Championship Pool (SNES)

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Championship Pool (SNES)

Postby MaverickMoPete » May 24th, 2024, 11:05 pm

Title: Championship Pool
System: SNES (Ports also available on Genesis and NES)
Publisher: Mindscape

Rack 'em, break 'em, anyway you take 'em. Championship Pool is an nearly no-frills video game version of the classic game billiards, bringing the fun and excitement of a pool table into your own house without having to pay hundreds of dollars for it!

The graphics are nice and simple, allowing three different views of the pool table: A bird's eye view that shows the whole table, a zoomed in overhead view, and a zoomed in angle view. Sadly, your only view point is from the south end of the table, but it's more than enough to see all the action. You won't see any cue sticks in this game except on the power meter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it ensures you have a clear view of the balls rolling around. The balls smacking together and falling into the pockets sound accurate, and the available music is simple yet catchy.

The gameplay, however, is where this really shines. Four different game modes give you all kinds of options. Freestyle allows you to rack and move the balls freely, setting up whatever shots you please. Party mode allows anywhere from 2 to 8 players to compete in billiard games, and you can do this while sharing one controller. Challenge Mode pits a single player against different challenges where you can aim for the best score and rating. And Tournament Mode allows you to take on opponents of increasing difficulty to become an 8-Ball or 9-Ball Champion.

There's plenty of options when setting up your shots. A spin menu allows you to elevate or lower your cue, and put spin on the ball by hitting it low, high, left, or right. The aiming marker gives you a preview of where the ball you hit will go, with higher difficulties giving you less accurate information, or no information at all on the hardest difficulty. The power menu allows you to accurately decide how hard to hit the ball, or you can just use the left and right shoulder buttons to adjust it. Finally, the aiming marker can be moved rapidly, or adjusted precisely to make sure you hit the ball exactly where you want it to go each time.

Championship Pool is like owning your own 9' by 4.5' pool table, except it doesn't weigh two tons. It's simple, yet effective, and most importantly, it's fun. When you feel like smacking some balls around a table, but don't have an actual pool table to go play at, this game gives you exactly what you want.

My Grade: B+

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