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Pure Pool - my review

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  • Pure Pool - my review

    Pure Pool is VooFoo Studio's follow-up to their (free) Hustle Kings, and while this one isn't free, it's a vast improvement on almost every level.

    Available from the PS Store, the game was being offered at the greatly discounted price of £5 - £6 at one time, but is currently listed at the full price of £13.99. As an owner of Hustle Kings I was very much in two minds about handing over £14 for this game, but I took the plunge and have not regretted it for a single second.

    First, the good points.

    The game feels incredibly intuitive and offers the closest experience yet, to the real thing. It just feels... right. Gone is the 'two-click' power bar system, in favour of the right analogue stick which is pulled back and pushed forward to shoot, adding even more to the feeling of real pool. Of course, this isn't the first pool simulation to use the right analogue stick as the cue, but unlike the others, the feel of this method this time round is brilliant, allowing power shots, mid strength shots and subtle little delicate shots. The last of these is the most difficult to master, but even if the game offered a traditional power bar system, I would still use the analogue stick - it's that good.

    Also gone is the annoying, dynamic camera views, which tracked the ball around the table until it fell into the pocket (or not), which for me only served to lift the player from the game. With Pure Pool we stay fixed in first-person view, which gives us a great perspective of the player 'standing up' after the shot has been taken, giving us a better view of what's happening on the table.

    The player can also 'stand up' at any time they please, by pressing the square button, and then use the analogue stick to walk around the table to view the position of the balls.

    The tables run faster and the cushions are more responsive (although still a little on the sluggish side). Gone is the horrible thud sound when ball hits cushion, replaced with a more realistic and quieter 'bup' noise.

    Finally, the graphics, which are head and shoulders above anything you've ever seen in this type of game - and that includes the PC. We're talking photo-realism here, and silky smooth movement.

    And now the bad points.

    While the first-person view is very welcome, it is the only view. This means no top-down view for those ultra thin cuts, and being forced to watch your opponents time at the table in the same first-person perspective. This feels odd to me, and I would have loved an option to stand back from the table and watch my opponent as an observer, much in the way you would in real life.

    Options are limited and do not include the ability to disable the game's HUD. While the HUD is in no way obtrusive and never obscures the player's shot, an option to turn everything off would add so much more to the immersion of playing this game. As for the table skins, just in case anyone is wondering, a 'clean' skin, i.e no graphic on the cloth, IS an option. Further options include a range of cloth colours and background music volume.

    There has been one update so far, which fixed a plethora of issues, and which I presume comes pre-packed with the game at purchase.

    As for VooFoo Studios - the people behind the game - things seem to have gone very quiet in terms of their activities. Their website was last updated towards the end of February and their last tweet is logged at '9 months ago'. Granted, they are a very small outfit, but this seems to be unusually long time to go without any kind of update, and while this has no bearing on the game as it stands, it does suggest any further updates which might address the customers wishes, are unlikely.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsstyolUUI8
    "Kryten, isn't it round about this time of year that your head goes back to the lab for retuning?"

  • #2
    Excuse me digging up an old thread, this is something that intrigues me I've been playing Virtual Pool since about 1995 and have always loved it. Bought Virtual Pool 4 on it's release and find it awesome - yet there are very, very few mentions of it anywhere on this forum. Is it not held in high regard? The graphics are only a tiny bit below that of Pure Pool, the controls are near identical (in fact it's very easy to summise that Pure Pool borrows it's controls from VP). It feels very similar overall. I haven't given PP much time, and wonder if it's worth persevering with it a bit more?

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    • #3
      Hi, Kryten. 4,000 Series, I believe?

      Anyway, VP4 has always been considered the true snooker sim - it's the one the true snooker sim fans go to - the real deal. I've always wanted it, but up until now haven't had a PC that could run it decently. Today I took the plunge and bought it from Steam and it's quite incredible. If you're looking for a proper sim you can't do any better than this. I'd stick with it.
      "Kryten, isn't it round about this time of year that your head goes back to the lab for retuning?"

      Comment


      • #4
        4000 series indeed

        That's good, it just seemed a little odd there was so little mention of it. I still do play it quite often, it's rather relaxing!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kryten View Post
          4000 series indeed

          That's good, it just seemed a little odd there was so little mention of it. I still do play it quite often, it's rather relaxing!
          I'm sure I'll tire of it eventually, but right now I'm still being quietly blown away by it. I've tweaked my gameplay settings to perfection, so that it's as close to RL as possible. With the snooker addon for Pure Pool, I had no incentive or desire to get better, because I never really felt like I was having a game of snooker. VP4 is so much better, though, and for that reason I'm determined to improve.
          "Kryten, isn't it round about this time of year that your head goes back to the lab for retuning?"

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