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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Ripstone
Developed By: VooFoo Studios
Genre: Sports
Players: 2-2
Rated: E for Everyone
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Screenshots: Link
Price: £7.99 / €9.99 / $12.99 (PC)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

August 14, 2014 - Long have we waited for a pool game to grace the current generation consoles… well maybe not you, but I certainly have. Last generation we had the likes of Hustle Kings, Pool Nation, Inferno Pool and Pool Hall Pro to name a few. This time around, developers are bringing the beloved sport to consoles sooner than expected with the release of Pure Pool. Developed by the same talented team behind Hustle Kings, VooFoo Studios looks to bring “hyper-realism” to the sport; something not seen from previous titles. Whether or not they achieved this feet, it’s up to you to decide, but I can definitely say this is the best sports-simulation pool game to have been released.

How VooFoo Studios achieves this feet is thanks in part to total immersion from the moment the game loads up. Once the game is ready to go, you immediately have the option to play a solo game of 8-Ball. There are no menus or options to jump through in order to start playing and you can play as many games as your heart desires. Not only that, but the games’ perspective for the player is true to that of the actual game. For the most part, you have a clear view of the pool table, but if you want to make sure your next shot is a good one, you have the option of standing up, getting a better perspective of the table. While standing up, you won’t have the ability to take a shot, which is true to the game in every way. Plus, who in their right mind would want to do that anyways?

One of the great things about pool is the many variations of the game. You have your American 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Killer and Accumulator. At any time, you can play a round of pool in any of those game styles via the My Games option. But if you want a real challenge, you can partake in the Career Mode. The career mode is a ladder-based system, which has the difficulty ramp up as your progress further and further down the rabbit hole. Starting with either U.S. 8-Ball or 9-Ball, you must battle through five branching trees acquiring XP and completion stars in order to advance to the next tree. Within each game, you must complete certain objections in order to acquire stars. Outside of the main one-on-one battles, you will also have side games that will test your skills in various ways.

While collecting stars will be your primary focus for advancing through the career mode, building your XP and collecting accolades is equally important. Every time you perform a certain feet – winning a game, beating someone of higher rank, performing a bank shot, trapping your opponent in a “snooker” – you will unlock a accolade. The more you acquire in a game, the higher the amount of XP points you will received at the end of the game. After acquiring a certain amount of XP, you will level up. After leveling up a certain amount of times, you unlock new rank titles and cue sticks to use. All the time and hard work you put into this game will pay off in the end, except on the collectible front. The only things you can collect in Pure Pool are new cue sticks. No table skins, new locations, color chalk; nothing. While can be seen a sore spot for those who are all about collecting everything, it does fall in line with what the game is all about and its name… Pure Pool.

From a visual standpoint, it is clear that Pure Pool is the best looking pool game out. This is thanks in part to several systems put into place behind the scenes. VooFoo Studios utilized a fine-tuned physics engine alongside photo-realistic graphics in order to recreate the game of pool digitally, while maintaining the actual look and flare of the sport. From the pool table itself, to the curvature of the balls, a lot of time and effort was put into recreating the game. Even the environment you play in was considered. Inside of static backdrops, you are treated to a “bustling pool hall experience” in order to better immersive you in the moment. There’s chatter and people moving in the background. To add to the experience is that classic pool hall soundtrack of instrumental jazz music.

When it comes to replayability, the nature of the game is to perfect your skills. While you can certainly stop playing after completing all the game modes within Pure Pool, being able to perfect your bank shot or take down the best players in the world is reason enough to come back for more. Attempting to collect every single accolade in the game, or like myself, pursuing to platinum the game, will have you coming back for more. If anything else, being able to take on live players from the other side of the world in a heated competition, embarking within the League options or seeing if you can one up the developers themselves.

It’s easy to ask for more options and features to be included into a game like Pure Pool, but that would have taken away from the experience that VooFoo Studios was seeking. Pure Pool is by far the best billiards game a fan of the sport could ask for. With a welcoming atmosphere, easy access to game modes and a robust multiplayer experience which you can partake in locally or online, Pure Pool is a great experience. With a price of £7.99 / €9.99 / $12.99, it’s hard not to pass up on this deal.


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