World Snooker Championship 2005

World Snooker Championship 2005 (WSC05) claims to be the ultimate pot-‘em-up for snooker and pool fans, boasting a wide selection of pro players as well as many famous locations for you to sink the pink, such as the Crucible Arena in Sheffield. Whilst watching Ronnie clear up the table in five minutes, and having a few frames in your local snooker hall may be entertaining enough, is there enough here to warrant spending £30 for some virtual snooker fun? Time to find out.

WSC05 has the wealth of options and features that we have come to expect from recent sports games. You can play snooker, billiards and more variants of pool than you can count. And if that’s still not enough for you, there is even the option to play on different shaped tables just to spice things up once in a while. The game features the world’s top 100 players, each modelled superbly on their real-life counterpart. The option to create your own player is also there – enabling you personally to take on the world’s best.

The control method in WSC05 is thankfully blissfully easy to pick up, and with the help of the potting aids (arrows on the screen showing you the flight of the balls) will enable the rookies to become better and better with every shot that they play. The game also features a superb coaching mode, teaching the snooker novice how to apply backspin and the like, to ensure that you’ll be downing the brown every time you come to the table.

Aside from the huge single-player mode, WSC05 also offers players a little competition for up to four players, either locally or via the wonder that is Xbox Live online gaming. As you can imagine, this is where the game really comes to life. It has never been more fun to cough loudly through your headset just as your friend misses the black – very childish, but awesome fun nonetheless! Xbox Live also tracks your stats online, so comparison with those on your friends list soon becomes a gruelling competition.

With its wealth of options, WSC05 really does stand out as one of the better console snooker sims. The designers at Blade Interactive have really taken time to ensure that the learning curve on the game is almost faultless, meaning that novice players can pick up the game in a matter of hours, whilst the more experienced players can still improve their game. Along with the highly addictive multiplayer modes, the superb graphics and in-game commentary from John Parrot, Steve Davis and John Virgo is the icing on the cake of a all round polished package.

Sega’s World Snooker Championship 2005 is available from your local stockist now, priced at around £30.