46: Side Pocket

Genre: Pocket Billiards

Developer: Data East
Publisher: Data East
Year: 1987

Basic Idea: Become the best pool player in the world and get a girl to look at you longingly.

Review: Most people prefer Lunar Pool, which is more physics game than pocket billiards.  But despite the awesome idea, it pretty much bored me.  I’ve spent many hours playing Side Pocket despite some serious problems with the game mechanics.  You can play against a friend in 8-ball or 9-ball, or you can play solo and prove your worth to the world and some chick who follows you along to each tournament.  It’s a neat set-up, trying to win each level by pocketing balls consecutively and by number to earn points.  There’s also trick shots you have to make to advance as well.

Where the game falters are the actual shooting mechanics.  The most powerful shot in this game is still half as powerful as I can shoot in real life; thus, the break often leaves many balls still close together.  Worse yet, aiming is often futile, as you’re given maybe four spots on the ball to aim at; oftentimes, all four options leave it impossible for you to make a shot, when in reality there should almost always be a correct angle.

The SNES version is a little bit better, so there’s little reason to play this version even if you want to play an older pool game.  But it provided a lot of entertainment twenty-five years ago.

 

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2 thoughts on “46: Side Pocket

  1. I think I played about 5-10 minutes of this…at the time, I didn’t really see the point in playing something on Nintendo that I could play in real life (much better than I could play on a video game). That would still probably be true for a billiard game, since I’m still quite good at it in real life.

    There’s a billiard room on PlayStation Home with a fairly realistic game there. I haven’t gone to PlayStation Home in about a year, though…

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