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Review: World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08 - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 19 December 2007, 14:28

Tags: World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08, Koch Media, DS, Sports

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Final Frame

Nevertheless, there's no denying that taking your turn on the table is good fun and thumbs-up to the developers for getting the ball physics spot-on, providing all the options you need to make a decent break and incorporating the dual-screen mode effectively.

Unfortunately, there is one problem which has really held back my enjoyment of World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08, although you could look at it from different viewpoints. The problem is that the opponent AI is far too good. Of course this could be seen as a challenge to some people, whereas others will just give up after witnessing yet another huge break from the opponent, but personally it annoyed the hell out of me.

Each player is meant to have his own unique ability based on real personal abilities, yet whether you’re playing Joe Bloggs in round one of the China Open or Stephen Hendrie in the Masters they all seem to have the same skill level. I’ve been playing this game on and off for a couple of weeks now, yet I’ve only won one frame. Believe me I’ve been taking my time over every shot and sometimes have spent more than ¾ hour on one frame, yet one miss and my opponent will often just clean up. This doesn’t happen every time, it obviously depends if you leave him a pot on or not, but if you do want to take a risk and go for a long or awkward pot, the punishment for missing is that he’ll probably put the rest of the balls away. The more I’ve played the game, the more I’ve got used to the unforgiving AI and have therefore opted to play safe when normally, in real-life or in other snooker games, I may have risked a tough shot.

To make matters worse, and despite there being an option to skip watching your opponent, you still have to watch his entire break, unless you go into the menu and quit. It doesn’t actually let you skip the action at all, it only let’s you skip the part that leads up to your opponent taking his shot. This means that you inevitably have to sit through numerous 50+ breaks, which maybe fun to watch on the TV, but certainly aren’t on the DS.

Graphically, World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08 is pretty sharp, after all it’s only a bit of green felt and a few coloured balls, but they’ve also done a decent job at making the players look like their real-life counterparts, once again giving the game a touch of authenticity.

I play a bit of snooker myself and the main thing that stood out for me in World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08 was the accuracy of the ball physics and the way that the balls react as they should do when they hit others or bounce of the sides of the table. If you’re a fan of snooker you will get a lot of satisfaction out of achieving a decent break because it does require lots of patience and skill, but the fact that there’s no Wi-fi means that you’ll have to keep taking on those tough computer opponents.

World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08 does show great promise and Blade Interactive has laid down a solid foundation for future snooker iterations on the hand-held, but as it stands, it doesn’t quite hit the spot in terms of quality; it's just too damn hard - and for me it kinda spoils what could have been a brilliant game of snooker whilst on the move. Blade Interactive has been making pool and snooker games on various platforms since 2005 and there first attempt at a DS conversion is still an impressive one. It bodes well for their next game and if they can balance the AI out and perhaps make better use of the stylus then it’ll be worth a punt. I’d still recommend World Snooker Championship Season 2007-08 to snooker fans that are looking to play their favourite game on the move, but a word of warning, expect one hell of challenge.

Good use of dual-screen
Great ball physics
Virgo commentary

Stylus could have been put to better use
Too difficult, AI balancing issues
Can’t fully skip opponent breaks

A decent snooker sim for when you’re on the move, but expect a serious challenge

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