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BILLIARD ACADEMY - REAL BREAK

NAKANIHON 1998







Description:

Technic. Power. Control. Luck. Real Break.

Real Break is an excellent pool game with a lot to offer. The game features 2 different variations of pool to play, great ball physics, many unique features that adds plenty of spice to the game, and beautiful artwork and graphics.

There are two game modes to select from. There is the traditional Pocket Game in which you can pocket balls in any particular order. Clearing all balls clears the stage. Then there is the more challenging 9-Ball Game in which you have to play the lowest numbered ball first, and work your way up. 9-Ball, as a result, requires much more skills and effort than does the more beginners-friendly Pocket Game.

Finishing a round of pool does not necessarily mean clearing the stage as in order to advance in the game, you have to meet the score quota for each stage you play. You can increase your score in many ways such as by hitting and pocketing balls in a row or by pocketing balls in numerical order. Sometimes you can even receive score bonuses if you hit a ball in a particular called pocket as well.

Two neat ways to increase your score in just one stroke of the cue is the Hyper Ball and Lucky shot. Hitting a Hyper Ball can greatly increase the chances of pocketing several balls on table in just one shot as any ball a Hyper Ball touches will literally go hyper and travel all over the table, hopefully finding it's way in one of the pockets :) Then there's the Lucky shot or should I say trick shot that you may be able to play as a last resort. Hit it successfully and watch as all the balls find their way into one of the pockets on table in just one shot of the cue. Most, if not all, are actual trick shots that can be done in real-life.

The ball physics for this game is surprising good, especially for a game that is sprite based. Balls collide and move very naturally around the table. They don't act like discs on ice like in other arcade pool games. The English on the cue ball, however, can be a bit exaggerated at times especially when drawing back. The carpet on the table literally burns away as the cue ball draws back due to the massive amount of spin place on the ball :) The pockets and table also seem to be of actual size as well. Pockets aren't massive and tables not too small as in other arcade pool games.

There are 5 total stages. Each stage has a different girl. I wouldn't think of them as your opponent, as they don't play against you, but more so as encouragement since each time you clear a stage, you are treated with what the game likes to call "Showtime." From the guess of it, you guys probably know what happens here so there's no need for me to explain :)

Real Break is a great title that really captures the essences and excitement of the game of pool. Of all the pool games available in MAME, this is by far the best.

Pool, while simple to begin with, is an incredibly complex and deep game to master. Just like mahjong :)

Gameplay: 5/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Artwork: 5/5


BILLIARD ACADEMY - REAL BREAK
MINI FAQ

Game Modes:

There are two game modes to select from. Both are different variations of the game of pool.

Pocket Game:

In this mode, all you have to do is sink all the balls in to complete the stage. You do not have to sink the balls in any particular order.

9-Ball Game:

In this mode, you have to sink the balls in numerical order, lowest numbered ball first. Sink all the balls in to complete the stage. Note that if you hit the target ball, the lowest numbered ball, first and sink the 9-ball in as a result, you complete the stage even though there are still other balls on table. You even win if you pocket the 9-ball on break shot as well.

Easy or Normal: After choosing the game mode, you get to choose what type of game you want to play. Each type differs slightly from one another.

Easy Type:

The cue ball can never fall into any pockets on table. It will simply bounce off of the pocket if it does.

Clear Scores are generally lower than in Normal.

You can only go against the first 3 opponents.

Normal Type:

The cue ball can fall into any pockets on table, as it should.

Clear Scores are generally higher than in Easy.

You go against all 5 opponents.

Starting the Game:

At the start of the stage, you have 6 balls for your health and a time of 120 seconds.

Each time you miss a shot, you lose a ball from your health. You lose when you lose all your balls.

You are given 120 seconds to complete the stage. You lose when time runs out.

When you lose, the continue screen pops up. You can continue where you left off if you do continue the game after losing.

What are the controls: D-pad : Change direction of shot of cue ball.

Button 1 : Press to begin charging the Power Meter. The Power Meter measures the strength of your shot. Press again to stop the meter at the desired Power level.

Button 2 : Hold to see number associations for each ball on table. Hold and press D-Pad to apply and adjust English on cue ball. English is the term used when you hit the cue ball anywhere else besides dead center.

Note that you can also Masse and Jump the cue ball as well. Hold button 2 and press Up a couple times until the cue ball at the top of the screen rotates.

