Championship Manager 2010

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Championship Manager 2010 review
Sergio Brinkhuis

Review

CM back in the Premier League

Building a team


Over the course of the next two to three weeks, I filled in the open positions in my squad and designed their training schedule. It is possible to train and retrain players to certain positions. During their training, you will receive regular updates of their progress and even suggestions to stop a particular training when no more progress is made. I rarely bother myself with training in football management games, simply because assigning the different training methods is usually more a chore and a bore than it is fun and exciting. I can't quite identify why, but in Championship Manager it does not feel like a chore at all.

During this same period, I started tweaking my team's "marching orders". It is here where the game showed me the first hint that it indeed is the best Championship Manager in years. The motions required for the team selection took some getting used to but once I understood what the game wanted from me, it was easily done. Next, I gave orders to each of the individual positions. This was so easy, it was child's play. Right-click on a position, select 'run' or 'feed' and set the location where you want the position to run towards or whom to play the ball to. You can even set different orders depending on which team possesses the ball.

But Championship Manager had another surprise in store: the actual match. Last season, I somehow managed to skip on playing both FIFA Manager and Football Manager (sacrilege!), but in their previous installments I was less than impressed with the match engine. FIFA Manager's use of old FIFA engines is way over the top and Football Manager's 'dots on the field' is just such a copout. What I want is something in between. I want to see that my players are men, I want to see them run but I want to see the action from top down and without too much frills. I want the cold, hard data, not the eye candy, and that data should include being able to see when a player dallies, throws a ball, challenges the opposition and so on. Championship Manager shines in this area, showing only what I need to see as a tactician to base my decisions on during the match.

Good!


My first month in Championship Manager gives a fairly accurate description of the rest of the game. My drastically changed team fulfilled the club's 09/10 season promise: a promotion to the Premier League where I subsequently got mashed and ended up in the lower regions. Next season, I aim to strengthen my team so that I can finish in the top half of the league. Failure to accomplish this will be on my shoulders entirely.

So after a rough start, the game and I get along fine now. I still complain at it for its shabby interface and it still mutters that it feels grossly undervalued at 8 pounds. Do I have reason to complain? I most certainly do. Everything clickable is just a tiny bit too small and especially the left hand navigation was a very poor choice to make, offering a constant struggle for all the data that has to fit into that little area. But in the end, that is pretty much all I have to complain about, although I wouldn't have minded some music in my game.

Yet Eidos wasn't boasting: Championship Manager 2010 really -is- the best in years. It plays well, your team responds to your actions and the graphical match engine is a joy to look at and work with. What more could a manager want.

7.9

fun score

Pros

Great graphical presentation of matches.

Cons

The navigation needs work.