Interesting game, not great but not horrible either. Most everything has already been covered by other reviewers so I'll just tell you why I got the game and why I love it. But first let me say that the single-player is a bit bad. The computer makes some bad BIG calls and then sucks out on the river more often than not. These are bottom pair versus two pair and then hitting trips on the river. OK, once in a while is fine, but this is a trend for the computer and can get frustrating. Key word for offline play: FOLD!
Anyway, on to the point:
My friend and coworker have a friendly weekly heads-up tourney we play against one another (usually for lunch or a DVD, etc). He lives in a different city and recently decided to go back to school during the week in the evening, so our live Wednesday session at my place had to stop.
Making a longer story short, I picked up this game along with a Vision camera and tried it out. The setting up of on-line sessions are easy and can be customized down to every detail. The camera can be used to make "digimask" heads for your character. This adds to the experience but can be a pain to do the first time. Also the camera will display a live shot of the player whose turn it is to act. This is a nice touch, nothing great, but ok. After testing it out for a week or so he went out and did the same, now we can play our weekly game from the comfort of our couches and get in a lot more hands in a shorter amount of time.
Nothing beats the real thing, but this is good fun and a nice foundation for future titles.
gamers (76%) found this review helpful
If you plan on playing tournaments for real money this game may help to prepare you without burning your hard earned cash. But as far as having a fun time, its a little short. The commentary gets old fast, the same old jokes over and over. Oh, I didn't mention the constant coughing. Yeah its realistic cause you have old geezers and half-dead people in the casinos but it gets annoying. You can go into game options and turn off the background sound and speed up the game so you don't have to wait. I placed first out of 2400 players and won 4.4 mil. whoopee.
Having played most of the poker games that have been out on a console for the past couple years, I can say this is one of the better ones.
PROS: - Graphics are very good. The character models are very well done, especially the rendered characters. However the faces that are bitmapped in are strangely non-animated and odd looking. - The AI is smarter than the average poker game and may just give you a run for your money. Different players at the table will display different styles, and don't expect that you can bully them out of hand after hand which is often the case with poker games. - The Career Mode is deep and interesting. You start out playing in your friends basement and work your way up to the WSOP. Several different types of tournaments are available. - Online multiplayer is fun, and you can utilize your XBox cam (if you have one)
CONS: - The sounds are little off. The cards being dealt don't sound like cards, and the voices of characters often don't really fit the character or the situation. The commentary gets super-repetitive very, very quickly. - The game moves slowly unless you constantly skip through play. I'd rather have the game be decently paced on its own and not be constantly having to skip scenes. - Camera seems to get stuck in overhead view making for boring visuals.
If you like playing poker games on consoles vs. the CPU, you'll like this one. For online play against real people, you're still much better off to play online using one of the many Internet-based services. There weren't many people to play with in the online arena whenver I've tried this game, and I have gotten dropped many times in the middle of games.
I recommend this for the single player, but can't really recommend for the online portion.