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FIFA Manages make-over

Total Club Manager becomes FIFA Manager 06, and signs up a load of new features into the bargain. Result

Ah, the smell of Huddersfield Town stadium on a windy Wednesday night, the jubilant roar of the "referee is a w*!@&!!r" emanating from the crowd... Yes, the football season is a mere few weeks old and already we're obsessing over Mark 'red card' Hughes' insistence that Blackburn Rovers aren't a dirty team at all. Tsch, the ways of a footy manager, eh?

EA is the latest to lay down the gauntlet in the management sim race, revising its Total Club Manager franchise into the new look of FIFA Manager 06. Due for release on PC next month (October), the in-depth title promises a 3D match engine for added visual realism (including a 'free cam' for monitoring individual players), a detailed player analysis tool, and a large database of 2,000+ clubs, 20,000+ players and 7,000 player photos.

Zoom

Other highlights include a breakdown of individual playing styles (everything from 'dribbler' through to 'target man'), an improved interface, and an in-game website 'Football World', which updates managerial types with the latest statistics, news, transfers, dealings, gossip and (probably) the front-page stuff as well as all the back-page stuff.

Obviously, FIFA Manager 06 is going to have to really, really pull out all the stops to compete with the likes of Sega's Football Manager 2006, but everyone loves a dark horse, and this one does promise credentials. Best get that sheepskin jacket dry cleaned, then.

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