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The world snooker championship games have always been the best snooker titles available in my opinion and this one is no exception. This time aswell as snooker you are also able to play pool, both the 8-ball and 9-ball versions and enter trickshot competitions. Taking a shot is made very simple, by the easy to understand controls, which haven't changed much from previous releases. When you aim at the target ball two lines come up on the screen - the red one shows you the direction in which the target ball will go and the white one the direction of the cue ball. The harder you strike the ball the longer the lines. The final resting position of the cue ball is indicated by a dark circle on the table; as you're positional play improves during the career mode the size of the circle is reduced, allowing you anticipate where the cue ball will end up with greater accuracy. It is also possible to replicate some of the professional players shots by adding topspin, backspin and side to the cue ball.
The main feature of the game is the newly updated career mode, which enables you to firstly qualify for and secondly compete in ten of the top snooker and pool tournaments from all around the world. Some of these tournaments include the Northern Ireland Trophy, The World Snooker Championships, China Open, Malta Cup, Masters and the Mosconi Cup.
Firstly, you have to create you're own character with which you will play. You can choose their name and appearance. As you progress during the career mode, by getting further in the qualifying rounds in tournaments, you're ranking improves, you gain prize money and new cues become availabe to you. Once you achieve a certain ranking you are able to enter pool tournaments to supplement you're snooker play, which keeps the game interesting; this is called a hybrid season and you can select upto ten events. I think that the career mode is good fun, but once you're ranking gets to about 35 it is extremely difficult to improve it further. When you get to the final rounds of tournaments against the top players, they tend to clear the table if you miss a shot, which makes the game boring and annoying for the player. Saying this though, with every game that you win you receive points which you can add to either cue power, potting, positional play, jump, spin or pressure shots. This enhances you're ability to play certain shots and should in theory make you a better player. It is very tempting to add all of you're poitns to potting although you should resist this temptation as you're allround game will be lacking.
Overall the game is very good, although it can be very annoying when you miss a pot and you're opponent clears up - the top pro's also tend to pot shots which look impossible, which again is very annoying. Another irritating aspace of the game is the commentary. For the snooker you have John Virgo, Steve Davis and John Parrott. John Virgo speaks a lot more than the others and does get quite lary towards you if you take too long or miss an easy shot, saying things like "ooooooohhhhhh....................no.........for a minute there I thought he was going to take a shot" and "if he takes this long over a shot we may aswell paint the commentary box and watch the paint dry!" Very annoying! Aswell as being insulted you have to put up with the commentary being repetitive, especially if you play a lot. The pool commentary is better I think, less repetitive and the voices are American, a nice touch. Apart from the commentary and the toughness of the game it is excellent and well woth purchasing - definately recommend this to snooker and pool fans.
Thanks for reading.
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the same name).
Experience the thrill of competing at the Crucible in the only officially licensed game of World Snooker. Featuring 104 snooker players including greats of the game such as Ronnie O'Sullivan, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, all of the official tournaments and venues and commentary from John Parrott, Steve Davis and John Virgo.