Champions
Copyright/Publisher: Krisalis Software, Release Year: 1992,
Genre: Various, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Champions, eh? Who are they kidding? A more accurate title would have been 'One Champion and Two Fillers', but I don't suppose that would sell too well. IAN OSBORNE's the man with the putty...

Jahangir Khan World Championship Squash
Who says squash is just a game played by men with rubber balls? It's one of the most knackering indoor sports ever, which is why most of the mindnumbingly unfit ZZAP! crew prefer the armchair version!

Computer squash has come on a long way since the days of black-and-white overhead perspective games where the players were just straight lines. Jahangir features realistic sprites competing on a 3-D court, using a realisitc interpretation of the rules of squash.

The players don't move very fast (obviously based on the ZZAP! crew), making the game a little tricky at first, but once you've learned to predict where the next shot will land you'll soon be OK Beyond this, though, it offers little in the way of tactics or depth - perhaps no squash sim ever will.

All the usual league and cup options are there, as are options to change the type of ball. There is also a really great system of imrovement, by which you get to add to your ratings score in one of six categories every time you win - the more you play, the better you get. Jahangir Khan World Championship Squash won't be to everyone's cup of char, and it certainly isn't mine, but is a very playable sim lifted out of the humdrum by a great roleplaying element that comes as quite a surprise! (even if you prefer juice to squash!).

79%

Manchester United
Manchester United beat my own team (Aston Villa) in the league last week, so I'm going to slag off this game without loading it! (You're fired! - Ed.) On second thoughts, better not...

Man United is a brave attempt at mixing management and arcade elements within the same game, something never attempted before or since on the 64. Original as it is, though, it's not really up to first division standard - multiloading between arcade and management sections avoids loss of depth, but poor arcade gameplay destroys overall playablity, making the 67% it scored in Issue 65 seem a little generous.

The management bit is icon driven, (hurrah), and features all the usual options such as team training, injuries, suspensions, the transfer market, etc - fans of this genre will find it immediately to their liking. The problems start in earnest when you load up the matchplay section.

The computer-controlled players run around like headless chickens (like Phil running after the meat lorry) and never attempt a tackle, so as soon as you get possession you just run at goal! Not that it does you much good - the goalkeepers are so irratatingly agile it's almost impossble for either team to score, so most matches end nil-nil.

A management/arcade hybrid such as this could only really work if both sections were of a reasonable high standard. Though the management section is championship material, the arcade game is strictly third division, and ruins the management element by producing an endless stream of goalless draws. A brave attempt, but ruined by poor execution. (just like Man.Utd. in real life, eh?)

59%

World Championship Boxing Manager
Remember Sugar Ray Leonard's title defence against Roberto Duran a couple of years ago, the one where they plodded round the ring, hardly bothering to hit each other? Remember how half the crowd walked out in disgust, and the other half chanted obscenities to relieve the boredom? Well World Championship Boxing Manager is just like that!

You control up to five boxers, running their training schedules, arranging fights, and all the other guff associated with management sims. The icon-driven selection system is fair, though I would have preferred a free-moving pointer instead of one that toggles. The menu options are well set out, but they run slower than the count in the Tyson/Douglas fight, making the game tedious in the extreme!

Where the game really loses out is in the fights themselves - there are no animated graphics, just scrolling match commentary! Luckily you don't have to watch, but World Championship Boxing Manager is still as boring as hell. Management fanatics might get their money's worth, but even then I doubt it - you'd have more fun being shot after the fight.

49%


INTRO SCREEN

OVERALL STRIKE 50%
RECOMMENDATION
Champions is a poor compilation, with only one game worth having and even this has limited appeal. If you really want a copy of Jahangir Khan World Championship Squash, buy it elsewhere. The other two games are barely worth the tape they're recorded on.


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