Championship Manager 5 - Xbox

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Championship Manager 5 (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 2D Static screen Genre:
Sport: Football - Soccer
Strategy: Management
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Gusto Games Soft. Co.: Gusto Games
Publishers: Eidos (GB)
Released: 13 May 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
No Accessories: No Accessories


The Championship Manager series is known for two things – it’s as old as the hills, and as addictive as crack cocaine. Many the life of an unsuspecting male PC owner has been all but consumed by this compelling series. It does what mere football games cannot do, for whilst they are still an action-based video game like any other, this fulfils the fan’s fantasy: that he could manage his own football club, and manage it better than any overpaid, anoraked Premiership supremo. Now for the first time, following the release of the long-awaited sequel on PC, the game is to see its first release on a home console. Partly, we assume, to address the competition from SEGA’s recent footie management effort, and also to give the wives and girlfriends of XBOX owners already addicted to PES4 something to really complain about.

The series has always given total control over pretty much every area of the running of a football club. Players can pick their own side, arrange transfers, control who gets paid what, who stays, who goes, what tactics should be used in each and every match, in every competition, and fight their way up through the league to eventual dominance. A minimalist title, the match action was always conveyed by text commentary flashed up on the screen, that is until the last version, which featured a 2D representation of the match, seen from above.

The folk from Eidos are back this year with another version of the celebrated series with Championship Manager 5. The game will have all the features you’d expect from a Champ Man game, and this year two areas in particular have been totally overhauled: Training and tactics. The Training mode was something of a chore in previous games, and was often ignored by even the most obsessed players (you could delegate it to your Assistant Manager). Now the training features have been made more accessible with a scale that allows the player to choose the level of detail they go into, from a broad overview to a system that allows you to account for the training routines of any given player on any given half hour in the week. All the training techniques have been devised with the assistance of professional football teams. The second area that is very different is Tactics. Budding managers can drag their players into any of 270 positions on a board representing the pitch. Not only can the manager specify what runs they need to make, but he can also say what channels he wants the ball passed into and who certain players should try to pick out with their passes. Plenty here then, to lure fans of the series, who will doubtless buy it anyway.