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WORLD SNOOKER (aka Snooker 19) puts you behind the cue of many of today's top players. Just to whet your appetite I'll name a few, but note this is a very small percentage of the list you can choose from:

Ronnie O' Sullivan   Steven Hallworth   Mark Selby   Mark Williams   John Higgins   Mark Allen   Judd Trump   Neil Robertson   Ding Junhui   Peter Ebdon   Jimmy White

Once you have selected the player you wish to control you can dress them as if they were characters in a MMO. There are exceptions as to what they can wear though, for example I chose Ronnie O Sullivan and I could change his Trousers and Shoes but not his shirt , waistcoat or tie.

 

Having selected a player you can play 'Snooker'  'Shootout'  or  '6 Reds' each a game in itself. With Snooker you can choose the length of the match from 1 Frame to 35 but only choosing odd numbers as there has to be a 'best of' possibility.

Despite the fact that you have selected a named player all shots are down to you, the Snooker Star does nothing to help you.

It takes a little while to understand how to play as the controls aren't immediately instinctive even if you check 'options' unless you have a great memory as to what buttons and sticks do what - count me out on this I'm afraid.

Play a couple of single games (choose 1 or 3 Frames to begin with) to get yourself used to the way the ball moves, how the power meter works - yes we have the good old Power Meter mechanic for striking the ball/using the cue.

 

Okay so now you are comfortable in your new skin. You can see the blue line from the White ball outwards showing where the white will travel and what it will strike en route. A fanned light shows roughly the direction that will be taken by the targeted ball or balls, but unlike some Snooker games I have played this isn't exact; World Snooker expects you to judge your angles and strike the ball accordingly. You can throw the towel in at any time if you think you cannot catch up but don't expect your opponent to do this, they will play until you win ... or they do.

Like actual Snooker, if you make an unforced error your opponent is quite likely to build up a Break that you cannot overtake, thus leaving you watching the screen like watching your television - just sit back and watch yourself get profoundly beaten. It is going to be a long time before you will reach the heights of even the lowest opponents. Again like Snooker in real life, practice is the only way you will get better - there is no luck involved it is all practice and skill. If you cannot get out to a Snooker Hall then this is the next best thing as the 'game' ball will roll, spin, curve and move in the same manner as a polished Snooker Ball on a smooth baize/slate surface.

This is a game you cannot hurry if you actually, truly want to play Snooker. If you want to mess about it will not let you. It is not easy. I have played many games and have yet to win one. All the time I am playing I am learning how to control the cue, how to strike the ball, where to hit the target ball how to make the White stop where I want it to; as I keep saying, the game doesn't help you other than to show you the possible path and probable direction of the White, this way you should be able to prevent potting the White (as long as you do not hit the shot too hard or you ignore the Blue line).

The looks and sounds are that of Snooker Championship play just as you would hear at a venue or on your television.

If you don't want to play against 'real' Snooker players select Multi-Player and play against a human friend, but make sure both of you have enough solo experience to make it an interesting and fun game as you will soon get bored just smacking the balls around for no apparent reason.

In the games I have played, and lost on the PS4, I find that the Camera/Shot Joystick is rather too sensitive which means I take ages to get my player into the correct position and then longer to line up the shot I intend. I have yet to be confident in where the target ball will end up, with many of my shots sending it towards the posket only for it to hit the lip and rebound into perfect potting position.

For fans of World Snooker you will be pleased at how the game's arenas and venues are presented. There are lots to select from around the world but, like the player list, I have only just touched the tip of the iceberg with this mini-list:

Alexandra Palace, Beijing, Arena Riga, Emirates, Barnsley, Bangkok, Ricoh Arena, Crucible, Venue Cymru, Belfast, Grand Hyatt Kochi; all these and more are ready to welcome you to their illustrious venues and sparkling new tables. 

I haven't played a better game for representing Snooker though there are games with more intuitive and easier guidance controls This will thoroughly please Snooker fans and players but because of its intensity it is unlikely to bring more players to the sport. Armchair Snooker it is not! It is far better than just a game of hitting balls with a wooden stick, but as an entertainment to non-Snooker players it will have very little if any appeal. 

Here is a YouTube video of the game SNOOKER which will give you some idea of the play. Here is a look at CAREER MODE   The game will be available across the spectrum of computers and consoles for around £29.99

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015