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As much fun as I had, Maximum Pool isn't a game I would own, and unless you're dying for the next game of virtual 8-ball, it's unlikely that readers will be interested in this game. Still, for what it's worth, Maximum Pool, with it's online play and easy interface, is a solid Dreamcast pool game.
Maximum Pool‘s biggest selling point is Sega’s now-familiar Online Multiplayer logo attached to the top corner of its case, and if that’s your main attraction to the game, you won’t be disappointed. The network code seems extremely stable, and the large roster of waiting players is made all the more attractive thanks to basically lag-free play. Should single-player pool be more your focus, this offering won’t really live up to its name. A solid selection of games and an impressive AI are hampered by spartan visuals, a soundtrack the redefines the word “limited” and annoying vocal samples that will have you fumbling for the options screen after only a few matches. All told, this is a fairly solid recreation of billiards, but it fails to capture the complete experience of the sport.
All in all I really enjoyed Maximum Pool, far more than the offerings provided in the last couple of years. It's easy, fun, and online. What more do you need to know?
Maximum Pool doesn't really max out the Dreamcast in any way, shape, or form. But then, Average Pool wouldn't be nearly as inviting a title. If you're looking for something to play online, Maximum Pool does the job, albeit without any bells or whistles.
Pool on a console is a tricky thing: It's hard to generate appeal in a game in which all you have to do is line up some angles, adjust power and press a button. However, as long as the game delivers some of the feel of playing in a pool hall, there's hope. While Maximum Pool is technically quite good, the single-player feel just isn't quite there. It does, however, shine in its support for online play over SegaNet, where players can attempt to outshoot each other. Combined with a Dreamcast keyboard for chatting, that makes the game at least marginally entertaining, but still not quite enough to make it a must-buy on even a pool fan's list.
We love reviewing games like Maximum Pool. It makes us feel like we're performing a public service, playing bad games so you won't have to. And this is a very bad game. A disturbing medley of poor programming, hideous graphics and general lack of ambition makes this title one of the most pathetic excuses for a videogame we've played in quite some time.