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Michael 84

Snooker 19 Game Review With Video Gameplay (Xbox One)

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

Snooker 19 Game Review For Xbox One

It seems like only a few weeks ago I heard about a new snooker game which was coming out, Snooker 19 which is officially licenced and the first “official” World Snooker game for a good while. I was excited about this, and couldn’t wait to get it, since it would be the first snooker game I’ve played since the Playstation/PS2 days, and first on the newer consoles.

It was released yesterday, and I got it! But how does this new game stack up to the games of old? Here’s my review.

First of all I have to say, I was playing this yesterday, and I’ve only played around 3 hours so far. It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve played (and loved) the previous Snooker games for the PS1 and (I think?) PS2, and I was pretty decent at them. I do also like the sport, and played for fun for years.

UPDATE – I have now played this game for several hours over the past week. My overall opinion is a bit more positive, but I have updated this review slightly to reflect what I’ve been doing in the past week in the game.

Gameplay – The Aim

First of all I have to talk about the gameplay, in particular the aim. As with most games like this, there’s an aim assist, which is pretty critical in my opinion. It’s like an ‘easy’ mode (called amateur in the game) but it’s still not easy, and I don’t know how you’d play without it in a game like this.

But even using the aim, it’s terrible. I think this has to do with the camera angle. There’s a view we’re used to seeing (I’ll call this the TV Camera angle) and this is the primary view to line up your shot. After this you press advanced, then you get the view from behind the cue. From there you can still aim, and for me, it does not appear to correlate well. The aim from the TV angle is incredibly hard to judge, as I’ll try to show in these images.

Snooker 19 Aim Difficulty

In the first image, you get the TV view, which is the standard view. Line up the shot, and advance. The top picture looks pretty much in the heart of the pocket right? I thought so, so pressed advance. Once you get behind the cueball, you can see that it’s not in the heart of the pocket, it’s actually to the right a little.

What if I straighten up the shot from behind? Well…

Snooker 19 Aiming Is Bad part 2

So I straightened up the shot from the behind view, the correct one which I trust, and went back to the standard view for the game (the TV view). What do you think? To me, this looks like it isn’t dead centre, it looks like it will miss and hit the cushion.

This is incredibly frustrating!

It makes shots which should be pretty easy, not so easy at all. The above images is a straightforward shot, and shouldn’t take so long to do. The behind the cue camera saves me, I potted the ball, but for longer shots, or shots which require more of a cut, it’s much worse, and you end up missing some easy shots you really shouldn’t.

The Aim Aid

I am not a big fan of how the aim aid is implemented in general. It’s a kind of thick ‘spray’ line, with a wider spray when you have finer cuts, so you can’t really tell where the ball is going to go. An arrow or line system is far more accurate, which is what snooker is all about; Having that fine precision.

The good part of the aim is that when you put spin on the ball the aim reacts, so you know where the white is likely to end up, with things like an arc (as you can see in the above pictures).

There Is No Top Down View

I think the worst part, and perhaps the reason the aim is so bad is the camera angle. The TV camera is not a great tool for aiming, as I’ve shown above. It would be better with a top down view, and view from behind the cue, like previous games I’ve played.

Taking A Shot – Over Complicated

You aim, you set your power, you shoot. That sounds like a good three step process to take a shot. However, this is not how you take a shot in Snooker 19. You have to aim, then advance (or set power), you then get to the behind the cue view. You can then set power or aim again, then advance. Then you have to pull the right thumb stick back, and the power meter goes up, and you have to pull it forwards at the right moment, within the power range you’ve selected.

That’s just way over complicated to take a shot. It has at least one step too many, along with the power bar you have to set, then also pull forwards the thumb stick at the right moment. I can see why it’s there, to make it more challenging, but it just makes things slower and more frustrating, in a sport which is pretty slow paced anyway. This is not the worst part of the game, I can live with it, but it makes the flow slightly worse.

I have spent a lot of time talking about the aim and the shot, but these are the biggest parts when it comes to playability of the game.

After the shot – Once you’ve pulled forward to take the shot, there is no pause, and the camera angle stays on the pot and doesn’t pan out to the TV view. This is a bad experience, because at times you’ve got no idea where the white has gone, what balls it has hit, or anything. This is noticeable when playing the blue into the middle pocket and coming down for reds.

The A.I Of The Players

I have only played against the players who aren’t supposed to be good, in qualifying matches with Ronnie O’Sullivan. The players are pretty bad, and miss easy shots which you’d never expect them to miss. This is a blessing, because as I’ve mentioned with the aim, you’re likely to miss easy shots too, and so the game would be pretty impossible if the ‘easier’ players were capable of knocking in frame winning breaks in 1 or 2 visits to the table.

The Commentary – Terrible A.I.

