players off for rehabilitation (not, surprisingly, for drug habits, however!) and issue ultimatums to your board, which are all neat add-ons which I found myself using from time to time (again, it's the little details that make the difference).