Review: Snooker Nation Championship (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Snooker Nation Championship
Format: PSN (2 GB)
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Publisher: Cherry Pop Games
Developer: Cherry Pop Games
Original MSRP: $10.99 (US) £7.39 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI Rating: 3
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

This is going to show my age a bit, but I can still remember playing Snooker by Amsoft on my Amstrad CPC 464, and holding some paper to the (curved) monitor to line up a very pixelated shot. My five-year-old brain would get very frustrated that this technique wouldn’t always work, I would even try compensating for the curve.

Gameplay:
Snooker Nation Championship looks as if it could have been a licensed game, it just needed a change of assets and some Snooker players to hold the ghostly cues. Being able to play as, or against, the amazing Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry would have made this game much better.

Sadly, there isn’t a real snooker player in sight; actually, there is only a tiny image of your opponent in the menu screen. Aside from when the game occasionally glitches and the cue either disappears or becomes frozen in place, it feels quite lonely next to the table. There is an audience but they even glitch and become eerily silent.

I can remember an old Snooker game that featured some disembodied hands of the ref, which placed the balls back on their marks and occasionally polished the cue ball. It was a neat little feature. Sadly, there is just a voice uttering the score or informing the player of a foul. Just like the others, it too glitches and refuses to say anything.

All of the above has occurred on more than one occasion, and the last time also resulted in the game seizing up. Luckily, I only had to restart the match, but it was a pain, as I had effectively won the frame with almost one hundred points.

In-game money is earned by doing pretty much anything, and can be spent on a few new locations, some cloth decals, cues, and several celebrations. I don’t really like the idea of plastering the table with a massive picture. The assortment of cues and locations is nice so I’ll probably unlock some of them.

I would have been surprised if achieving a maximum break of 147 wasn’t one of the Trophies. It seems to be the hardest one to obtain in the ultimate goal of the Platinum. This is one I will go for as it just needs a bit of patience.

Visuals:
Snooker Nation runs on the Unreal 4 engine and does a great job of delivering a smooth and minutely detailed game of Snooker. The audience looks good, as do the unmanned cameras.

The detail on the table, balls, and cues is brilliant. However, I did notice a rare oddity with the lights and reflection on the close-up slow-motion shot as a ball is sunk. It was extremely rare and not much of an issue when it did occur.

I see no way of changing my plain boring silhouetted avatar. Can you remember when everyone used the PS3 camera to take pictures to use as their avatar? Those were the days.

Audio:
Snooker Nation does feature a tiny bit of menu music that is very reminiscent of the popular BBC TV intro for Snooker that I’ve heard over the years. During the game, it’s very quiet, partly due to the aforementioned glitches, but mainly due to the stubbornly obedient audience who doesn’t murmur or cough.

Online/Multiplayer:
There is an online mode, however, I have not been able to find any other players. I created a game and was delighted to find the ability to practice, which helped to alleviate the boredom. Sadly, no other players ever showed up and so I had to give up.

I can play online with a friend, but none of them own this game.

Conclusion:
Snooker Nation Championship isn’t the worst Snooker game I’ve played in recent years and overall it does a good job, just not a great one. The graphics are great, the controls are good, and I have spent several hours plowing my way through the Championship before noticing any issues.

Yes, the bugs and glitches can be annoying and force a restart of the current frame but it never deterred me from jumping back in and pulling off some awesome shots and getting out of a few devilish snookers.

If you love the Snooker then I would give this a shot, otherwise wait until it gets patched or the price drops enough.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook