Championship Manager: Season 02/03
by Eidos Interactive
PC gamers may have despaired at the postponement of Championship Manager 4 until February but Xbox gamers will be well pleased that Sports Interactive have given us the season update for the console. The game is still based on the Championship Manager 3 engine but this time around there are a few important changes to the gameplay. Let's take a look and see if Championship Manager is still the football manager title to own on the Xbox.
The biggest change to Championship Manager without a doubt is the new transfer window system that has been implemented accurately by Sports Interactive. You just can't underestimate the effect of this new regulation. From past experience playing Championship Manager, it was always the done thing to see how your side got on for a few league games and add to the squads weak areas as you went along. This is no longer possible and the only chances you'll have to add to your squad are during the closed season until the beginning of September and during January. This isn't a problem if you're a well off Premier team but if you're in charge of a struggling lower league then not only will you be unable to buy players but you also won't be able to sell that promising talent you have, to ease your financial burden.
So what else is there? Well the addition of the South Korean league brings the total of playable leagues up to 27 but only 3 can be run consecutively. Where applicable new rules have been added to competitions to bring them upto date for this season. The data has been updated upto mid-October, I think. So WBA fans will be pleased to find Lee Hughes in the squad at the start of the season when in actual fact he was still at Coventry. The only other main updates are ones that don't really affect a deaf gamer such as the ability to play soundtracks from the Xbox's hard drive and improved crowd noises.
Championship Manager has, and hopefully always will be, totally deaf gamer friendly. One nice addition (which I forgot to mention earlier) is the force feedback that has been added. Whenever a goal is scored the controller will vibrate to emulate the cheer of a crowd. This is a pleasing addition that will add that little bit more atmosphere for deaf gamers. You can enable or disable the force feedback in the options menu.
So there you have it. The game is as good as it always was and the new additions bring the game up to date just in time for Christmas. If you want to read more on how the game navigates with the Xbox controller because you didn't play last seasons version, then click here to read the review as it's basically the same without the aforementioned additions. Of course there is now an alternative in LMA Manager 2003 but if you're looking for realism and the best football management game on the Xbox there is only one title that will do and that's Championship Manager: Season 02/03.
Game Rating: 9.2/10