At a glance...

Previewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Release Date Screenshots
Matt Bailey PlayStation 2 Codemasters Codemasters 1-2 (Share screen) October 2005 Here

GME: LMA Manager 2006 preview

This preview is based solely on the version available at Games Market Europe.

Having criticised the lack of change in LMA Manager 2005 compared to its predecessor, I'm happy to report that the 2006 version was noticeably different, even in the short play time I had with the game. The reformed interface is now more clean and elegant, as the screenshots show. It strikes you immediately, and moving from blues to whites certainly makes the game easier on the eye over the long periods you stare at menu screens in football management titles.

That's not to say you'll spend all of your time looking at menus. Right from the beginning of the series, LMA Manager has contained a 3D engine. Unfortunately it had begun to fall quite considerably behind the technology shown in other PS2 titles of late. However, although LMA Manager 2006 isn't going to win any awards for its engine, it is definitely a significant improvement over 2005. Even on the PlayStation 2 version the graphics were smoother and clearer, the crowd more visible, and the replays offered a more "television-style" approach than before.

There isn't much more we can say at this stage; the changes to the transfer engine, improvements to Football One and the addition of news flashes are things that will need considerably more play time to be noticed. The nature of these events means you get a relatively short play of titles and only gain an initial impression. The very essence of football management games is about playing over long periods - sometimes even months. All that leaves me to say is that LMA Manager 2006 is shaping up to be a much improved title and a worthy purchase even for owners of previous LMA games, and we hope the load times are cut down ahead of its October release.

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