Pure Pool Review (Xbox One)
Do you remember the glory days of flash internet games? I’m talking before Facebook, before smart phones and before Farmville, where all the games were essentially remakes of classic arcade games. I remember them, and particularly I remember playing a lot of pool games. Even on my first colour screen mobile phone the main game I played was a pool game, though the name of it escapes me. But it has been a while. Fortunately Pure Pool is here to fill the void.
First off the game looks fantastic. From the loading scene moving through the pool hall down to the reflections on the ball and smoothness of the tables surface. A constant ambience of chatter from the bar alongside some lovely background music add to the feeling of the environment. Unfortunately, when you hit the start button and the menu if presented that pleasant feeling is quickly ripped away. The UI is very basic in looks and functionality, but at least you can’t get lost in the menus. There are a few different game modes to choose from here.
Career mode has you challenging opponents on a career tree in either the 8-ball or 9-ball discipline. Each match has three targets for you to achieve and completing each grants you a star. You need so many stars to progress, so sometimes you will be replaying a match to further complete the tasks even if you already beat the opponent. There are a few side games on the career tree which will be a selection from the skill games.
Skill games allow you to practice your shots in different styles. You’ll either be trying to pot all the balls in as quick a time as possible, or successfully pot a ball on each consecutive shot. Other opponent based quick games include killer and accumulator, and while there is no career mode for it you can also play the European style black ball.
Pure Pool has some customisation to it too. You unlock different cues as you progress your experience level, and you can also pick your table surface pattern and colour. There are a bunch of awards you can earn from every game too such as winning while your opponent still has 4 balls on the table, or winning by only potting in the corner pockets, potting 5 in a row, coming back to win from being 4 balls behind, etc. etc. Some of these awards are pretty challenging to say the least, so a lot of work will need to be put in to collect the whole set.
Pure Pool has a very pick up and play nature, to the point where you are actually put straight onto a practise table when you start the game before opening the menu, similar to the arena mode that used to be in FIFA. The “Quick Play” game mode should have you jumping into online games with other players, however I have yet to actually play a game against another human. Pure Pool makes an AI of your play style, similar to how Forza makes a drivatar for you, so if you don’t find any opponents online you can at least play someones AI equivalent. However, I would like to actually play another human at some point…
Pure Pool is a great arcade game that looks better than it deserves to. The physics are flawless, down to the frustrating pocket bouncer shots. The lack of opponents to play online is a bit of a disappointment, especially when you can see by leaderboards that there are plenty of players out there. However, there are plenty of options to get you on the table, and the pick up and play feel is perfect for this type of game.
4 balls knocked off the table out of 5Pure Pool Review (Xbox One),