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Backstreet Billiards
Score: 93%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: ASCII Entertainment
Developer: Argent
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Sports (Table Games)/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:
Backstreet Billiards is a very unique game. It provides a realistic billiards experience with beautiful graphics and ear-pleasing sound effects and music. The 3D pool halls and bars are wonderfully rendered, giving a realistic ‘flavor’ to each location. The movement around the table is very fluid, and the appearance and dynamics of the game seem to be very well simulated. The graphics are not the only aspect of the game which was given the appropriate amount of consideration. The sound in Backstreet Billiards is very impressive. The sound effects of the balls colliding and the stick shooting the balls are very nice indeed. Even a ‘break’ has that familiar authentic ‘Cit-tachk’ sound that every pool hustler loves to here. The soundtracks are entertaining, having a generally jazzy feel to them, and having different music for each pool hall keeps the music from getting annoying, while reinforcing the aforementioned ‘flavor’ of each table. AND, if you DO get tired of listening to the music on the game disc, the built-in audio CD option allows you to play to the sounds of your favorite music CDs.

Backstreet Billiards offers several tables to play on, several opponents to play against, and 14 separate billiard games to challenge them in. But, in addition to this, Backstreet Billiards offers something more. This game gives you a reason to play... a quest to recover a family heirloom. This storyline is carried out through your interaction with anime-style opponents as you play your way through the billiards underworld. (??!) It’s an interesting concept, and helps to hold the interest of those gamers who spend much more time around video games than around a pool table. If you’re a die-hard pool hustler, you’ll love the realistic physics... and you’ll endure the relatively unobtrusive storyline.

Since Backstreet Billiards doesn’t have difficulty settings, you may wish to spend some time practicing. AND, if you’re not very familiar with billiards (or not very familiar with video games), you may find yourself practicing for quite a little while... or getting beat... badly. The opponents are not all professional, but they are all decent players. It’s possible for even the worst opponent to have a ‘good’ day... and this will typically happen when you try to show a friend how much you’ve improved. (argh!)

Game Mechanics:
Pool enthusiasts will be appreciative of the realistic physics engine. Although, I must admit, the time that really sold me on the accuracy of the physics of the game was when I tried a really stupid, extreme shot, and bounced the cue ball off the table. Once again, art imitates life! (Doh!)

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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