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Virtual Pool 3 was released in 2000 to much acclaim and fan praise due to its realistic ball physics and comprehensive customization features. So how does it stack up after five years? It's still one of the best pool games available for the PC. The graphics and sound both seem outdated, but the controls are top-notch and the gameplay engaging. Unfortunately, a lack of online functionality and extremely limited game and table choices keep this quality sim among the four-star downloads.
Old-fashioned billiards enthusiasts be warned. This is not your great-great-grandfather's game of American four-ball. The only game available in the demo is a "Quick Play" version of "four-ball," which is actually nine-ball without balls four through eight. And while you can easily challenge a friend to a quick match, there's no computer opponent to provide us solitary folk with competition. As mentioned, the gameplay remains very solid. Everything from adding English to raising the cue butt is accomplished through simple and logical hot keys. Virtual Pool 3 rewards smooth strokes, which means that shooting the cueball via mousestroke feels very much like the real thing. Yet while the ability to change rail firmness, pocket size, and corner cut can add variety and difficulty to the gameplay, there's only so many games of four-ball most gamers will want to play.
Virtual Pool 3 allows you to take shots from any point of view you choose and offers full simulation of all physical action including friction, speed, collision, roll, cue, stick to ball interface, and computational ball tracking. Rack 'em up in 8 different pool rooms to test your skill with several realistic themes such as biker bar, garage, Malibu mansion, and more.
Start with $50 and a dream in Career Mode, challenging all comers at the local pool halls to earn enough stake money to take on one of the most well-known players in the WPBA, Jeanette Lee, at her beachside mansion. Online multiplayer games will be improved through a new dedicated Web site with features such as tournaments, worldwide ranking ladder, leagues, and spectator support.