Previews

Rack it up — Pool Nation FX preview

Billiards is a classic and fun experience, real or otherwise, and is something that my generation’s childhood was typically littered with.  Pre-teen hangout spots, friend’s parent’s basements, and particularly nice pizza parlors were all bastions of the simple and addictive game.  In the early days of the internet, computer pool games were very popular in school computer labs and classrooms alike, and so for me, a chance to play a good game of pool is always appreciated.  Pool Nation FX is the latest in the long history of digital billiards, and the first impressions on the title are mostly positive.

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Pool Nation FX boasts some incredible graphics, and that is the first thing you’ll notice, especially if you aren’t running on a high-spec machine.  Everything is gloriously detailed, right down to the felt on the table and the shine of the colored balls.  This is both a fantastic feature and a real drawback all at once.  Certainly those who can run such a powerful graphical display are going to be delighted to view such beautiful graphics while playing the game, but those with standard computers are simply not going to be able to play the game.  For many titles this is expected, but for a billiards game, this is a little bit extreme.

The game is played in large halls, and promises multiple locations that will further mix up the already very dynamic and living surroundings you are placed in for game play.  The actual gameplay itself works very well.  Pool Nation FX gives a lot of control to the player in terms of where and how to shoot, and the visual indicators for power and aiming seem to work very well in concert with one another.

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With multiple game modes and tournament style play, Pool Nation FX appears to have a decent amount of replayability, and the difficult nature of the computer opponents definitely skews towards a more experienced player.  Overall, Pool Nation FX appears to be more a luxury-style version of a billiards game, designed for rich executives with powerful computers who want to take a little time playing a layman’s game without actually getting down in the dirt with them.  Those youngsters in my local pool hall who have grown into success will likely enjoy this bit of powerful, stylized, and quite functional billiards play.

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