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Championship Manager 4 Review - PC

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With football growing vastly into the nations most played sport the profile is now raised and becoming more popular as a spectator sport. It is now not uncommon to see people branding their team's shirts in public whether it is Arsenal, Manchester United or even Partick Thistle. Football videogames have reached the pinnacle of gaming, given the foundations from such titles as EA's, Fifa series, Konami's ISS and Pro Evolution Soccer. Championship Manager is in a different bracket when you consider football games, not appealing to the pick up and play gamers that most football games target with easy controls and simple gameplay. There's no doubt Championship Manager 4 is targeted at the hardcore football fan, but can it break into a broader market?

Game Play

How can a text game stimulate the mind as much as a high speed, action packed, graphically superior game of today? Simple, base the game on the biggest game in the world, offer a database based on real life players and the opportunity to take control of your favourite football club. For years now Championship Manager has become a bible of football computer games, the quickest selling game in the UK it offers a fresh look into the world of football. The non-fanatical football gamer would easily be turned off CM4, but these are different times, no longer can that gamer use the excuse of not being able to see what's going on in the field.

CM4 gamers welcomed the new 2D match engine to the already popular series, it's simple, and it's fantastic. This opens a new dimension, a new direction for the CM world and it has to be said it's a successful transition from the flashing text to 22 dots on a field. Other improvements included in CM4 make the game that bit simpler to use, things like the simple spacebar action key for the lazy gamer who gets sick of clicking his mouse every five seconds, the addition of the screen history button which allows you to look back over previous player profiles and teams in the recent history, and the lesser useful manager stat's, sponsorship deals and a better setup quick search.

You start off by taking control of your selected team and are given control of the team, training, tactics, contracts, transfers and your backroom staff. Basically you have to make it happen or you're the one who gets the flick, Of course taking over a prestige club like an Inter Milan or Arsenal certainly helps the results coming and the financial situation steady and ready for the big signings to come in. Reputation is a huge thing in CM4, it's like currency. You must use it to it's full capacity, Attracting the big name players is what reputation does for you, if you can get some of these big names in the more powerful and better off your to be.

In CM4 it seems easier to buy players ... (continued next page)