|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Icon Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: PlayLogic||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 9, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Other aspects of the presentation dont fare as well, unfortunately. Once you hit a ball, the camera can be quite herky-jerky as it tries to follow the action. The cheesy, lifeless blues-rock music grates in a hurry, and while you can customize a character and his crib, the other people shown here dont have much in the way of personality. The various venues (bars, etc.) lack detail and seem a bit sterile. For most casual players, pool goes hand-in-hand with raucous rock n roll tunes, friendship, beer, and cigarette smoke, so its a shame that a game so well-done in other ways could fail to evoke this atmosphere. The minor typographical errors prevalent in the text, including backwards quotation marks (one characters nickname is presented as Wirlwind), are a more minor problem.
For those who were disappointed by Wii Plays lack of billiards options, Pool Hall Pro offers loads of possibility. Theres a career mode where you enter tournaments, an arcade mode where you face a series of foes, a simple exhibition option, and multiplayer. The games on offer are U.S. 8-ball, U.K. 8-ball, 6-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, 15-ball, pub, Snooker, 6-ball Snooker, 10-ball Snooker, and basic pocket billiards. Its a great variety for those familiar with pool, and a great way for newcomers to learn the ropes of games theyve never heard of.
Overall, this is a decent game; it has a lot of positive qualities and options galore, and while there are quite a few flaws, none ruin the whole experience. Video game pool will probably never be quite as fun as the real deal, and future games will hopefully get closer than Pool Hall Pro does, but for now, its a reasonable approximation at a reasonable cost. Given the mounds of shovelware that various developers and publishers have heaped on the Wii lately, were happy with that.
CCC Freelance Writer