After being brought up in a Manchester City household, it should come as no surprise to you that I hate Manchester United with some venom. My early years were spent at Maine Road with my Dad enthusing about the blues, but by the time my brains started to work properly and after just one visit to Anfield in 1985, I soon turned my full attention to Liverpool Football Club.
Although I've seen them win the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Championship many times, not one of these tournaments can compete with a victory over the Red Devils. It's such an intense game between two extremely passionate sets of fans that it's a reversed fixture across the world.
One thing I would swap for a victory over Manchester United would be the pleasure of another FA Cup and league double. Liverpool won their double in 1986, but Manchester United have since joined them with their dynamic run last season.
Both clubs have now had an equal amount of success, but Manchester United have ruled the roost in one certain area, the wonderful world of computer games. The Red Devils have had three games made about them while Liverpool have only had one and to be honest, it was rubbish.
Krisalis, holders of the Manchester United licence, have made a range of games that appealed to everyone, not just Manchester United fans. Krisalis' first two efforts (Manchester United- & Europe) looked really good, but both were slighly lacking in the gameplay department.
Their third licence, Manchester United Premier League Champions, was far better and featured a good mix of management and arcade ation. Now they are back with another Manchester United offering.
This time they've tinkered around with and enhanced Manchester United Premier League Champions so much, you feel as though you're clutching a brand new game in-between your sweaty mitts. Although the game is titled Manchster United - The Double, it's not imperative that you play as the Red Devils or that you win the actual double.
Choose one of the clubs from any of the English divisions and either play a single game or go the whole hog and play season after season. Depending on who you choose.
Manchester United - The Double has got a very good chance of stealing Sensible World of Soccer's 'world's best computer footy game' title, but am I over the moon about it or just simply sick as a parrot?
Manchester United are, without argument, the team of the '90s, but last season will shine above all the others. 1994 was the year the Red Devils won the historic double, joining Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool as the only clubs to achieve such a feat.
United's league campaign kicked off against Norwich City at Carrow Road and the reds returned back to Manchster having won 2-0 with goals from Giggs and Robson.
United went and demolished most of the teams in the Premier League with some breathtaking attacking football. The majority of goals were provided by Giggs, Canona, Hughes, Ince and Kanchelskis, while at the back Pallister, Bruce and the safe hands of Schmeichel kept out the opposition.
In fact, United only lost four league games all season (twice to Chelsea and once to Blackburn and Wimbledon). The Red Devils won the championship and had left nearest rivals Blackburn lagging eight points behind them.
The FA Cup, one of the most admired tournaments in world football, started off in January for United with a 1-0 win against Sheffield United, Mark Hughes scoring the all-important goal. United then decisively beat Norwich City, Wimbledon and Charlton Athletic on their way to meeting local rivals, Oldham Athletic, in the semi-final.
Scoreless after 90 minutes, the two teams went into extra-
The replay was a different story altogether. The previous match had been too much for Oldham and United waltzed to a 4-1 victory with goals form Irwin, Giggs, Kanchelskis and Robson. This set up a final against Chelsea a month later which United, in front of a capacity 80,000 Wembley crowd, totally dominated and came out as 4-0 winners courtesy of two penalties from Cantona and a goal apiece form Hughes and McClair.
The Red Devils returned to Old Trafford with the Premiership and the FA Cup, and although this is a story of great success, it could've been even more impressive! It's worth pointing out that United only missed out on the treble thanks to Aston Villa who beat them 3-1 in the Coca Cola Cup.
With United challenging hard for the Premiership and with an easier run-in of matches than rivals Blackburn, plus the fact that they're (at the time of writing this) in the final of the FA Cup. It's not implausible to think that the Red Devils might win the double again in 1995.
A trip back through the past and we arrive in April 1994 where we first met up with Krisalis' previous footballing effort, Manchester United Premier League Champions.
"Krisalis have produced an absolute scorcher of a football game. Goal and Sensible Soccer fans will want to have this game's babies. Buy it and float to football heaven."
That's what I warbled almost a year ago and although the game did fairly well, it seems the legions of Sensi fans were more interested in their forthcoming sequel than anything else.
Bit of a shame as MUPLC was a cracking little game aimed at true fanatics who had real passion for their football. Sensible World of Soccer is the game by which eery other is judged by and one which every Amiga gamer should own, but for something a little different, Krisalis' third Manchester United title is well worth a look.
The under-rate Goal, Wembley International Soccer and Premier Manager series are just a few other football games worthy of a mention if Manchester United - The Double doesn't tickle your fancy.