Number of Stages: 3 in Easy Mode. 5 in Normal Mode.
How to Advance to the Next Stage:

To advance to the next stage, you must end the stage with a total score that is equal to or more than the Clear Score as designated at the very start of each round. You get an extra ball for your health for meeting the quota as well.

If you don't meet the quota by getting a total score that is less than the Clear Score, you will have to play the same stage again. You also lose a ball from your health.

Note that each time you fail to meet the score quota, the new quota after for that same stage will drop in score by 500 pts. So if the Clear Score was 3000 pts., it would be 2500 pts. after when you play the stage again.

Clear Scores for Each Stage: Pocket/Easy : 2500. 3500. 4500.

Pocket/Normal : 3000. 4000. 5000. 6000. 7000.

9-Ball/Easy : 2500. 4000. 5000.

9-Ball/Normal : 3000. 4500. 5500. 6000. 6500.

Scoring and Bonuses: Scoring during Game:

100 pts for each ball pocketed.

300 pts bonus for sinking 2 balls in a row.
400 pts bonus for sinking 3 balls in a row.
500 pts bonus for sinking 4 balls in a row.
And so on. (+100 for each there after)

Pocket Mode:

At the end of the stage in Pocket mode, you receive additional bonus points for pocketing balls in numerical order (Lowest to Highest).

500 pts bonus for sinking 2 balls in numerical order.
1000 pts bonus for sinking 3 balls in numerical order.
1500 pts bonus for sinking 4 balls in numerical order.
And so on. (+500 for each there after)

9-Ball Mode:

At the end of the stage in 9-Ball mode, you receive additional bonus points depending on how many shot it took you to complete the round.

0 pts bonus for completing round in 19 or more shots.
500 pts bonus for completing round in 18 shots.
And so on. (+500 for each there after)
8500 pts bonus for completing round in 2 shots.
9000 pts bonus for completing round in 1 shot.

Pocket Challenge:

Sometimes during play, a pocket may have an icon over it. The icon is an arrow that points into the pocket. Its basically a challenge for you. Sometimes easy, sometimes not.

If you sink a ball into that particular pocket when the icon is displayed over it, you will get an extra bonus as a reward.

The bonus you receive can either be 1 or 2 extra balls for your health, or it can be 500 or 1000 extra bonus points.

Hyper Ball:

Feature only in Pocket Mode.

Hyper Ball:

To activate the Hyper Ball, you need to pocket the Hyper Ball designated at the start of the round. Doing so will make one of the balls on table into the actually Hyper Ball.

Hitting that Hyper Ball on table with the cue ball, will make both balls go hyper. That is move around table in hyper speed, sort of. When either ball touches any other ball on table, those ball will go hyper as well. Ultimately with luck, one or more balls will find their way into one of the pockets on table, leading to a good increase in your score.

If you do not hit the Hyper Ball, then nothing happens.

The cue ball can not sink into any pockets during this time but will bounce off like in Easy mode. 

Lucky:

Feature only in Pocket Mode.

Lucky:

When there are only 5 or less balls on table, you have the chance to hit a Lucky shot.

The last ball in your health will flame up when there are only 5 balls left on table. Another ball will flame up if you miss a shot. However, a ball will exhaust its flames for each shot you make in.

When all you have left is flamed balls in your health, you have the chance to hit a Lucky shot. Hitting the shot successfully will pocket all the balls in in just one shot!

All the balls are rearranged and set up like above depending on the amount of balls left on table. Everything is set up for you, from the placement of the balls, the direction of the shot of the cue ball, to the English on the cue ball itself.

To successfully hit these trick shot, all you have to do is hit the balls at maximum power. Doing so will clear all the balls on table and complete the stage. If you don't hit it at the maximum power, then all the balls, if any, will not be pocketed and you will have to resume regular play again.

Tips:

  • Basic fundamental of pool, when you try to pocket a ball at an angle, aim the cue ball as if you were hitting the target ball in a straight line.
  • Just like in real pool, particularly in 9-ball, its a good thing to position the cue ball for the next ball by using some degree of English in your shots. That way, you have a greater chance at successfully hitting the next ball.
  • In 9-ball, if you can, try to win with the least amount of shots possible. Always see if you can combo the 9-ball with your target ball. Sinking in the 9-ball quickly will not only complete the stage but give you a big score bonus after that should be more than enough to advance to the next opponent.
  • Take advantage of banking shots and jumping the cue ball. They're so much more useful and easy to do in this game than in real life play since you can never miscue in the game :)
Are there any secrets? None that I know of.