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Pool Paradise is, by far, the best pool and billiards simulator I have ever played. The immaculate graphics and flawless physics engine are complimented perfectly by an incredible aiming and shooting system, all for about twenty bucks! This is the game for snooker and video game enthusiasts alike. Chalk up your cue, rack your balls and get ready for Pool Paradise.
One of the ultimate tests of a video game is whether or not it can take someone completely unfamiliar to a genre, and make him or her an instant fan of it. Pool Paradise is the game that can do just that. Pool Paradise is one of those games you can pick up one year after you put it down and still get into it and pick the controls back up no sweat. From the easy to learn controls, to the clever graphical and aesthetic touches, to the simple fact that there are dodos in the game, you’ll find that for twenty bucks, this title is well worth the money.
With nearly a dozen game variations, ten tables, ten tournaments, five game modes, and thirty opponents, Pool Paradise is the encyclopedic compilation of all things “pool”. Tack on an enjoyable selection of mini-games and you have one of the most pleasurable pastimes you can partake of on your GameCube.
Game Freaks 365
In today's world of picky gamers, a pool game without any extras is a waste of time. Fortunately for this crowd, PP delivers, once again. By earning cash and side bets, you can purchase additional tables and mini-games, which includes skeeball, darts, and Dropzone. With these extra features costing loads of cash, it will take weeks to unlock everything in this game, which is good, since you don't find many games like this. For the quality of this title, the bargain bin price tag is irresistible. If you own a GCN, pick this game up today, you won't regret it.
The maestro of the green baize, in terms of creating a snooker or pool game, is Archer Maclean. Having been around since day one on the gaming scene, and creating a number of classics, which include Snooker titles, some might say that this kind of game hasnât really moved on that much in the last few years and there is nothing more that the wizard of the small round balls can reinvent or improve on. A good pool games isnât always about being innovative, it could be about creating a pixel perfect, and physics accurate, stylish presentation that has endless hours of fun and a compelling challenge led game. Granted we have had a number of great Pool and Snooker games delivered over the last 18 months but none that has offered the full to bursting, slick and canât believe it is that good, definitive genre leader.
There are some drawbacks, like the obliged playing of all kinds of pool to unlock extras and the inability to skip your opponent’s turn. However, they can’t keep Pool Paradise from being a splendid game. The game’s core elements – cue control and ball physics – work so well, you’ll take any inconveniences into the bargain. In a world full of action games, Pool Paradise’s relaxed style is a welcome change.
Despite the oddities, the lackluster graphics, and the moronic character design, Pool Paradise is simply a great pool game that doesn’t disappoint.
Pool Paradise is one of those rare, surreptitious little games that drive you to fritter the hours of your life away playing it, without ever gaining so much as a clue as to what it's doing to you. Its puzzlingly addictive nature simply cannot be reasoned with, yet at the same time, it helps solidify the game as one of the best games of pool to come out on a console platform in many years. Even if you don't appreciate the game's offbeat sense of humor and strange presentational design, you simply cannot deny that it provides some of the most polished pool gameplay around, as well as an extremely deep inventory of pool games and bonus games, which also happen to be quite fun. Even if Pool Paradise weren't the only available pool game for the GameCube, it would still be a strong choice for any billiards fan.
Our gripes with the game still standing, Pool Paradise comes recommended to all billiards fanatics. Oppositely, gamers unsure about their love for pool may want to rent before they slap down the cash for the purchase.
Game Informer Magazine
Despite its pool in a paradise theme, Herve Villechaize wouldn't call this a fantasy island. The physics work well, and there's stuff to blow your money on, but I wanted that EA-like career progression. Hell, the skee-ball minigame didn't even really work! This game is average not because "it's just pool," but because Awesome Studios failed at the chance to make something definitive.
Overall, once you’ve managed to figure out enough to play the game there is some fun to be had, despite the aforementioned shortcomings and confusion. If you’re looking for a solid virtual pool experience however I honestly can’t recommend Pool Paradise, but unfortunately your options are rather limited if you only own a GameCube. Hopefully Ignition follows up with a sequel where they address the problems in Pool Paradise and deliver us a much more polished and easier to play game in the near future.
Pool Paradise may look like a homebrew video game, feature the most colossal collection of lame characters to interact with since Tao Feng, but the bones of this game are strong and solid. This plays an exceptional, nay incredible game of pool. Next time, team Archer Maclean's pool-game creation with Tecmo's Team Ninja and you'll have something that plays as good as it looks. For now, ignore the sub-par visuals, and feast your mind on the best ball-knocking game around. Not including pocket billiards.
Game Informer Magazine
So, even though the pool itself plays fine, the rest of the game, like the hands with conspicuously absent bodies, simply feels incomplete or unrealized.
While Pool Paradise may offer a solid game of videogame Pool, it lacks the appeal to keep gamers coming back. The controls are tight, the physics are spot on, but even with those positive traits, the game is just too slow paced to enjoy. At times I felt as if the only reason I kept playing was to write up this critique. I can’t imagine how others would react if they lacked this motivation.