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World Snooker Championship 2005 PlayStation 2

Published by SEGA
Developed by Blade Interactive Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

World Snooker Championship 2005, an introduction.

In recent years there has only been one quality Snooker series on PC and the consoles and that series is World Championship Snooker. The series was published by Codemasters and developed by Blade Interactive Studios. This year sees a change of publisher, to SEGA, and a slight tweak in the name to World Snooker Championship. Essentially though what we have here is a refinement of the World Championship Snooker series and it's a game that has the edge on those previous titles.

What's the game about?

World Snooker Championship 2005 attempts to place you in the world of snooker. You'll begin by creating your own character, customising your appearance and clothes etc. Then you'll have a choice of playing Exhibition games, Tours, Championships, Coaching, Trickshots and Custom Tournaments. Should you fancy a change from snooker you have plenty of options. Doubles, Bar Billiards, Billiards, Pool and Snooker Plus are all on offer. Online play also makes a return so you can truly aim to be the greatest 'virtual' snooker player.

What's good about the game?

World Snooker Championship 2005 does a great job of creating a believable world of snooker. In fact for a snooker enthusiast you could be playing the game for months in your attempt to become the World Snooker Champion. This year you'll find that you can use the right analogue stick as a virtual cue. Taking a shot is just a question of moving the right analogue stick back and forth. It works to a certain degree but it lacks the precision of the default button pressing mode and indeed of the mouse swing that you could use in the Virtual Pool (and Virtual Snooker) games that appeared on the PC.

What's not so good about the game?

The biggest disappointment is the lack of support for deaf gamers in this year's version (see below). Other than that the only other complaints are with the lack of differences from last year's game. There are problems with snooker itself rather than the game which can be a little off-putting. Snooker is not a game of great pace and matches can drag on a bit. Sitting there whilst your AI opponent takes his shot (and goes on to do a big break) can be tedious. Your options to speed the process up are, to completely skip your opponent shots or to turn off the character animations. The latter choice is preferable as the former choice doesn't give you the impression of playing against anyone.

How does it look?

Blade Interactive had already created a great looking snooker game with their previous attempts and World Snooker Championship somehow manages to look that little bit better. You'll notice more active environments with other people going about their business whilst you play the game (when you're not playing in a tournament of course). The character graphics look good and both the tables and the balls themselves look superb. There is noticeable slowdown when shots are taken though but this doesn't spoil the game in any way.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

World Championship Snooker 2004 was subtitled, so it's a little surprising that World Snooker Championship 2005 isn't subtitled. Previously the coaching, trick shots and matches were subtitled and you could enjoy the excellent commentary. World Snooker Championship 2005 offers no subtitles at all though and it's a major step back for the game as far as deaf gamers are concerned. The trick shot and coaching modes are practically useless thanks to them not being subtitled. All information outside of the game is shown in text but this is a small consolation.

Final thoughts.

In short this is the most promising effort from Blade Interactive to date but it's more of a refinement than a vast improvement. The game of snooker has never been so accurately interpreted on the PlayStation 2. However the improvements over last year's game are only minor and when you couple that with the fact that subtitles have been removed this year it results in a disappointing experience for deaf gamers.

 

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

(Click here for full details)

Another great snooker game from Blade Interactive but unfortunately there are no subtitles this time around which takes the shine off the game for deaf gamers.