8 Ball All Stars (Nintendo DS)
8Ball Allstars calls upon fans of pool and the Nintendo DS everywhere to chalk up their cues and challenge their friends anywhere to head-to-head game...
1 reviews from the community
Review of "8 Ball All Stars (Nintendo DS)"
It has been fun all the reads and rates I have received were highly appreciated thank you.
More pool to play on the Nintendo DS for me and possibly for you but will this game deliver a straight pot or will it rattle the knuckle and stay out? Well let's see.
This game was another of my charity shop specials but this time it was an out of town shop. You see the family as in me the missus and the little one decided to get out of town for the day and so we just nipped to the next one for just a simple day out a nice lunch and a look through the various shops. Well my little one scored most of all but I managed to get a handful of cheap games for myself and this one was priced at £1.50, later in the day when I was home later that night I looked online and found that this game sells on average for £2.50 upwards.
Like many Nintendo DS games this one asks you to enter your name, this is an easy enough task but I did think the buttons for tapping on the letters with the stylus could have been a little bigger. Once you have entered your name you are taken to the main menu which is very simple to navigate and all your choices are clearly displayed. There are not many play selections in this menu but you have access to single player mode, multiplayer mode, player profile, options and the game credits.As I always do with a new to me title I went straight into the options which in this game has the usual sound options for volume adjustment and also a feature for erasing your game, the one you might want to have on is the ball guide which I am sure is bound to come in useful. There are however no difficulty selections in the options or any control features to worry about apart from the guide line feature obviously, still any changes you make are saved automatically.
The way this game plays is similar to just about any pool or snooker simulation available on the Nintendo DS when compared to the other games in the genre that I have played on Nintendo's dual screen hand held wonder. The controls are split between the D-pad and the touch screen but the system works well, my only real issue here was when I was taking a shot. You see to take a shot you pull the cue back by using the stylus or your finger (if you prefer) which is easy and you can even let go before you set it to where you want. Taking the shot means moving the cue forward and it has to go all the way to the cue ball on the screen, now you cannot lift off the screen or the cue resets. So yes it is not far to the ball icon but my natural instinct was to swipe with the stylus and therefore I found that I was often lifting off the screen before my shot was taken.
Still this is not a major issue and after a few shots I remembered not to lift off the screen but rather focus more on how I took the shot and essentially dropping the swipe motion altogether. The rest of the control options are easy as pie to get to grips with though and that certainly helps, the physics engine used for the balls seems good enough for the job although I did not think it was truly realistic but certainly I felt that it was still good enough for a virtual table at least. When it comes to playing single player against the com there are a few setup options and depending on the the game type you may be asked to select, the type of venue and even the style of venue as well as the type of table and even table covering that you will play on. The break shot is randomly assigned using flashing text swapping between the players displayed above the players avatars (a box with an image of the player in it) and you press the screen for it to start slowing and then it will eventual stop on a player.The rest id just typical pool gameplay, you can of course zoom in and out and change the view from the default to an over head shot of the table and back again. The guide line is technically not a line but rather a very fast ghosted animation of where the ball travels, it is handy but it only shows you where the ball will travel to and not where it might end up after contact. Overall I found the gameplay for this game was average as in there are no bells and whistles here just basic gameplay and basic options, there is nothing essentially wrong with that although there is absolutely nothing to help you know if you are targeting the correct ball in matches where numbers are involved which I thought was rather bizarre.
Modes Of Play Single Player
Okay so there are just the four modes of play in this game and one of those is the all important practice mode which I think is a handy feature in most games if it is done right, still we shall get to that in a sec as here are the four single player modes and a little bit about them...
- Practice Mode. -
This one allows you to practice on any table in one of four categories...
This is the standard UK style pool table if you have been in a pub or club at some point then no doubt you will have seen one down at your local.
I believe by the size this is a snooker table although I have no idea why the game would expect you to play pool on a table this size but there it is.
This is a table set at an angle, once again I have no idea why you would play on this one but it is a massive table as well when compared with the other two.
