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M (Mature)



Q1 2007



- The pool isnít terribly broken



- No tournament mode

- Annoyingly hard AI

- Little in the way of rewards

- The shame of bringing this up to the cash register



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Pocket Pool

Score: 3.0 / 10


With a title like Pocket Pool, you pretty much know what you're getting into. On the cover, there's a girl in a loose shirt, leaning over a pool table, which is somehow even less classy than your typical issue of Maxim. The intro shows live action shots of billiards, interspersed with some models frolicking around in a way that's somehow more embarrassing than those late night Girls Gone Wild commercials. When you actually start the game and get to the menu, you see that they misspelled the word "Practice".


pocket pool          pocket pool


You can select a number of characters to be your avatar, which include a handful of girls and a bunch of frat guys. All of them have short backstories in the manual, and itís completely hilarious that someone actually took the time to write these. Anyway, your avatar only affects the portrait in the corner of the screen - you never actually see them play pool. And let me tell you - Virtual Pool this ain't. I'm far from an expert pool player, but some of these physics seem a bit off,




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especially when curving your shots. It doesn't help that the interface is pretty unintuitive. First, you choose which type of shot you take and then set it up. You then hold down the Circle button to bring up the power meter, press Up or Down to select the strength of the shot, and then hit Left when you want to take a shot.


There's not much to Pocket Pool other than


girls and pool, and neither are particularly well fleshed out. Granted, there are twelve different game modes, including Snooker, Blackjack, and a Time Attack mode, in addition to Wi-Fi multiplayer,  but there's no tournament or league play or anything. Your only incentive to keep at it is to unlock a bunch of extras. Many of these are pretty stupid, like new cues or pool tables, but occasionally you get rewarded with a girlie video. But even that's disappointing - as much as The Guy Game was a complete and total travesty in almost every imaginable way, at least it gave you real nudity if you bothered to work hard enough for it. But Pocket Pool is about as racy as the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. But even getting to that point is hugely frustrating, since you need to actually win a match or get high scores to unlock anything. There's no difficulty setting for the computer players, and they'll mercilessly kick your butt in any game.


There are some other amusing so-good-it's-bad features, like the selection of awful porno music or the quasi-sulty voiceovers in the tutorial. But even though there's a lot to unlock, none of it's actually worth anything, and the result is a fairly barebones little title without any sense of shame.


- Kurt Kalata

(July 3, 2007)


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