Snooker Nation Championship 2019 DEALS
So, Snooker games are rare, so getting two in such a short amount of time shows that developers are looking into more sports than the main few. Having reviewed Snooker 19 recently, it was only fitting that we looked at Snooker Nation Championship 2019 as well. Where Snooker 19 had was the official World Snooker licensed game, with over 100 real pro players, Snooker Nation Championship 2019 comes without any of those niceties, this game instead places itself as a cheap and cheerful indie arcade effort.
Much like Snooker 19, you are presented with a FIFA style main menu, representing the different game modes you can select, where you can play quick matches, online frames and Championship mode. I started with that, and the mode sees you playing a series or qualifying matches before playing though half a tournament, with each round increasing in the number of frames you play.
There is no career mode in this game, and you just play through tournaments and take the prize money, which you can then spend on various customisations such as table overlay graphics, cues, celebrations and new venues. It’s fair to say that Snooker Nation isn’t all about offering a ton of depth and that is something that can be seen as a pro and a con, depending on the type of snooker game player you are.
Controlling Snooker Nation is slightly simpler than its higher priced competitor, and whilst that may play well to the real snooker fans out there, Snooker Nation is more playable that caters for players of all abilities. To take a shot, your aim with your left stick, pull back on the right to set the power (you can lock the power by pressing R1) and then push forward to take the shot. The d-pad is used to set the spin, and that’s pretty much it. Whilst Snooker 19 added extra steps to that, it made it feel a little bit fiddly, where as here, everything is simple to understand and grasp. You can also press the X button to speed up the animations, which was a big improvement on the sometimes drawn out Snooker 19 animations.
Out of the 2 games, this has the better control system, but it doesn’t stop there. You can also have a top down view, which Snooker 19 severely misses, and you have a good range of aiming aids, which gives you a better chance of building bigger breaks, or you can choose the “no help at all” champion options, where everything is turned off.
Online play is fun and works well for something fun. You can play for in-game money, which make things a bit more interesting. Whilst I only had a brief go at this, and lost… it was nice to see no match timers, which is something that does harm the other game.
Whilst with Snooker 19, you get all of the tournaments, venues, and pro players, and whilst that is to be commended, once you’re playing, you don’t really notice the venue and I personally would rather pick up and play a quick tournament, than slog it out in a 12 month season, which is near identical. But if you are a die hard Snooker fan, then I can understand why all of those extras are more enticing.
Not everything is perfect in Snooker Nation though. There are some glitched trophies (at the time of writing, this will be fixed in the next patch) there are questions over the games longevity. You earn money for winning matches and that’s great, but the items you buy are often pointless such as the table decals that are worse than the standard green cloth, but they are very expensive. New celebrations and venues require you to win the games tournaments several times if you are able to afford them. The balance is just a bit wrong.
All in all though, visually it’s Snooker. It’s exactly what you would expect. Both this and Snooker 19’s visuals in HDR are sharp. This though doesn’t have so much ball judder and the colours just seem a bit brighter and pop a bit more. You don’t get to see the players whilst playing this game… but does that really matter?
Snooker Nation Championship 2019
As the cheaper of the two recent snooker games released on PS4, Snooker Nation may lack all the official licensing and real life venues and players of its main competitor but if you want a really playable snooker game with great controls and none of the fuss, this is the one to go for.
- Excellent controls
- Great range of difficulty settings
- Good online play
- Lacking the official venues, players and tournaments like Snooker 19
- In-game unlocks are badly priced
- Has some early trophy glitches
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