|Club Football 2005|
Release Date: Out Now
For everyone who has tried and failed, I say: Don't try. Let's face it, Club Football 2005 is a football game, and it's released shortly after two monster football releases of the year, PES4 and Fifa 2005 – it's got to pull off some kind of miracle to even register on the radar of a person that is looking to buy a football game at this time of year. But Christmas is the time for miracles, and I suspect that CF2005 will end up in a lot of stockings this year thanks to it's club branding approach. You see, you can buy your copy of CF2005 branded with the logo and players of one of a number of clubs in England, Scotland and Europe, and then the game will feature the club branding throughout, as well as seeing you try and guide that team (and you can choose no other) to domestic or European (not officially licensed competitions mind) honours. My review copy was the Manchester United version, as I was informed that unfortunately there is no Crystal Palace version, despite my club's recent ascension to the Premiership. I just can't understand why they wouldn't want to make a version for a club obviously destined for European glory next year ;-)
The control set up seems to almost be lifted from PES, definitely not a bad thing, although the most advanced functions, such as manual pass, are not included in CF2005. Thankfully the control set up seems to be good enough that button presses being remembered seems to be a rarity, and players respond nice and quickly, meaning that those of us that get annoyed with PES players taking too long to get a shot off, or Fifa players taking too long to make a short pass behind them will be pleased. However, what the players do on the field, and what you want them to do can sometimes be quite different – the slide tackle is almost unusable, as it is difficult to actually tackle anyone with, and will regularly result in the opposition player being fouled. Coupled with the slightly overzealous referee, it means that any slide tackle on the edge of the area has a high possibility of resulting in a red card.
Soundwise, like Fifa, there is some proper chart type indie music in there, from the likes of Franz Ferdinand, and during the game you get the usual crowd noise, as well as some chants recorded from the appropriate club. The chants can get a bit repetitive, although I think Man U fans only have one song, and they rarely sing that anyway (they might drop their prawn sandwiches), so it's probably quite realistic in that sense. Actually, the presentation goes further than the slick menus – each version of the game has a 'shop' where you can buy goal clips, photos, and club history using points earned in the game. Also, one of the play options is the ability to try and recreate famous scenarios from the club's history, such as Man U's 1999 European Cup final comeback. I was a little dismayed to see that the game just puts the current teams in the given scenario, rather than give you the team of the time. Sloppy.
- Solid game of football.
- Good pace for the game.
- Reliving your club's great matches yourself.
- Does not stand out in any area.
- Scenario games give you the current team rather than the historically correct one.