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Rob (Tervuren, Belgium)

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Championship Manager 4
Championship Manager 4

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, if you've got nothing to do in the real world, 10 April 2003
Another excellent Championship Manager game. This is not simply an updated version of Champ3, but an entirely new game based on its predecessors.
The new 2D view of matches, the main selling point of the game, is much more impressive than I had expected. It allows you to change match tactics and then watch as the little ‘player-circles’ with small feet put into play exactly what you have instructed. It also allows you to assess for yourself the performance of the players over the full 90 minutes, during key moments in the game or simply when goals are scored. However, it would take someone with an incredible amount of patience to sit through the 2D action for all the season’s games. For this reason, written commentary is still available with highlights in 2D mode at the end of the match.
At first it is difficult to do transfers as few players want to sign for an unknown manager. This is realistic and although sometimes irritating, the process gets easier the further into the game you get.
During matches, gameplay can be a little slow if you wish to change tactics regularly as it takes a few seconds to load the team screen and 2D mode. Although this may be frustrating at times, it is not the main downfall of what had the potential to be the perfect football management game.
The realism of results and individual performances that existed in the previous games seem to have been sacrificed here. I realise that you cannot realistically expect to win the league in your first season if you control a mediocre team. However, the computer-controlled teams surely should not be winning 32 out of 38 Premiership games to stop you doing so. Especially if this team is West Ham, who in this 2002/3 season are, in reality, struggling to avoid relegation. The fact that this game was released so late in the season should surely mean that it takes account of the actual team performances. Having said this, transfers that took place in January 2003, such as Robbie Fowler from Leeds to Man City and Jonathan Woodgate from Leeds to Newcastle, have been included from the start.
The scheduling of matches is occasionally ridiculous. For example, in the 2002/3 Champions League second stage, there are games which take place when practically all the first XI of Champions League teams are away on international duty. You end up having to play the match with a couple of senior players at most, along with the Under-19 squad.
Running multiple leagues is virtually impossible on many computers due to the amount of detail there is for each one. At the beginning, you advised as to how many leagues your computer can handle. This is useful if you want to avoid mind-numbing waiting every time you ‘continue game’.
Despite the odd irritating aspect, this game remains, by far, the best and most addictive football management game on the market. Recommended, so long as you don’t have anything important to do in the real world.


Elephant
Elephant
Price: £10.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A portal to the White Stripes’ bizarre and brilliant world, 2 April 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
After De Stijl, my expectations for the White Stripes were very high. It is a classic. But, admittedly, their last album left me somewhat disappointed. The scratchy guitar sound that in many ways has defined the White Stripes sound was overcooked and many of the songs were disappointing (eg. Aluminium). I doubted the ability of a band with no bass player to produce the sounds that make legendary rock music. However, Elephant has managed to accomplish this. Combining some of the best aspects of each of their previous albums and still keeping it unwaveringly personal, whilst producing perhaps their best tunes, lyrics and beats to date is some achievement.
The riffs in Seven Nation Army, Ball and Biscuit, The Hardest Button to Button and the Air Near My Fingers are spectacular with their deep beats and, especially in Ball and Biscuit, the quality of Jack’s guitar skills are incredible. Meanwhile, the delicate tunes of In the Cold Cold Night (sung by Meg) and I Want To Be the Boy add another dimension to the range of music on display. Black Math shows Jack’s eccentricity with its varied rhythms and his abuse of his vocal cords. Reminder of White Blood Cells possibly.
Personally, I am confused as to why Jack has covered Burt Bacharach’s I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself. The other 13 tracks leave you in a diverse and unflinching state that is the White Stripes’ bizarre and brilliant world. Perhaps it is autobiographical to some extent, but it reminds me of Cameron Diaz’s feeble efforts to sing the same song in a Karaoke bar in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’. Still, the personal anguish portrayed in his performance mean many people love his version.
Little Acorns and It’s True That We Love Each Other are the finishing touches which give the album the character and individuality we’ve come to expect from the White Stripes. There’s No Room For You Here and Hypnotize make up the quality line-up on Elephant, each truly original and excellently executed.


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