Archer Maclean's Pool Paradise - Xbox

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Archer Maclean's Pool Paradise (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Pool
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ignition Entertainment Soft. Co.: Awesome Play
Publishers: Ignition Entertainment (GB)
Released: 23 Apr 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


As few and far between as they are, it's true to say that in most cases, virtual pool simulators rarely lack in quality and gameplay. There may only be a small market for them, but players are usually left believing they've had their money's worth. The same can be said for Archer MacLean's Pool Paradise for Xbox.

In what is a themed pool experience, you find yourself in the South Pacific on an exotic beach that happens to be littered with pool tables. For a pool player, it's paradise, and if that's not enough, you can even play Skeepool, Darts and the original Dropzone arcade game.

But as the title implies, the core of the game lies on the pool table, and Pool Paradise demonstrates just how extensive and convincing such games can be. There are five modes of play, 11 rule sets, an array of table sizes and shapes, tournaments, a dynamic camera, 30 computer characters and some brilliant animation. It's great stuff, but that's all options and eye-candy.

To pool aficionados, it's all about gameplay. The balls need to roll in a realistic fashion and they should react to the table cushions accordingly. Sidespin, backspin and topspin must work as they do in the real-life sport, and the power put behind a shot should be reflected in what happens on the table. Pool Paradise does all this, and that's what makes it worthwhile.

Pool Paradise would probably be a great game even without the underlying ball physics and realism. Awesome couldn't go wrong really, but they should be commended nonetheless. It's all good.