Another year, another update and the latest edition of World Snooker Championship is upon us once again, but this time from a new developer and publisher. Taking the reigns from Codemasters, Sega is now at the helm, but does that means we are going to see a more arcade style approach? We pick up a cue and find out.



World Snooker Championship 2005 offers pretty much everything you could want from a snooker title: Big names, over 100 professional Snooker players, real locations from the 2004 / 2005 tour, real tour tournaments including the British Open, UK Championship, The Masters and the World Championship, a "League of Champions" event and even the back Bar Billiards and trick levels.

Just like the offering above the game is well polished, but just like the offering above the 2004 (reviewed here)offered all this as well. And we are struggling to see where the improvements have been made.

Okay, so the graphics and physics have been improved over the previous instalment and the balls and players now look sharper, but we would expect more for our money than just a tweaking.

Gameplay and the computer-generated characters are incredibly slow. Good shots will be replayed automatically and you can call up a replay of any recent shot, however more than once we found ourselves shouting at the screen asking the computer to get a move on.

The action has been given a lift in the commentating arena with the hiring of Steve Davis and John Parrott to join the terminally depressed John Virgo. Like the EA games with John Motson, it does add an air of authenticity to it all.

Verdict

While there is nothing wrong with the game (well apart from the bizarre menu system) the game just doesn’t do anything for us compared to last year’s instalment. Yes the physics are better and the graphics slightly more polished, but put up against last year’s efforts - which were pretty spot on, the update just comes across as money for old rope. Also, it doesn’t help that last year’s World Champion on the cover, crashed out this year.



If you’re a fan of snooker and haven’t already invested in the franchise then World Snooker Championship 2005 with its online play, tournaments and 100 characters to play and master will certainly fit the bill. If you are already a signed up member, or you go out and play it in clubs with friends for real, it might be advisable to sit this one out.