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Xbox One Game Review

Pure Pool


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Ripstone
Developer: VooFoo Studios
RRP: £6.99
Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 14 November 2014

Experience a living, breathing, bustling pool hall from the convenience of your living room. Pure Pool builds a DNA profile as you play, creating an AI interpretation of yourself, your friends and your foes - which you can still play against, even when they’re not online. Whether you prefer to spend your time playing solo or weighing up against the competition, connect and prepare to be blown away by the next best thing to real life Pool. With four game modes from classic American 8 Ball Pool to Killer, four challenges from Perfect Potter to Royal Rumble and full live online Multiplayer, rack-up, hone your skills and compete against the best in online tournaments and matches for a place in the Global Leaderboards...

Review imagePure Pool is the next best thing to getting off your behind and waddling down to the local pub or pool hall. Graphically it doesn't come much better than this. If you're a pool freak then you're going to love this.

The graphics are impressive; a huge leap forward when compared to other pool games previously available on the old Xbox 360. Given the low RRP, this was a huge surprise for me. I was expecting an Xbox 360 style game that had been slightly updated for the Xbox One.

Yes, there are problems with the AI and a few bugs that will hinder play. For example the AI players will on occasion just pot the white ball straight into the pocket, without even aiming at another ball. And, on one occasion I potted a ball and it just floated above the pocket in some sort of black magic manoeuvre that would have freaked out my opponent in a pub. But these instances are few and far between, and are actually quite comical when they occur, rather than annoying.

Review imageYou can either engage in career mode, where you can progress through the ranks to become a pro, or go online to play against other gamers. As you play, a DNA profile of your playing style is built up, so that you can play against a fairly accurate representation of your friends when they are offline. You can also engage in a free play or offline practice modes, as well as change your cue, baize and table skin.

Game modes include US 8 Ball, 9 Ball, Blackball, Killer and Accumulator. Controls are simple enough, and lining up the shot is fairly straightforward. You can "stand up" which allows you to get a better view of the table from walking around it. And, when you come to take your shot you can add spin (which is essential on straight pots to ensure the white ball doesn't roll into the pocket).

Review imageThe only downside that I found with the game was that it appears to be impossible to play a game with someone else who is sitting in the room with you. I'd have thought that the ability to challenge your friends in the flesh would have been an essential element of the game. But, try as I might I, nor my tech savvy son, could work it out. In the end we played a practice game and just kept track ourselves of whose turn it was. Now, you might be able to play with someone on the same console if they also log into their account and have purchased the game too, but to be honest that seems a little unfair to expect to family members, using the same console, to have to each buy the game.

Review imageThere is also a rather pointless cut sequence at the end of each game. When you go to pot the black, suspense is built up by having a heart beat sound play. You hit the ball and as the black ball nears the pocket, time slows down... Now this would be suspenseful... apart from the fact you know that you've missed... How do you know that you've missed? Well, if you'd actually potted the ball you'd already have been tipped off by the fact that a cut sequence plays that shows the cue hitting the cue ball and chalk spraying everywhere... before the shot continues.

This is still easily the finest pool game you can own at present and for the retail price you'd be foolish not to pick this up if pool is your thing.


Nick Smithson

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