World Snooker Championship 2005 PS2 Review

If gaming has taught this reviewer anything it’s that Snooker isn’t as boring as he once thought. Blade’s Simulation of the sport has shown him the errors of his ways, and he can now appreciate the deliberation that each individual places into the sport. In fact Snooker turns out to be a strategic and even exciting sport, and it’s all simulated well in the newly titled World Snooker Championship.

It may have virtually no competition to speak of, regardless of this; we feel that there could never be a more accurate representation of the sport then that of World Snooker Championship 2005.

Firstly, there’s little to criticize in the visual department, with everything looking incredibly authentic and near identical to its TV counterpart. The biggest improvement over the 2004 edition is the quality of the player models; they now appear less artificial and no longer look like they are wearing masks. It’s still the part that gives the game away as a virtual representation rather then the real thing.

Most importantly of all, the game appears to be almost entirely accurate, both with its impressive ball physics and target accuracy. By default you’ll receive some assistance from a pair of aiming aids, which gives you an idea of the direction and distance the cue ball and its coloured counterparts are set to journey in. If this eventually proves to be too easy for you, and the breaks are becoming too high, you could always set a new challenge for yourself, and banish the aiming aids altogether in the options screen. This makes proceedings even more “real” and splendid shots all the more fulfilling.

Speaking of real, another thing borrowed from reality is the intelligence of your opponents. What this means is that even the worse AI players, will knock up half decent breaks at the very least (these are the professionals after all) whilst the top level players will clear the table with ease. This has always been a problem with the series, and we’d prefer good old difficulty levels opposed to this painstaking realism any day. Diehard Snooker fans will most probably be content with this level of detail though, while the rest of us are left infuriated and with a few dents in our décors.

Everybody else should be content with the magnitude of options available (which also includes, Pool and Billiards), as they are quite simply staggering. There is so much included on the disc that you probably should be still happily potting balls when the inevitable 2006 annual update comes around. It’s just a shame that the lengthy Tour mode has to be dominated by players that we often found to be way out of our league in capabilities. Thankfully playing a more similarly skilled human opponent is always an option (off or online), and this also gives great leeway for practice matches before feeling the pressures from the serious AI.

World Snooker Championship 2005 is a fantastic simulation of the sport, and is likely to be the most accurate Snooker title that money will ever be able to buy. It may be too hardcore for all but the most passionate of fans, thanks to the tough AI players, which are controlled with an almost surgical precision. Regardless of this it’s still a title loaded with options and one that is well worth the time that one must invest to become anything even close to decent.