I thought the commentary was bad, but then it got worse. It’s not just the commentary style or how they speak, let’s be honest, it’s not supposed to be like Murray Walker from the F1 or Martin Tyler from football. That’s never going to be the best part of the game. But the A.I of the commentary…Terrible.

He just needs the pink to win the frame” (or something like that) and I was 1 – 0 up…That’s 1 point, not 1 frame! Yes, for some reason, being 1-0 up with 17 reds on the table, the A.I. commentary said I only needed the pink to win the frame.

The Graphics – Next Gen?

Something I was really looking forward to was the graphics. We’re into next gen consoles, in fact the next-next-gen is not too far away. For now we have brilliant HD capable machines, so how do the graphics look? In the images I saw before I bought the game I thought they looked brilliant, HD and very much next gen. However playing the game…

I just don’t see it. It just doesn’t look as good as it did in the images online. Maybe this is a problem with the Xbox One version? I have no idea. I just don’t think the graphics looked that high end. Something which made the graphics look really silky in the photos was the light shining off the balls.

Maybe this is just because I am playing the game rather than spending too much time looking at the graphics?

Other Little Annoyances

There are a couple of other little annoyances too. For example, you can’t fast forward (speed up) your own shots, only the computers. After you’ve taken your shot and the balls are still rolling, it would be nice to speed up the game like you can with the computer shots.

Something else I have noticed is that if a foul is made, you can’t change your mind. This is very bad. For example, when there is a foul you have to choose what to do, and can opt to view the table (but not line up a shot). But once you’ve decided you want to play on, there’s no going back. So if you decide to play on, and then discover that there’s no shot, it’s tough. Similarly, if the cue ball is potted and you place it down, it seems like you can’t change your mind for that.

Do You Need A Rest?

Not from reading this post…The rest in snooker. For some reason, it seems that the players (computer and human) seems to need to use the rest a hell of a lot of time…I mean so much that it became noticeable after 3 hours of playing. It looks like a rest is being used in shots where you’d never need a rest.

Career Mode

There was some fans left disappointed with the news that in the career mode you can’t create yourself as a character and work your way through the rankings. I think this would have been really cool, but so far, I’ve liked the career mode.

You pick a player, and work through a season. So far I’ve done one qualifying event and almost finished another. The season is laid out and you can see all the events, your ranking, and a nice amount of data. It all looks pretty nice, and overall I like it.

I am not sure if you can skip events, and if you do such things, and fall out of the top 16 or 32 if that has any impact, which would add that realism which I would love. I’ll have to see how the game goes.

The good thing about the gameplay in the career mode is you can pick up exactly where you left off. So if you’re in a best of 5 frame match and you need to go out, you can exit the game after the frame, and pick back up where you left off. There’s no need to finish the whole game, you can leave it after the frame. This is good as some frames can take time, and you can just leave after a few and pick it back up.

UPDATE – I have been playing career mode for a week now and think it’s pretty good. This will be my ‘go to’ when playing the game. The biggest drawback from this is that you can’t see the whole tournament (or I can’t find how you can). What I mean is, you only see who you’re playing next once you’ve beaten your last opponent. You don’t see the fixtures and results, there’s no indication with how other players are doing in the tournament.

You’re not fully immersed into the tournament itself, which is a shame. The venues look good, but the kind of background story of how the tournament is going, is missing. Who’s got the highest break so far? Who’s got centuries? Who’s playing who? What are the other scores?

Stats and snooker go together so well, but there’s so much missing. You can see who you have personally played, your high break and the money you’ve won, but not too much more. It would be great if you were able to have the entire world of snooker around you as you play.

My Game So Far

My highest break was in the 40s or 50s I think, and I also got one in the 30s. Not too shabby, but within those breaks the shots missed were shots which should have been potted with a better aim. I’ve played 5 frames in 2 games, and it’s been fairly decent, but as I keep saying, the aim really lets it down.

UPDATE 1 – My highest break is now 88. You can watch it in a video below

Verdict (UPDATED)

Overall I have to say I like the game, It is playable despite the flaws it has, the aim being the biggest of them. After playing several frames and matches over a week, I have got used to the aim more and more, but still think it could be better. I don’t usually miss the shots which should be easy, but it can happen occasionally. I can get away with the commentary, the over-use of the rest and the over complicated shot process.

If you like snooker or snooker games it is worth getting. For the aiming aid, it’s not perfect, you have to give it time, and just get used to it.

If you’ve got the game (especially the Xbox One Version) let me know what you think 🙂

UPDATE 2 – My Highest Break – 134 Total Clearance!

I managed to get a high break of 134. A total clearance with 15 reds potted! This was pretty unbelievable, and sadly I didn’t start recording it until near the end of the break. You can see the final shots for it below.

UPDATE – My Highest Break – 88

Here is a video of me getting my highest break so far, an 88 which I think is decent 🙂


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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