Developer: VooFoo Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Also on: N/A (PlayStation 3 exclusive)
Console Played On: PlayStation 3
Release Date: 22nd December 2009
Age Rating: N/A
Pool (and snooker for that matter) games are few and far between on consoles, with only Bankshot Billiards on XBLA and WSC Real being the biggest ones out there, so VooFoo Studios could well clean up with their PSN game, Hustle Kings.
Initial impressions with the game are good. You’re offered the chance to undergo the tutorial to learn the basic controls, and as you progress through it, pull off shots that involve jumping over other balls or swerving the cue ball around them. It’s a comprehensive introduction to the game but in no ways outstays it’s welcome.
Making a pool game may be relatively straightforward but Hustle Kings is extremely well polished. The ball physics are extremely realistic (both from hitting off the cushion and off other balls) and the speed of the game is spot on unlike the games you can partake in Home.
The offline play includes one-off matches against the computer and also a reasonably expansive career mode for a PSN game with 4 difficulty levels and a variety of pool games in the career. The online mode for Hustle Kings is a thriving place, at time of writing there was just over 28,000 people online playing the game so you can be sure to find someone to play.
Final Thoughts: Sensibly priced at £6.29, the game isn’t going to break the bank by any means and offers lots of bang for your buck. There is an abundance of things to do in the game both on and offline, this is a title that could well keep you engrossed for many a month if you’re into your billards.
Hustle Kings offers the ability to upload videos to YouTube, the opportunity to gloat with friends at some of the shots you pull off is at your fingertips. Be glad too for the inclusion of custom soundtracks because there is only one word for the in-game music. Crap. So be sure to load up your HDD with some tunes of your own.
Gameplay: 9 – Feels like pool. Well weighted controls (you’ve a choice of two methods) along-side accurate physics ensure you can’t blame the game if you cannot pull of a shot.
Graphics: 10 – As real as pool is going to look.
Sound: 6 – The stock music in the game is dire, you’d do well to load up your PS3 with some MP3′s of your own. Sounds for hitting the ball and such are spot on.
Overall: 8 – “If you like pool, you’ll like this” is the sort of thing that this review could’ve ended on but actually it might as well do, as it’s true. The game isn’t really going to pull in people with no interest in the sport, but for those it does capture, you’re in for a treat, especially considering the low price.