|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||POOL HUSTLER|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Pool Sim||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||October 1998||Standard Joypad|
Setting the Scene
Pool Hustler is about as realistic as a game could be regarding the seldom heard of sleazy world of pool hustling. You can go from pool hall to pool hall meeting characters that you wouldn't think could kick your butt on the table.. but just may end up surprising you. You start out against a young punk called Joe. Don't be fooled by his playing ability as each opponent is programmed to lure you in, then take all your dough. You will need to hone all your skills, as you will be called upon to face twelve tough opponents while you travel through the dimly lit back streets. Your goal is to hustle all comers, advancing from each city to become the ultimate pool shark.
Pool Hustler is a simulated pool game using realistic geometry to hustle each player out of his or her money. It is a one or two player game with many game modes such as 8 ball, 9 ball and rotation. You can challenge up to 12 players in 2D (top down view) or 3D graphics.
I though the use of light sourcing on the balls and table to present that realistic "feel" was quite good, while all of the ball colors were very bright and realistic. I was also impressed by the reflection of light off the balls, cue stick, and table. The field of vision on and around the table was quite good. The overall look of the game was adequate enough for a sports title where little or no other movement was going on around you. There was very little evidence of pixilation mostly due to the fact that movement in the game is only on the table. However it was noticeable occasionally on and around the inner edges of the table. I didn't like the fact that the characters were all static and there was virtually no background movement. Generally I felt the players moved quite slowly and methodically through the entire game. There was a small amount of FMV showing some players at the beginning of the game, but I was hoping for a bit more.
Sounds and Effects
Even though the music changes at each level I felt the it should have been pumped up a little bit more. What I really needed was something to psyche me up... some typical bar music, rock etc, therefore I choose to turn it off. The overall sound of the balls at the break, the rolling on the table and actual strikes were as good as it gets. If you listen closely you can even hear the balls rolling down the throat of the table after they are in sunk the pockets.
This is the first video pool game I have ever played and found it to be quite a challenge. I recommend trying the practice mode for a while to get use to the angles of the shots and lay of the table. There are lots of various options just like in real pool where you can add english to the ball, jump shots, etc. But that is not your only obstacle. Each player you will meet along the way becomes increasingly more difficult. I liked the basic layout the game provided in the wide array of modes and the various options it provided. Also in story mode you can set the difficulty level. I suggest that you stick to amateur for a couple of racks till you get the hang of it. In storymode you begin at the local pool hall where you will be challenged by a pool hustler wanna-be. Once you place your bet and kick his ass it's on to the next pool hall and a progressively more difficult player. Each pool hall has it's own distinctive pool table and musical theme associated with it. This makes the one-player game much more interesting and interactive. The game can move along at a fairly fast or slow pace depending on your skill level. I felt the challengers could have picked up the pace a little bit and there are too many practice strokes (4 to be exact). Two-player games are fun as well allowing you to go one on one against a friend. Getting into the Trick shot option is also a lot of fun. Just try popping a ball off the table! Overall I found Pool Hustler to be a nice little diversion but certainly not one of your typically action packed sports titles. It does successfully fill a void in the Playstation library though and is worth checking out.
Value for Money
Overall, Pool Hustler is a good bang for the buck. It presents a constant challenge for any player, no matter what skill level player you are. I would have liked to see a bit more action going on in the bar and also the use of some third person action to give the game a bit more atmosphere. Well, maybe in Pool Hustler 2.
if you are looking for a smoky poolroom with gorgeous babes, loud music
and pretzels on the floor Pool Hustler is not the game for you.
On the other hand, if you are looking to relax crack open your favorite beverage, a bag of Doritos and have a few hours of fun then Pool Hustler will provide with its various array of characters and play modes.