World Snooker Championship 2007

X360 v PS3 Multiformat Face-Off, Round Two

It's early days in the great next gen console war, and the commercial reality of development is very simple - the cost of making games on more advanced hardware has skyrocketed meaning that publishers get the best returns from their investment with multiformat development. Eurogamer typically reviews these games on the lead platform (more often than not, the Xbox 360) but we've got plenty of love for the PlayStation 3 - enough to bring you the all-important info on any differences between the versions, even when review code arrives somewhat belatedly.

In comparing the games we concentrate first and foremost on the gameplay experience, with objective commentary on new game modes and control methods that have been added or tweaked since the initial review. And as there is such a large cost difference between the two gaming platforms, we think it's fair game to point out any differences between versions on a technical level too. This makes these ongoing features as much a commentary on cross-platform development as they are aiding in a purchasing decision.

Complementing each piece is a series of screenshot galleries at full HD resolution 24-bit RGB using the PS3's HDMI digital output and the Xbox 360's precision VGA display mode, both professionally calibrated and captured losslessly using state-of-the-art grabbing equipment - indeed the only kit available that can handle full colour-depth and 1080p when required. Console analists can then debate the minutiae we expose and exercise the full unbridled talkback POWER of the Internet to give voice to their thunderous displeasure.

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World Snooker Championship 2007

World Snooker Championship 2007

Xbox 360's big break?

World Snooker Championship is effectively two games in one, these days - thanks to the American audience's apparent aversion to the sombre and gentlemanly world of snooker, the pool championships (in all their many forms) have been built up over the years to the point where they are now more numerous and just as comprehensive as the snooker tournaments. Good news for pool players, I suppose, but as a snooker fan it just looks like more and more versions of the exact same thing to me - a pattern that has arguably come to define sports games these days. In most cases (snooker's in particular), we've been making them long enough now to have perfected the mechanics of the particular sport. For official licences, progress now lies in making them look and feel as authentic as they play.

Just like the last instalment, WCS2007 plays about as authentically as you could wish of a snooker game. New players can rely on the selection of tutorials to introduce them to the importance of spin and cue elevation, but anyone with a decent knowledge of a real-life snooker table can expect to jump right into the competitions. The career mode takes your customised protagonist through an enormous selection of tournaments and qualifiers before allowing him a crack at the World Championship itself. There is satisfying depth to the gameplay, and though the positional and directional indicators might seem a little over-generous to more experienced players, they can be turned off. The computer players are well weighted, but still represent a challenge in even the most insignificant of qualifying matches - mistakes are harshly punished, and although the game can feel unfair at times, it's never any worse than real-life snooker.

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