10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Championship Manager: Season 03-04 (PC CD) (Video Game)Fully updated squads and leagues for the 02/03 seasons, and the fact that a lot of the small bugs and annoyances found in pre Enhancement Pack CM4 have now been eradicated make this almost on par with the legendary CM 01/02. The game seems to run a lot smoother and quicker, some of the games more technical aspects like the Training have been narrowed down and is now available on a single screen and a handy form screen is available for each player detailing all of his stats and ratings for games gone by. The tactics screen is pretty much the same although the present 4-4-2 formation now has some arrows set on the two central midfielders which I got shot of straight away, however in the individual player instructions screen it is now possible to allocate a pre determined set of instructions to a player depending on their position, so you can go to your striker go to individual player instructions and set him as a striker and the game will automatically put instructions on that player for a player in that position, long shots, forward runs etc.
The Transfer market seems a little better with bigger clubs more willing to let their fringe players go on loan and lower league clubs not demanding ridiculous amounts for their players, well in my experience I managed to sign Stuart Downing on loan from the Boro even though he was valued very highly and I signed Sunderland target Jonathon Stead for around £200K. It is also nice to see when loaning people the option to set a transfer fee so that you can purchase them if they play well, this was feature that was supposed to be implemented in CM4 and was not, I am looking forward to snapping some youngsters on loan and signing them for knockdown prices if they’re any good!
The 2D match engine seems a lot better in my opinion, the football that is played seems a lot better with more short passes played along the ground and even some decent through balls being played through now and again. There are also different pitch textures so you can tell the difference between say Old Trafford and some field the pub team uses on a Sunday. The names of the players can now be seen more clearly as they are surrounded by a shaded box and small images now appear in the bottom right of the screen to indicate yellow cards, red cards and an offside flag when your player strays into an offside position. The text appears to have been updated a bit and when you substitute a player who has a low rating the commentary will often come out with something along the lines of “He can have no complaints about that” which makes the commentary feel that little bit more realistic. Also in addition to major injuries meaning your player needs to substituted CM 03/04 sees the introduction of minor injuries during the match which are indicated with a small green cross next to the player in question.
The media appears to be presented better with a more professional approach taken with the reports, they now have the feeling of something could be written in a daily paper, other than that I cant say I have noticed a massive change in the media but I definitely like the new approach. There is also a new goal of the month feature where you can view the top three goals scored in that month and the computer does seem to choose some fabulous goals, although I have one dispute with one goal of the month winner, as it was scored against me…and the runner up was better anyway.
Overall CM 03/04 looks very good indeed it seems to run quicker and more smoothly, it has all of the nice features of CM4 and a few make a welcome return such as: Past meetings information screen, Live Cup draws, create nicknames for players and managers and a Pre-game editor.