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Pocket Pool (PSP) artwork

Pocket Pool (PSP) review


"HyperDevbox Japan surely set out to do something different, by giving us ‘erotic pool.’ The word on the street is that publishers Conspiracy and Eidos sought to use the Girls Gone Wild license and do something really distinct, but talks fell through. As such, we’re stuck with a random collection of stills and short video clips of nude models and outright porn stars as our erotic content."




I see your stick is already up.


No, seriously. This is how over-the-top cheesy things get with Pocket Pool. Captain Obvious toiled long and hard on the ‘script’, which features such snappy double entendres as the one above. But you knew that subtlety was not the order of the day: you’re here to crack balls and see boobs.

And you’ll be disappointed on both counts.

The unfortunate thing is that it wouldn’t have taken much more effort to have a winner here. After all, cue sports are well suited to portable gaming; the inherent pick-up-and-play nature of a game of pocket billiards can theoretically be a nice little distraction while you’re on a trip, or on the can. So it should come as no surprise that the PSP has quite a few pool games on offer. What’s surprising is that outside of the World Snooker titles, which are fairly respected (but apparently only available in Europe), the lot of them is abysmal.


And now we can safely count Pocket Pool among that lot. HyperDevbox Japan surely set out to do something different, by giving us ‘erotic pool.’ The word on the street is that publishers Conspiracy and Eidos sought to use the Girls Gone Wild license and do something really distinct, but talks fell through. As such, we’re stuck with a random collection of stills and short video clips of nude models and outright porn stars as our erotic content.

This is what we’re playing for.


I’d like to say we’re playing because we like a good game of 9-ball, but Pocket Pool doesn’t offer a good game of 9-ball. Sure, all the basic features are here: multiple play modes, from straight pool to snooker; multiple camera angles to best track your ball; the ability to change the angle at which your cue strikes the ball (including using ‘English’); and a variety of trash-talking characters, ball designs, cue types and tables. Sadly, all the expected ingredients amount to very little when dodgy ball physics keep the game from playing true (back spin is unpredictable, the ball comes off the rails on bank shots like greased lightning, etc).

And maybe the designers knew this. Maybe this is where the sexy comes in.




But the sexy here can’t carry the team. On the one hand, there is a plethora of pictures of pretty girls to unlock through winning matches. A veritable smorgasbord of nubile flesh to behold. Though on the other hand, the girls aren’t ever actually nude. You’ll see risqué stuff like t-back g-strings and sheer tops, but not overt, real, honest-to-goodness nudity. Let’s think about that for a moment, to let it really sink in.



Pocket Pool, while furnishing over a dozen play modes (variety in play modes is nice) and inconsistent physics (unreliable potting isn’t so nice) isn’t trying to stand out for its modes or quality of play. It’s trying to stand out for bringing the heat. And so when you consider that a clothed Jenna Haze is part of the draw here, you have to ask yourself two questions:

1. When was the last time you saw Jenna Haze clothed? AND
2. Why is it a ‘feature’ seeing her presented as such here?




If you’re serious, you’ll grab one of those Snooker titles I was referring to earlier, but you mightn’t live in Liverpool, so you won’t be able to. (For you, there’s The Hustle, which apparently isn’t very good, but it should be better than this.) Because you’re too smart to spend money to play weak sauce billiards for the promise of seeing hot girls in clothes, that you could normally see nude for free. Right?




Rating: 3/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (December 30, 2010)

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CoarseDragon posted December 31, 2010:

You probably already know but vspace and hspace will give you some space between your text and the screenshots.

Anyway good review.
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Masters posted December 31, 2010:

Thanks.

I actually know nothing of the formatting; Emp does it for me.

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