Football Manager 2005 Reader Review
Letís face it. When it comes to the Football Management Genre, Sports Interactive are gods! Thatís right, gods. The Championship Manager series is so popular, that many companies wouldnít even bother to compete. But when SI parted company with Eidos last year, they were not only looking for a new publisher, but also new name as Champ Manager is copyrighted to Eidos. So thatís where Football Manager 2005 comes in.
Obviously, the point of a football management game is to follow your teamsí fortunes through thick and thin, the good times and the bad. But be warned. If you donít make your targets, your chairman will be all too happy to say goodbye. Youíll be able to do all the usual things that a real manager does, such as transfers, picking the team and offering player contracts etc. What it all boils down to though is match day. When the time comes to play a match, youíre given a 2D birds eye view of proceedings. But, if you donít like the 2D view you can change it to see Match Stats, Player Ratings or even a ĎLiveí League Table. Personally, I prefer the split screen view, with the match stats and latest score with highlights replacing the match stats at key moments, but then, thatís just me!
The gameís interface is superb. At first, the screen layout is a bit daunting even to me, someone who has played Champ Manager, but soon you will get used to it. If you still donít like layout, you can always download a new one, with lots of sites (sortitioutsi.net being my favourite) providing free layouts and other stuff such as different goalnets! The control system is very simple too. Virtually everything is controlled by the mouse and after 5 minutes of messing around, even a beginner will get the hang of it.
Matches like Chelsea vs. Weston-super-Mare or Man Utd vs. Moor Green are often predictably one sided. I say often because as in real life, upsets do happen. But, it is known that there are a few bugs which sees matches between two equal ability teams ending in results like 7-0.
Graphics in a game like this are obviously not too important and they clearly do what they are supposed to. Some people believe that a 3D match engine wouldíve suited this game; although I believe that it ainít broke, so donít fix it. Audio only comes into play when you are watching a match, with the crowd getting louder when their team creates an attack, cheering following a goal etc. In extreme cases, the crowd may even start chanting, ďSack the Board!Ē
For anyone who has an interest in Football Management, then this is a must. The Simple yet Effective gameplay works a treat and will entertain both veterans and new comers.
9 / 10