Sunday, February 26, 2012
Hustle Kings is for me that kind of new release game. I’d overlook it if there was a mass of RPGs and strategy games to play, but as Dynasty Warriors and Ninja Gaiden are the only two games I would normally look at, I bought Hustle Kings on an impulse, and boy was I impressed.
The game oozes class from the moment you boot it up. A minimalist jazz club room, complete with chilled music sets the mood for a very elegant take on the game. As you would expect, there’s not much more to this game than pool, but just about every version of the game known own there is represented, from classic 8-ball through to Snooker (via DLC purchase). The balls, which are frankly the one graphical element of the game that is important, are brilliantly rendered, with perfectly smooth curves and lit just right for the virtual environment they’re sitting in.
And the physics are just spot on. The game offers generous guides for your shots and where the balls you hit will also go. It’s an easy introduction to the physics of pool, and as you become more experienced, you can turn those off to provide a more realistic challenge. The balls react exactly as you would expect them to on a real pool table, and the game features all the trick shots we expect from the game; it’s possible to put back spin on the ball, leap them over other balls, and in general feel like Yukio Akagariyama.
That issue aside, this is a brilliant game that is perfect for the portable format. Even better, buying this on the Vita allows you to unlock it on the PS3 for play at home. For such a cheap asking price, for a game that blows away anything (in terms of graphics, physics and gameplay options) that is on the iPhone, iPad or 3DS, Hustle Kings is a subtle, but brilliant showcase of what the Vita can do.
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