Pool Paradise Review

Developer: Awesome Studios Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: April 15, 2004 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

Pool Paradise is a precise representation of its real-life brother, billiards. Pool is not a complicated game and as such, Pool Paradise (PP) is likewise. You use a stick, called a cue, to hit the cue ball, which in-turn is knocked into other balls, of which the goal is to knock into holes. The name of the game is simple, fun, and clean.

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Like in real-life, PP is available to anyone who is willing to play. The game engine gives complete control to the player, whether calling the shot, camera angle, hit position, and then of course, the cue itself. One of the most important aspects is to align your shot, or in some cases, use angles.

There are 11 different rule types, from around the world, including 6/8/9/10 ball, 14 to 1 Continuous, and more. In some games, players suffer penalties from hitting another ball than the one called, pocketing the cue ball, and pocketing balls that were not called. The different game-types vary in goals; some require a certain number of points to win, while others, you simply knock-in balls in order, and the person to pocket the final ball, wins.

In PP, you wash up on shore of an exotic island, to find yourself broke. You borrow some dough from the loan shark. With the thirty different computer-controlled characters, you can earn more cash. Complimenting the thirty characters are thirty sets of animated hands that express the feelings of the computer player. Earned cash can come from leagues, cups, championships, or side bets of individual games. Money earned buys new equipment and tables.

The competition mode throws you into a ranking ladder where you, of course, end up on the bottom. You earn cash by competing through matches that other ladder players offer to you. You will slowly earn money, climb up the ladder, and open up higher ranked opponents who wouldn’t play you before.

The graphics engine in PP is above and beyond for a game of this type. The creators developed a mini-paradise. The color variation is impressive and the animations of your opponents are also well done. The one shocking thing when I first played the game was that your opponent was a set of hands; no body, head, arms, or legs. It’s hard to imagine how well Awesome Studios was able to express the feelings of the players’ though.

In today’s world of picky gamers, a pool game without any extras is a waste of time. Fortunately for this crowd, PP delivers, once again. By earning cash and side bets, you can purchase additional tables and mini-games, which includes skeeball, darts, and Dropzone. With these extra features costing loads of cash, it will take weeks to unlock everything in this game, which is good, since you don’t find many games like this. For the quality of this title, the bargain bin price tag is irresistible. If you own a GCN, pick this game up today, you won’t regret it.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 8.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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