When Archer Maclean and Jimmy White team up, there's no casual bar sport they can't simulate!
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game reviews are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. Let's try out those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Awesome Developments
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows
So full disclosure, I had no idea who Jimmy White was until I did a little research for this game. Turns out he's a pool champion. It's kind of funny though that they emphasize Jimmy White in the advertising considering I think most people would be like me and have no idea who he was. But hey, I also had no idea who Tony Hawk was when his skateboarding games first came out, so who am I to judge.
Pool Paradise sees you travel to a tropical island to engage in a series of billiard matches against various disembodied hands. Yes, your opponents are supposed to be various individuals, yet their bodies are never rendered, just their hands. Makes for an interesting and weird feel as the hands wander around the table on their turn, considering which shot to take.
As far as the gameplay goes, Pool Paradise is actually a pretty good pool game. The physics feel smooth and accurate. It's fun to line up your shots and try to eyeball exactly where to aim. And the computer opponents are reasonable, not too hard, not too easy. All in all the gameplay behind Pool Paradise is actually quite good!
Now if that was all Pool Paradise had to offer, I may only partially recommend the game. However, Pool Paradise is more than just a great pool game. It's a game that has tons of charm and personality. Your opponents range from secret agents to magical monsters, and each has funny descriptions. You borrow money from a loan shark at the start of the game who is a literal shark. On top of the personality, Pool Paradise really does simulate being on a tropical island. You walk through the island when you switch between menus, and you constantly see the beach in the background as you play pool. There are even day/night cycles as you play. On top of THAT, there are tons of things to unlock. Be it laser sights for enhanced aiming while you play, uniquely shaped pool tables for creative matches, or a variety of other mini-games, Pool Paradise will keep you coming back with its sheer amount of extra content.
So I guess Jimmy White wasn't messing around when he recommended this game. Because guess what, Gaming Jay also recommends it. Pool Paradise is a great pool game with a ton of options, ton of personality, and ton of extras to unlock. Give it a try!
➙ Must You Play It?
Pool Paradise is a great pool game with a ton of options, ton of personality, and ton of extras to unlock. There's a lot to like here and a lot of exploration to do. Definitely give this one a try!