ADDITIONAL INFO 2
One of Manchester United - The Double's biggest features is the inclusion of an editor system which allows you to change everything within the game, and this is sure to appeal to fans of Krisalis' previous effort.
The colours and style of the soccer kits can be changed at regular intervals, rather like Manchester United themselves, although unlike them you won't be exploiting your fans by placing a £40 price tag on some of your designer creations (Ooh controversial).
The game features all the clubs form the English league, but if you're a follower of football from foreign lands then you change everything accordingly.
Players and club names can be altered, but to keep things running smoothly all the player's skills can also be changed. If you think the game is too easy, you can go into the editor and lower your player ratings to make things more difficult, and vice versa if you find that Manchester United - The Double is too taxing.
One of Manchester United Premier League Champions' outstanding features was the Tactigrid feature and this was such a brilliant idea that Krisalis have included it in Manchester United - The Double.
The Tactigrid lets you position your players anywhere on the pitch and gives you more control over your team. Fullbacks can be ordered to charge up and down the wing and support the attack, or defenders can be told to hold back and play like a sweeper - there are lots of ways in which you can, tactically, alter your team.
Manchester United - The Double contains some superb crowd sounds and samples. From the whistle that signifies kick-off time there follows plenty of chants and cheers from the terraces which go a long way in enhancing the overall atmosphere of the game.
I don't know whether the samples are linked to how good or bad the game of football is, but they do seem to get better when there's an incident or it's an action-
The only sound of any note is the tune that plays when you're wandering through the various menus, and I'm unhappy to report that it sounds terrible, plus there's no option to turn it off! The only suggestion that I can think of is that you turn your TV/Monitor down when you're managing the team and turn it up when you enter the arcade section of the gam.
There you have it. Superb atmospheric crowd noises that enhance the quality of the game and a horrible tune that annoys the hell out of me.
I'm still quite undecided about what to give the sound in Manchester United - The Double, but reach for the volume switch at the right moments and you'll be contented enough.70%
On the surface, and while wandering through the various menu screens, graphically, Manchester United - The Double looks very similar to its predecessor, but I guess it's a case of if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
I quite like the icon system Krisalis have devised and after only a few minutes play you're soon whizzing all over in all the right places. It's very simple to use and because you can use the mouse as well as the joystick, this makes life even easier.
In Manchester United Premier League Champions the pitch was viewed from above, very much like the viewpoint in Sensible Soccer which in turn caused some unfair comparisons. Krisalis have, for this new instalment in the Manchester United series, changed the arcade section by altering the viewpoint of the pitch.
The action is now viewed from a 3D perspective which is superior to the one found in Krisalis' last attempt. You now get to see far more of the pitch and the players, which allows you to build up better moves and play those inch-perfect passes with ease without fear of the opposition intercepting the ball.
The view of the stadium is a nice touch and adds more reality to the game. Last time around the game tended to lose itself within the confines of a totally 'green' screen and unfortunately seemed incomplete.
The players haven't been altered very much, but that's not such a bad thing. Sensible Soccer features what you might call cartoon-
Graphically, I can't knock the game, so what can I do by give it 90 per cent. Manchester United - The Double is, quite simply, the best-
I enjoyed Krisalis' previous Manchester United licence immensely, so at first it wasn't too much of a shock when I found out that The Double is just as good, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that it's actually far, far better.
The introduction of the new angle for the arcade section was a brilliant touch and one that elevates Krisalis' football game to join competitors such as Sensible World Of Soccer and Goal. Features such as the inclusion of a transfer market and the helpful editor system are all clever ideas that deserve to be applauded.
Fans of the previous Manchester United games will love this new addition to the Red Devil's family. It is a complete football package for people who are genuinely mad about the beautiful game.
One thing I will give you advance warning of is that you have to take your time and use a lot of your patience with the game. You will lose your first few matches and won't get the hang of the control system until you're nearing the end of your first season, but after that you will be able to sit back and have a wonderful time playing for and managing a football club.
Manchester United - The Double will last you a long time, mainly because you can alter the difficulty of the game up and down thanks to the editor. Sensible Soccer was a game that appeals to every man, woman and their dog, but Manchester United - The Double is a true football game for true football fanatics everywhere.
Krisalis have broken out from defence, played it beautifully through the middle, knocked it out to wing, gone round two of the opposition and delicately curled another golden goal, past the flustered keeper, into the top corner of the net.