After the awful Championship Manager 2, a game we'd waited 2 years to get our hands on, it's something of a relief that one of the better footy manny games of the last few years gets a return visit to the shop shelves. Let's start with the bad bits though, because one of the biggest problems with CM2 was the fact that it was terminally slow and required an inordinate amount of disk swapping. PM2E suffers a little from this latter problem itself. Although the game's A1200 only, there's no way to install the thing to a hard drive. This does mean there's a fair old bit of disk swapping (especially if you haven't got a second disk drive), not to the point where the fun's ruined, but it's going to lose a couple of marks because there's still no hard disk installer.
And so to the game. Everything's well presented with nicely rendered intro screens and it's easy to find your way around the place. There are reams of options for the player to get stuck into, from the usual training and tactics decisions to deciding on the sponsorship offers you're given.
There's also a large arcade side of the game where you can either play the whole team, as in a normal arcade footy game, or where you simply play in position. Frankly, the arcade part of the game isn't up to much. Although it's not too bad, it's just not as much fun as concentrating on the pure management side of things.
And if you do concentrate on that side of things you'll have a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there's no 'impatient player' option that allows you to just pick a team and then see the result. You either have to watch the highlights of the game (the best option for the first few turns because it does manage to build the excitement) or watch a lot of spots chase another spot around in the overhead scanner mode.
This is the best long-term option once you've grown tired of the highlights, which do have a tendency to repeat a little too often. There are better football management games - Premier Manager 3 and Ultimate Soccer Manager for example - but they might be a little difficult to get hold of these days. Player Manager 2 Extra is well worth hunting down, but just don't expect too much from the arcade side of the game.
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