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Review: Snooker 19 (Xbox One)By ringlord71 At 11.05.2019 10:34

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Snooker 19 delivers on exactly what it's supposed to, and that's the snooker experience. Whether taking control of one of the pros, or rising through the ranks as one of the rookies, the career mode will take challengers through various tournaments found in the real life season 2018/2019. While other option sounds like they could be awesome, they are really just simple matchups that repeat against different opposition. While playing through a series of snooker tables is the namesake of the title, career mode does lack a certain flair that is commonly found in other sports titles. For instance, there is no option to upgrade players, and there doesn't seem to be any sort of attributes associated with any of the challengers on offer.

Because of this, and despite the 128 different players in the game, they all feel and play the same; without any of their personalities or charm coming through. Sure, all the players are scanned off their real-life counterparts, and they look impressive in-game. However, once the action begins to play, it quickly becomes known that there really is no point selecting one player over another, as they neither have any advantages against their opposition in the game. This is the big reason why playing this can feel repetitive quite quickly.

Playing the actual game of snooker is simple. The action takes place across three views. The first view allows you to align their ball strike with one of the red or coloured balls on the table. There are trajectory lines on the table that signal where both balls may end up, allowing a bit of planning ahead with these things. The cue speed of hitting the ball can also be adjusted. Once the first view has been decided, then it switches to a closer view on the table, just so the snooker champion can adjust the minute details. Then, the third view goes into a cool TV-shot, where you are about the hit the ball. Doing so is as simple as flicking the right stick back, and then thrusting it forward when the on-screen marker reaches a certain point on screen.

It's a simple mechanic that is easy to learn from the outset, and quickly becomes second nature on the battlefieldā€¦ err, snooker table. After all, snooker appears to be a simple thing; line up the ball strike, then thrust the cue and pot the balls for points to defeat the different, but same opponents. In addition to the offline career modes that don't feel any different to each other, there is an online mode that allows for unranked matches as well as a ranked tournament mode.

The gameplay itself is clean; from the character designs and the table layout, right through to the arenas themselves. Though there are the occasional graphical glitches where players get stuck in the table, which is a shame as it ruins the otherwise realistic feel to it. Perhaps Snooker 19 is a little bit too clean, or rather, it just doesn't seem to be filled with enough content to elevate this title to the premium go-to game for Snooker fans around the world. Maybe in future iterations there may be more content or modes added in that will help to make this the ultimate snooker experience.

Matches are commentated by Neal Foulds and David Hendon, and they help to add further polish to the look and feel of the snooker experience. They also help heighten the stakes of the matches themselves, and the TV cameras set up in front of the tables further help to add that "professional" appeal to the game. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there were a lot of lines recorded for the commentators to say, and as such, it is common for them to repeat the same lines in the same match. Because of this unfortunately, the commentary does get old fast and they can start to become a bit irritating.

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Final Score
[i]Snooker 19[/i] is hardly the perfect snooker experience, but there aren't too many other options to help scratch that itch either. It helps that it has the official licence of the World Snooker Tour, so it does have that extra polish of featuring actual players, real arenas, and real-life tournaments. Sadly, the two career modes hardly feel different to each other, and the players don't develop during the season due to a lack of stats or attributes to differentiate players from each other. Playing against the AI shows that, despite the cast of 128+ characters, they are all different skins of the same athlete, with no varying strategies, which is a shame - but, there is online mode for the professionals who wish to take their snooker experience to the next level.

6

/10

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