Feels Like You Are Actually Playing Pool
I fondly remember the days of logging into Yahoo Pool to play a few rounds with complete strangers when I was younger. Back then, I thought that Yahoo Pool was the best pool could ever get in video game form; it was pretty, it played like “real pool” did, and it was really fun. Now, after playing several hours of Pure Pool, I wish I could go back and show 10 year old Courtney just how far pool simulation games have come. Pure Pool is by far the most realistic pool sim game I have ever played.
I would like to point out that Pure Pool is hard, very hard. In fact, it was so hard that I struggled even on the easiest difficulty from time to time. Could this mean I am just that bad at pool sim games? Maybe. But honestly, when you are able to line up the shot with the very helpful yellow line that literally shows you where your ball will go, it should be easy. In fact, that part IS easy. However, it is just as easy for your opponent to do the same thing; so your options are either dominate or suffer a humiliating loss on easy. That being said, the more you play, the better you’ll get — just keep at it.
Pure Pool features the two obvious play styles: 8-ball and 9-ball. However, it goes a little deeper than that by adding a Career Mode that allows you to play competitive games against the CPU. After each win, you unlock another game to continue your career. 8- and 9-ball bore you, there are also challenge modes you can play (that are included in the careers as well). The challenges are:
- Speed Pot – pocketing the balls as fast as you can
- Perfect Potter – pocketing every ball without missing
- Checkpoint – pocketing as many balls as you can before time runs out
- Killer – pot a ball and lose a point
These are all fun modes to play to switch things up, but get boring after a while unless you are into beating high scores. This game is not just playing pool like it’s an arcade game though. After each match you will earn experience points based on what accolades you completed. This gives you a visual representation of how good you’ve been doing, and may help some players strive to do better.
The one major problem I had with Pure Pool is that every once in a while I would be in a match and my CPU opponent wouldn’t play his turn. I literally sat there for five minutes on a few occasions waiting for my opponent to move. Eventually I just had to restart the match to advance any further. This was a strange and annoying problem.
I wanted to try out the online features of the game, but every single time I tried the network was (unfortunately) down. This was frustrating because I wanted to relive the old days of Yahoo Pool and play against strangers. However, given how fun the game was during offline modes, I can only assume that online play was pretty fun as well.
The Verdict: 7.8 out of 10
Pure Pool is the most real experience I’ve had playing pool outside of the actual thing. It made me feel just like I was in a bar playing against friends. Even though I had a lot of fun with the game, I fear that this is not the sim for casual pool players. It was frustratingly difficult at times, even on the easiest difficulty. However, if you are a hardcore pool player, or just really into pool sims, this is absolutely your game. It has enough modes and challenges (plus an online mode to play against others) to make it absolutely worth the $12 it costs on PSN.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.