It's likely that you're reading this review due to one of two reasons: either you just caught Rounders on cable and are really excited to learn how to play poker, or you know absolutely nothing about gambling or having fun in Vegas and want to live the high-roller life through your PS2.
Well, anyone who has gambled before knows that the real way to have fun is to beat other people and to make money. To make a gambling game a blast to play it should include one or both of those elements. Does Hard Rock? Well, you obviously can't win any money playing on a PS2, and this game offers no multiplayer or online play. So what might make this game fun?
The story mode of this game casts you as an eager player out on the town. You start off at the Hard Rock Casino and try to build your bankroll, to reach the high roller casinos and sit in on the big games. You have certain gambling goals to accomplish before being able to advance to the next casino.
This is how the game forces you to play the less appealing games. One goal forces you must win the max bet on a specific slot machine. What does that mean? You're required to sit in front of the machine and play it until you strike the jackpot. It took 30 minutes of pulling the lever, losing and pulling again until we finally hit it. Why on Earth would anyone want to put this on a video game?
After exploring the other games in the casino (horse racing, sport betting, roulette, craps) it becomes apparent that most of them are based on putting money on something and watching it unfold to either win or lose. After playing these games, the boredom factor hit an all-time high, and it was time to move on to the poker room.