The World Snooker Championship ended yesterday and young player Judd Trump, 29, became the 21st champion. He showed an absolutely amazing game throughout the championship and managed to defeat his rival from a similar final eight years ago, John Higgins, in a spectacular final. That final was similar in terms of opponents, but very different in game and result. It was radically different. In eight years, Judd Trump, from an ambitious and crazy newcomer, has grown into a young professional, balanced and able to roll balls of incredible complexity into pockets.
If you missed this final, I recommend that you definitely catch up, especially paying attention to the second and third sessions, the most spectacular and, unfortunately, devastating for John Higgins, a four-time world champion and a great player. But deservedly won by the rising and bright star of world snooker. Yesterday the legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan called Judd Trump “Snooker’s Tiger Woods”. Well, let’s see what the young Englishman will show us in the future.
And now we are moving from professional snooker to virtual snooker – the game Snooker 19, released at the end of April on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. This is an officially licensed game that features real snooker players, from old-school pros to young rising stars who have just recently burst onto the world stage of the sport. We can choose any of the 128 represented players as our virtual representative, a “personal professional”, and go through a career with him at the head – from the Masters in Riga to the World Cup final.
Frankly, this path is not just difficult and thorny. If you do not resort to cheating methods, he is able to suck all the strength out of the player, and be sure that only the person on this side of the screen will be to blame, because the physics of the behavior of the balls, the interaction with the cue and the impact settings in Snooker 19 are made at the highest level.
And this is despite the very dull models of the players themselves, as if saying hello to us from the sports simulators of 2006-2007. About. No, you can’t fault physics here. We have access to all possible types of screws and their combinations: twisting left and right, rolling and rolling back the cue ball, with different angles and strengths. The impact force regulator is also extremely accurate, up to tenths of a percent, although it will take a little getting used to.
The user interface during the game process displays all the necessary information about the shot: on the right in the window we adjust the screw or center the cue ball on the cue ball, then on the field itself the line marks where the cue ball will roll with the set target impact force.
and in which direction the red or colored ball will go. If we put amateur aiming options, we will see the trajectory of the cue ball after the hit, and the movement of the target ball. Moreover, the aiming line will be quite long. On the “master” and “pro” aiming options, the lines are shorter and the rollback trajectory of the cue ball may not be visible at all.
Target hitting power is the blue area on the left of the screen where the power bar is. It can be controlled using the left analogue, thus choosing the best option for making a strike. It is very convenient for cases when you need to put a snooker or just roll the cue ball to a pile of red balls, striking them lightly, thus transferring the “honorable right” to break a bunch of small opponents.
It is no secret that in almost any billiards you should not break triangles and clusters of balls “at random”, because passing the cue ball to an opponent when all the balls have spread across the field can be a sure step towards your loss. In snooker, for example, by breaking the pyramid at the beginning of a frame (round), the player tries to pull the cue ball out of the “line of power” in order to hide it behind one of the colored balls, thus blocking a direct hit on the red ones. This position of the cue ball is called “snooker”.
Each player’s strike in Snooker 19 goes through three stages of preparation. First, we insist on the direction of prowess and try on the scale of strength in the relatively free movement of the camera, albeit limited by the static position of the player’s avatar. The camera then zooms into the “out of sight” view.
narrowing our view even further, but the table becomes visible from a new angle, allowing for a more targeted close-range strike. It is more difficult to try on the far one at this stage. Finally, in the third stage, the camera becomes cinematic, taking up a position from which the result of the impact will be perfectly visible. At this stage, you need to make a blow: deflect the analog down, and then sharply up to fix the force at the desired level.
So we come to the main, in my opinion, the problem of Snooker 19, in addition to the limited content – the camera. In general, it is not bad, but how could you think of removing the bird’s-eye camera that virtual pool players love so much, especially those who have hung in it since the days of the Amiga 2600 and NES?
Why is there no free play around the table so that you can look at the position of all the balls more carefully, like in real snooker? These are just mandatory features that are strictly necessary for a high-quality and licensed simulator, which Snooker 19 is trying to be. And mechanically and physically it succeeds! And here is such a bummer. I was very upset.