These of course are locked the first time you visit and therefore have to be won by playing the other single player modes,
There are only sixteen challenges in this game which consist of four selections of four challenges each one a little trickier than the last. You must complete challenge one before you can play challenge two and so on until you complete the lot of them, now these challenges quite interesting as things start off with you just having to hit a ball blocked by another one that you cannot hit and move on to potting within a number of shots, you will also go from standard tables to more whacky ones like the L shaped table, like I said before rather interesting indeed.
- Single Frame Mode. -
Selecting this option in the game will give you four more game types...
Okay so here you are playing just the standard yellow and reds game that most pub goers will have likely played at some point, the rules are simple as you must sink all your coloured balls and then the black before the opponent does to win.
US Eight Ball.
The spots and stripes game, I have also seen this in some pubs but certainly this is the rarer version of eight ball in our country, in this game you are required to essentially do the same as the English game but pot all your spots or striped balls and then the black to win.
This is the game with just nine large numbered balls and the goal is to pot the nine ball, you can sink the ball at any point during the match and win but you must hit your target numbered ball first.
This mode of play offers five different games, so in here you have the choice of 3 ball, 6 ball, 10 ball, rotation and lastly straight variations on pool.
This mode has four difficulty selections adding ultimate to list that only went up as far as hard in the previous competitive modes of play however this one is locked at first so only the standard three can be selected. Once you have made you difficulty selection you are sent straight into your first match, you then play a single frame against each opponent featured in the game. The tournament structure is knockout all the way so if you lose at any point you are out.
The multiplayer in this game features the exact same play options as the single frame mode in single player, now since the game is turn based you can play multiplayer on a single DS or if you two of them you can play single card mode across the pair or you can play via multi card play. This is a decent selection of options for multiplayer in my opinion, if only the game was a little more interesting than just a very basic pool sim... ah well.
Player Profile Feature
Here you can see how well you are doing in player details, edit your avatar box, edit the table signature (the silly eight ball that appears on the tables) and you can change your player name. This is all very basic again and easy to accomplish, if you happen to have some talent and time to waste then the little paint app for your avatar and table icon thing is pretty neat for coming up with something unique.
Presentation and Graphics
Ah well the presentation is basic menu's with icon boxes that you can rotate and that is really it, the tables look good enough and the settings for the venues you play in are simple generic shadows in the background. The ball animations and physics look okay but as I said earlier the physical aspect of the game to me did not feel properly realistic. The sound is okay, the menu and in game music is pants but it can obviously be turned off leaving just the sound effects which I am pleased to say are properly realistic sounding.
The Verdict From jb0077
In recommendation terms this game is worth a look if you are on a tight budget and just want a game that is playable, that offers a decent simulation of the game of pool that certainly can entertain for short periods of time. So yes this one is not a bad game overall but certainly the game does only offer very basic pool simming and so for me, with ratings based in comparison with other DS titles in specific areas I rated each category as such...
Graphics 3/5 reasonable graphics overall, nothing fancy on offer here though.
Sounds 2/5 the music is not the best but at least the SFX are spot on.
Gameplay 3/5 not the worst pool sim that I have played, certainly payable.
Features 5/5 plenty of variety in the types of game on offer here.
Multiplayer 5/5 lots of options for more than one player.
Difficulty N/A this option is left up to you.
Overall 3/5 decent game and available cheap so three stars from me.
Product Information : 8 Ball All Stars (Nintendo DS)
Manufacturer's product description8Ball Allstars calls upon fans of pool and the Nintendo DS everywhere to chalk up their cues and challenge their friends anywhere to head-to-head games. 8Ball Allstars gives you pool the way you like it! With a fully customisable feature set, the game allows players to style their game and play however they like, wherever they like. 8Ball Allstars is a modern and stylish take on pool, set in a global environment with a host of gameplay features to choose from.
Sub Genre: Pool
Release Date: 27th March 2009
Max Number of Players: 2 Player
Platform: Nintendo DS
Listed on Ciao since: 13/03/2009