Championship Manager 01/02 Released for Free by Eidos - My Disappointment with Football Manager

When I lived with Scott Monette and Mike Fabian at college, we played Championship Manager 00/01 like there was no tomorrow, logging in much more time than we should have. Because computers were slower then, I think Championship Manager is the only video game that improved my schoolwork. I did a lot of reading waiting for the game engine to get to my next match. 01/02 is really just a statistical update to the version we played in college with a few tweaks here and there. It made me very happy to see that Eidos Interactive released the original 01/02 for free in order to promote their upcoming relaunch of the Championship Manager franchise.

Link to Championship Manager 01/02.

If sales are any gauge, I am one of the few that is unsatisfied with the Football Manager branch of Championship Manager. After Eidos and Sports Interactives' divorce in early 2004, Sports Interactive took the code and went on to publish Football Manager. Eidos kept the name and released another Championship Manager that failed to live up to its predecessors. Football Manager has gone the route of micromanaging tactics, something that I greatly despise. I like searching for new players, helping them develop, controlling the budget, putting the right sub in at just the appropriate time, and dealing with personality conflicts between players. It is fun to toy around with tactics, but I do not enjoy a game where I have to constantly tweak and change my tactics every ten minutes in order to win. With Football Manager, Sports Interactive has jumped over that fine line between game and simulator. I just do not enjoy it any more.

But now I can relive the greatest soccer management game I have ever played, for free. Life is good.