I started playing Championship Manager 2 when it first came out back in 95/96. From the moment i bought the game i loved it (even though it had no 2D pitch as football games tend to have these days). I couldn't wait to get started and managing my favorite team Everton. Even though we had a pretty rubbish team I was glad to see that some of the Everton players were good, cost a lot of money and produce many goal assists or even goals.
It was easy to get lost in the game, looking at all the players you could buy or experimenting with all the tactics.
The game itself was quite intelligent. It takes into account how a player is feeling (his morale) and how well the player is currently playing (his form) so it's not just a case of the team with the best players wins (although this does help a lot). You can swap players positions round at any point of the game and even change the formation you are playing or just simply tell the lads to play the ball directly up to the your strikers. Winning trophies is hard to do and if you become a successful team then you can
find yourself playing a lot of games each season. Sometimes the fixture list becomes a bit crammed and after playing in a league match on a Saturday you then find you've got the League Cup Semi Final (which is played over 2 legs) the following Monday and then Wednesday.
Still I know that (if like me) you've a desire to win and become a successful manager then you'll just have to rotate your team around and maybe change your tactics here and there to reach the final. One thing i didn't really like about the game was the sound (which fortunately you could switch off). The sound of John Motsons's voice (I think it was) seemed at first to be exciting but after a while it just seemed better to turn it off and read the captions that came up on the screen.
One of the best parts of the game is when the older players retire and so become re-incarnated (so to speak). Basically the players name changes but his attributes are still the same so when the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley etc retire you can go out and capture them as a youngster, and, providing you have a good team you should be able to keep them in the future when they become top-class players again and then demand £25,000 a week from you when you next offer them a contract.
All in all this game is fantastic and I know that there a millions of Championship Manager 2 lovers all round the world. I personally believe that this was, and still is the best ever version of Championship Manager and the fact that i can still play it (even though I'm no longer a teenager) is fantastic. Another great part is that when a player’s contract runs out you can then potentially buy him for free. I believe that this only became possible with the version upgrade to 1.56 from the original 1.01.
This did make the game slightly easier, but only slightly as you've still got to battle away against Manchester United, Liverpool, Blackburn etc to win the league (and remember back in 96 only the winners of the league would qualify for the Champions League), and then not forgetting of course the mighty European forces of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc. This game is just sheer class.