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Genre: Quiz/Puzzle/Strategy :: Players: 1 :: Released: 18/8/05

Championship Manager 5 Solo Review

Developer: Eidos

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Ridiculously addictive
Very accurate simulation with up to date squads
Lots of options

Cons

No real sound in the demo version
Graphics are average in the demo version

Sound
Help
Save Option
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

97

Graphics

65

Sound

10

Controls

95

Playability

98

Lastability

97

Review Details
Handset Nokia 6680

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 19/8/05

Someone please take my phone away from me as I should go and find some sustenance. Top quality scarily addictive game.


There has so far been few games which have really shone on the mobile format. Graphics, gameplay, longevity, all things which are more taxing to excel in for a format which has tiny screens and buttons. But Championship Manager has been such a success on the PC and console versions that although the new kid on the block, Football Manager, seems to be taking over, it was worth a shot converting Champ Manager to a mobile format. And what a shot it was.

Before going on, I have to point out that I never really played any of the Championship Manager series for the fear I would spend even more of my time playing games. My worries were justified, but bear in mind that I can't compare them to the home versions as I never played them.

Graphics are average, the menus are simple and easy to navigate. Not a whole lot of colour in the game menus and there is a blue colour scheme going on, but during the match itself you can see the crowd and plenty of dots moving around in a kind of Brownian motion on the pitch. The team set ups are in the right colours and the crests are spot on for each club. The game looks nice but nothing outstanding here, although I'm not sure what could be changed. Graphics of each player would waste memory space as would in game animation.

Sound was fairly non existent in the demo version, a whistle blows when you load the game. I think the final version will have some decent sound, hopefully in the match as well with possibly crowd chants or the ref blowing up for the fouls. There is an option to turn the sound on or off so I guess the final version must have a fair bit. But let's be honest, sound and graphics aren't what we came here for, so swiftly moving on.....

Controls are simple, use the D or key pad to navigate the menus and options. Shoulder buttons also perform tasks like calling players to a meeting or selecting what you want to say. The basic controls remain the same in each screen (use 5 or the main button to select) and there are plenty of different screens to view. You should be able to pick things up pretty quickly but for the unitiated, on the squad screen use up and down to cycle through the formations. Once on the formation you want you can use switch to switch players around to get them to their desired positions. Also, on the squad screen, pressing left and right next to a players name will select the position they will play in for the match. These correspond to the team formation you have selected, ie if you have 3 at the back you can only choose 3 people to play as CB's (doesn't matter what their actual position is) and obviously not select any LB's or RB's. You also have to pick 5 subs for each game. Read the instructions for more details.

Onto the playability. Let me first say that I have been playing this game solidly for about 4 days now. And the demo version I have doesn't save either so it's been a very frustrating 4 days! I have sacrificed most of my sleep as well as food and drink as this game is so scarily playable. The format is perfect for mobiles as it only involves reading, making team choices and not a lot of button presses. As their is no actual control over your players in game (other that tactics and subs) you can sit back and watch once the match begins. The game has it all, from pre season wheeling and dealing (either letting your scouts finding you talent or scouring Europe or the lower leagues) to answering player problems to trying to put a good squad together. The days pass by with news events and you can dip into the transfer market up to the end of the window. Currently you play as a team in the English Premier League. All the teams and stats are in there, with maybe a few minor errors (maybe it's me as a Liverpool fan but Luis Garcia isn't a CF, more a RM / CF and there's no Peter Crouch in the Liverpool squad) but it's near perfect. And if you have the money (you start with around ??17m) you can sign the big players. Shaun Wright Phillips only signed for me when I paid the big bucks as did Carvalho but there were some players for whom no matter how much I offered, they wouldn't sign. In addition to this element you can specify how many training sessions a player has and also call them in for meetings to discuss their performance in a good or bad way. This will affect their morale and their performance. There will be other obstacles as well and then you get to the match day. You have to pick your squad and subs, select your formation and strategy and style of play. All kinds of things to contend with. The game commentary occurs at different speeds which you can change to your desired information flow and you'll find yourself actually holding your breath when the opposition has a shot or your strikers get on goal. You can change tactics in game and use your subs as you'll find your players get carded a fair bit. After the match you get post match news where the board or the fans let you know what they thought of the performance. Also in the game itself there are so many stats to view so the game is pretty massive overall. Ubelievably addictive gameplay and very easy to navigate.

The lastability is excellent. The demo version only had one full season but in the final version you keep playing until you're fired (which for me would probably have been sooner than Graeme Souness) so you could theoretically keep playing for ages. The save option takes up a fair bit of memory (64K) but you can save at any time and also suspend or resume the game. I for one will be trying to ensure that my beloved Liverpool have a period of dominance in the League to rival Sir Alex Ferguson's. Definitely a game that you will keep on your phone for a very long time as the possibilities are fairly large. If European and cup football were added then a lot of people wouldn't leave their homes.

Just a note that the score hasn't taken the graphics and sound into account as this was the demo version and the game is too good to worry about such minor quibbles.

Overall a superb game for your mobile. It has a host of features, is unbelievably addictive to play and if you like these sorts of games it will stay on your phone forever (or at least until the next update comes out :)