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Publisher: Virtual Programming    Genre: Sports
Min OS X: 10.3    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 400 MB    Graphics: 64 MB VRAM

Championship Manager 2008
January 2, 2008 | Franklin Pride

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Ah, the fog of war.
Championship Manager has once again returned to the Macintosh. With its latest installment, 2008, it brings animated players, and updated ProZone, and rotating backgrounds to the series. The only question is: "Is that enough of an update to make CM2008 worth buying?" If that's all you want to hear, then rest assured that the answer is yes. However, if you want to know why, keep reading.

CM2008 is a soccer manager simulator. Its gameplay is centered around the management of your chosen team(s). These teams could be the worst teams in the lowest league of Brazil, or they could be the best teams in the highest league of France. You can start managing anywhere you choose, and the team's fate is in your hands. For instance, if you regularly win the cups and tournaments on the side, you can get away with making your team the worst in the league. You can also intentionally lose all the cup runs and focus your attention purely on succeeding in the league, or lose them both, or trade away all your members for really weak people and trade teams to your biggest competitor. It really is up to you.

When considering which path to take, it is very important to learn all the different sections of gameplay. You need to keep a lookout for cheap and excellent new players, you need to select training that matches your goals, you need to analyze what went right and what went wrong in ProZone, and you need to direct the team's efforts during games. If you succeed at all those different areas, you can easily take the lowest ranking team in the lowest league and make them the champions of your selected country.

Trading players is handled very simply in CM2008. All you have to do is find a good player who's interested, have enough money in your budget, and send an offer. If the player isn't able to compete in your country, you might also have to submit him for a work permit. Once you've both signed the contract, your new player will arrive in a few days. However, these three requirements can be quite difficult if you're starting out low on the totem pole. It's easy to find good players, but few are interested and those that are interested can't be afforded. If you aren't careful with your budget, you might find the perfect player but have to watch helplessly as your competitors hire him while you desperately try to free up funds. But then, if there wasn't some challenge to hiring Ronaldinho, where would the fun be?

Training is much simpler in CM2008. In CM2007 and CM2006, you could easily work your players to the point where they were being injured left and right just by not realizing that they need some days where they "rest." However, you don't get the same measure of control over the training schedules in CM2008. This is a blessing, however, as that means you can just select a schedule called "attack" and be assured that your players are being trained for attack. It was quite hard to figure out if you were training them properly in the older CMs, so this is a welcome break.

You also have many more options for personal training than you used to. For example, you can train a sweeper to specialize as a midfielder if you want. This makes the people with amazing stats way more useful, as they can be reassigned to match any new formations after a few months of retraining. You also have the option to mold the strategies of specific players in more detail. However, it can be hard to figure out if your molding is making them better or worse, as you tend to get mixed results.


Archives  Reviews  Championship Manager 2008