released on Jun 01, 1992
by Data East
A remake of Side Pocket
Chalk up your cue stick and rack up those balls. Now get ready, get set, break! The balls scatter and the match is on... It's the Data East Pool Tournament Finals, and you're behind the 8-ball! It'll take a steady hand and a sharp eye to hustle your way to the top. Challenge your opponents to the ultimate game of skill, but you've got to stay cool... It's a green felt jungle out there!
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Played a lot with my parents when I was a kid, since it's easy to pick up and play even for elderly people and those who aren't into games in general.
The single player mode is good to some extent, since progress is tied to very specific and perfect executed plays, even requiring you to sink 4 balls in a single shot.
The soundtrack is outstanding and remarkable too, and it is to this day a very competent pool videogame.
When I was five years old I was at a pizza place with my family and I asked my dad what "pool" was and if I could play. He told me that he didn't want me to play, and something to the affect of "it's for grownups." I held onto this kind of mystique about billiards and the overall atmosphere of the game itself for years after, and I only ended up playing my actual first game of pool at a summer camp when I was in high school. After that, some friends and I would very casually play billiards in my friend's basement every so often. I was never any good, but there's something very special about the iconic sound of the billiards hitting each other and sinking into the pockets.
Side Pocket nails atmosphere and brings me right back to that pizza place when I was five, complete with a small animation of a woman wearing a pearl necklace smiling at you after every level and a pair of floating lips next to the words "Side Pocket" making me think that maybe my dad was right about pool being a game for adults. However, it's stinky to actually play, and there are better billiards video games out there nowadays.
Anyway I'm pretty sure the reason my dad didn't want me playing pool was either because my arms and legs were too short and I wouldn't have the hand-eye coordination to successfully play, or because he didn't want me goofing off and whacking anyone with the pool cue, which is absolutely in my character to do.
Me and my partner have a tradition of trying out any billiards game we can find. This one is of course no exception.
There's a simple beauty in playing a billiards video game with someone else. It's... special. It's comforting.
This one is pretty limited, angles can sometimes feel off, but it's very impressive for an early SNES game. It aged really well, still very enjoyable today.
For a frustratingly inaccurate pool game, this is strangely addictive and I think it's down to the games overall presentation. There's something majestically of its time about this. It gives me straight to video action movie or Star Trek holodeck episode vibes. The music and atmosphere feels like its own thing, with the gameplay being an added side note.
I played a few of the different levels (I guess), and each one gets a bit tougher as you go on, giving you chances to pot trick shots for extra points. Gameplay wise,it's quite rough. The accuracy is quite ropey. Sometimes you'll get a decent shot, but a lot of the times you feel like you're at the mercy of where about the white ball is in relation to what you're trying to pot because of the size of the cue guide and general hit detection. Yet I still found myself playing this till 1am last night.
Come for the pool, stay for the atmosphere.