Game Reviews

Championship Manager 2010

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Championship Manager 2010

Growing up at a time when almost every RPG that made i's way across from Japan came with a Square logo slapped on the bottom of the box, I have to admit to finding the new-found partnership between Championship Manager and Square Enix something of an odd fit.

Perhaps I have a sixth sense, because as a game there's something off balance about Championship Manager 2010.

It is, to all intents and purposes, a near-identical package to last year's functional if a touch fruitless outing. Yet the developer seems to have taken steps to make things more complicated.

History repeating

To its credit – and, perhaps, living up to its franchise's illustrious history – what Championship Manager 2010 offers goes far beyond what many other mobile management sims even try to serve up.

There are plenty of neat little touches, such as the flexible transfer system that lets you approach players before making a firm offer, or bring in a percentage of any future transfer fees to sweeten the deal.

The press conferences that featured in the last edition also make an appearance, and while giving the right answers to the various journalists is far from difficult (the best option is usually to go for the most tempered reply), it does help put your management career into some perspective.

The match simulator itself is simple but detailed, varied and descriptive commentary running along the top while pinhead men dart around the pitch at the bottom. As before, it works perfectly well – it's not especially glitzy or engaging, but it's definitely a step ahead of the rest of the pack.

Botched-up and balls

But, even taking all these pros into account, Championship Manager 2010 feels like a bit of a botched job. All the options are there, and the game itself is especially expansive, but it's completely crippled by a menu and control system that makes it impossible at times to work out just what you should be doing.

Sometimes what's required is a tap of a soft-key, while at other times scrolling through options hidden at the bottom of the screen is the way forward. It's a muddled set-up that never feels natural, and it's further hampered by menus that hide away fairly essential options in poorly defined categories.

It all feels like a game that's been designed to be as needlessly complicated as possible, with the user very firmly out of focus.

As such, Championship Manager 2010 is too confused, too muddled to really excel. Underneath it all there's a very ambitious game, but a promising career is cut short thanks to the niggling injury of complexity.

Championship Manager 2010

A deep but muddled mix-up of an existing game, Championship Manager 2010 is broadly the same as last year's effort, but with an even more confusing set of controls