Stryker: Unlike most pool games, Minnesota Fats: Pool Legend comes with its own story mode in which you strive to defeat the legendary pool hustler.
Brad: And if you win, you get this shiny pool cue made of gold. But if you lose, the fat man gets your sooooouuuuul.
Stryker: Of course, one does not simply challenge the great Minnesota Fats to a game of pool. Explaining that he doesn’t waste his time on rookies, Fats sends you away to get more experience first.
Brad: Um, I’m not quite sure the fine folks over at Data East fully understood the concept of a “pool hustler”.
Stryker: No, Minnesota Fats is more like a “pool agent”. He calls all the other players in town and sets up games for you. I guess maybe your character is too shy to do it yourself or something.
Brad: Actually, given that half of his friends are hot women, I almost wonder if maybe he’s actually trying to set you up on dates. Sure they’re all pool players, but that’s just the circle he runs in. If you wanted to date tennis players, you’d go talk to Jimmy Connors.
Stryker: He sets you up with some guys, too. Minnesota Fats doesn’t make any assumptions.
Brad: And he doesn’t judge. His only love is pool.
Stryker: Minnesota Fats: Dating Simulator.
Brad: Now there’s a title destined to sell tens of copies.
Stryker: Let’s talk about the ending. After you defeat all his friends, you get to take on Minnesota Fats, and if you win, he gives you his favorite pool cue as a souvenir. What did you think?
Brad: Honestly, I felt a little bad. People talk about games with endings that aren’t exactly happy, like in the Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy games, but here I am on a quest to rob an old man of his most prized possession.
Stryker: Yeah, I really didn’t expect a morally ambiguous ending from a Genesis game about pool.
Brad: Then again, there’s no telling just how valued that pool cue really was. He called it his “favorite stick”, but he might have a closet full of cues that are a close second place. It could be like me picking out a favorite pen.
Stryker: No, I prefer to think of Minnesota Fats as defeated, alone, his friends no longer speaking to him because he sent you up with them and then you never called after the first date. Robbed not only of the only material possession that ever meant anything to him, but more importantly, his pride. Feeling old and vulnerable, he will never play pool again. You did this to him. And all he ever wanted to do was help you.
Brad: Sure, he puts on a brave face and acts gracefully in defeat, but deep inside we all know that the gregarious man who used to yell out “Fancy Dance” before taking a shot is no more.