My adventure with manager games began in 1997 when I started to play the game called „Championship Manager 2: Season 97/98”. KaEveryone may quickly count that I play this kind of games for 10 years. In this article I’d like to summarize you all I experienced during 10 years of my virtual manager career.
So let’s start from the beginning, when I used my amazing computer (equipped with Pentium 166 MHz processor and 64 MB RAM) to run CM I mentioned above. During loading database (very long time) I was wondering what that kind of game might offer me. I didn’t even thought that the game which resembled spreadsheet would steal me over one year of my life.
To be frank I addicted to this game, every my free time I spend on leading my Manchester United, and during the time I couldn’t play this game, I was thinking what I had to change in my team, which player to buy, sell or what players assign to first eleven. So far I remember the biggest CM bug, that is huge amount of injuries, anyway which manager is able to forget the event when few days before tailor-made Champions League final 8 players are out of first team squad! Thanks to CM I went into especial habit, namely I always choose English league, and I am not able to answer the question why, I simply can’t cope with other leagues.
In 1999 we could play famous Championship Manager 3, which stole again few years of my life, but there was something wrong for me. Of course I was going through each win and defeat but I started to feel I miss something in this game. I remember like I was giving an interview or praising my players after good game, but only in my imagination! I really missed that kind of option in that game. I missed also stadium and other club facilities extension. So those were main reasons I reached for first manager game from EA with a long title : The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2001.
First contact was a big shock for me. This game offered beautiful graphic, possibility to extend stadium and something really amazing, 3D match mode!! People who went through the same path like me perfectly know what I am writing about. I’ll describe it by screens for young generation. See what I felt when I saw three-dimensional players after 3 years of watching blinking bar.
Unfortunately the biggest EA Sports product disadvantage was that this game wasn’t playable! I spend maybe 2 months with this game and returned to CM. Of course EA game had fantastic graphic elements but hadn’t specific vibe. Additionally this game had lots of bugs including crashing to windows and so called broken save. So that is why I spend another two years with my Championship Manager.
The biggest surprise took place in 2003 when Championship Manager 4 was released. It had so many new features and possibilities that pulled the wool over my eyes again for next two years. Finally I had possibility to talk with journalists, I could set ticket prices, I had many options which I was dreaming about for a long time. Additionally I get Polish version of this game. What else such a big maniac as me could dream about? But it quickly turned out that this game had many bugs, additionally I quickly (after one year of playing) get bored and missed 3D mode.
It can be said that from that moment I had a long break from playing that kind of games, of course from time to time I played CM but sporadically. Rebirth of my passions took place in 2006, when Championship Manager became Football Manager, unfortunately many bugs and boredom caused that I tried again product from EA Sports (FIFA Manager 06). Surprise was huge when I was disappointed again, the same as in next releases of Football Manager 07 and FIFA Manager 07.
This year I bought FIFA Manager 08. I don’t claim this is better manager game, I bought this game because Football Manager made me bored. But I have to write that from few years no game brought me so big joy as first release of Championship Manager. I was wondering why, but I couldn’t answer this question. I had a perfect game but I wanted something more. Referring to the old saying “The more you have, the more you want”, it suits to my history, I still want something more, something better, and now after ten years of playing manager games, I wonder what does it mean “better”. We’ll see if the newest EA Sports game will be better or maybe only more expanded.