Hustle Kings isn't anything new to those familiar with the PSN. Developed by VooFoo Studios, the game first saw release at the end of 2009 to much acclaim. With the launch of Move for the PS3, it's become common practice to see some older games get updated to support the Move controller and for Hustle Kings, it's the same story, bringing 3D support with it as well.
The game has quite a few different sections available here, split into four distinctive areas: offline play, training mode, career and online play. You'll initially start the game off by going straight into training, which will teach you the basics of the game when using both the DualShock 3 and Move Controllers. Once you feel like you're ready to move on, you then have the other areas available.
It's not all about snooker though, with several different cue sports such as 9-ball, killer, black ball and 8-ball available. This makes for a very nice variety available to players and add a lot to the game. Generally, VooFoo has done a good job here with accurate interpretations of each game and the gameplay is fun and plays smoothly. There are also a couple of extras included in the game, such as the ability to put spin on your shots, perform trickshots too and even save replays and upload them to YouTube, some nice touches that help to enhance the overall experience.
There's also a credits system in the game that sees you earning points by potting balls, performing trick shots and winning matches. You can then spend these in the Hustle Kings store, in which you can buy items like new avatars, new balls and packs containing bonus games and trickshots. The credit system is a good idea here, as it serves to reward gamers for playing well and fits in well with the game with the game. You can also purchase DLC from the PSN here, with content ranging from new tables to a “Time Savers” pack for those who want to unlock everything straight away.
Looking at the different areas of the game, offline play features an exhibition mode in which you can either face the computer or do some local multiplayer with another friend, as well as tournaments and a free play mode for those who simply want to mess around. There's also the trick shot challenge and bonus games featuring a set of challenges such as time limits or a limited number of shots. All modes include customisable options, letting you determine the number of frames you want, difficulty level of computer opponents, your arena and ball set and much more.
Then there's the career mode, offering a set of tasks to complete to earn you more credits and unlock further tasks. There are four different levels containing ten challenges each, ranging from simply facing an opponent in one of the many different types of cue sports available to “Hustles”, where you go against an opponent and can bet credits against the computer
With a great variety of modes and some nice customisation options, the game holds a lot of replay value and will keep you busy for quite a while. However, like with other games, if you're regularly just playing against the computer it will begin to get rather boring and even on easy mode against the computer there are moments where it rarely makes any mistakes and often plays perfectly, which can be rather frustrating at times.
Fortunately, there's also online play available to let you create an online room between gamers, play a quick match against another player or find another room someone else has created. You also have the option to view online, worldwide leaderboards alongside your PSN friend's rankings and some global statistics for the game.
While quick match will simply throw you into a game with another user with basic settings, there's a lot of variety available for those who create their own rooms, such as the number of players who can join, what type of game you're playing or whether everyone is anonymous. You can also set stake limits in a match for the number of credits you'd like to bet and can be raised throughout the game. With a robust online mode with hardly any lag between players and a lot of variety available, VooFoo Studios has done an excellent job here and after a while, this is likely to be where you'll be spending most of your time on the game.
Control wise, you have three different choices available between the Move and DualShock 3 controllers. DualShock 3 has two modes, analogue and skill meter, that use different methods of shooting the ball, although not much else is different. The SIXAXIS sensors in the DualShock 3 controller have also been utilised, but only for chalking your cue.
Then we have the Move, which only has the one controller option. For this, you simply have to hold down the T Button when you want to move the cue and push the controller forwards to make the shot, though moving is occasionally fidgety. Fortunately, there's a fine tuning feature available for both controllers, as well as a laser pointer to allow you to line up your shots with more precision. You'll also have to press X whenever you want to use a different function, such as applying spin, due to fewer buttons being available. Using the Move will take a little while to get used to, as it can be rather easy to make mistakes with your shots initially, such as not pushing the controller hard enough and giving them too little power. Once you get the hang of it, it feels like a natural addition to the game and serves to enhance the gameplay.
On the technical side, the graphics are a strong point for the game, which look very smooth and have been nicely polished. However, there have been adverts plastered across the game menus, which are placed in plain sight and mar the presentation of the game to some extent. Audio-wise, the game boasts a nice, customisable soundtrack comprising genres such as jazz, hip hop and lounge music. There's nothing particularly memorable here but it complements the game fairly well.
With a large set of cue sport games available and some very enjoyable gameplay, Hustle Kings provides a great experience for fans of snooker and is so far one of the best representations of the sport throughout the current generation of gaming. With good use of the Move controller to enhance an already solid package, marred only by unfair computer opponents and in-game advertising, this comes highly recommended.