Archer Maclean's Pool Paradise - PS2

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Archer Maclean's Pool Paradise (PS2)
Also for: PC, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Pool
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Awesome Play Soft. Co.: Ignition Entertainment
Publishers: Ignition Entertainment (GB)
Released: 2 Apr 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only


Any aficionado of the snooker sim will instantly be familiar with the name Archer MacLean - the man behind Awesome Developments and, more importantly, the company's flagship Jimmy White games. His latest offering brings us a virtual take on everyone's favourite pub sport - pool - complete with a host of different game modes, plenty of mini-games, and, of course, the familiar Jimmy White signature emblazoned on the cover. Welcome to Pool Paradise.

Not just a simple pool sim, the game comes complete with a rather strange story that ties everything together: you find yourself shipwrecked and penniless on a desert island in the South Pacific and it just so happens that that scattered around the beach are a variety of pool tables and sub-games. There are also a load of would-be opponents knocking around, which, if you are ever going to improve your financial situation, you must challenge, beat, and subsequently win some cash from. When you feel you're good enough you can enter the competition hut and start climbing the championship ladder.

In total, Pool Paradise features 11 different sets of pool rules, including US and UK 8 Ball, 9 Ball, 10 Ball, 14:1 Rotation, Killer, and a bizarre hybrid by the name of Bowliards. As well as this, there's also the aptly-named Crazy Table hut, which is full of exotic shaped tables with varying physical behaviour. If you find yourself tiring of the whole pool idea then not to worry, as you can always take a break and have some fun with one of the mini games, which include the second pub favourite - darts - and a Dropzone (one of Archer's earlier games) arcade, found on the beach pontoon.

Pool Paradise is pretty much as comprehensive a pool sim as you're likely to find. At the core of the game lies an extremely realistic physics engine - something that's long been synonymous with the Jimmy White series - and garnishing it is a host of variations, added features and extras. If pool for your PS2 is something that you've been hankering after, you need look no further.