World Championship Poker Review
|Developer: Crave||Publisher: Crave|
|Release Date: November 19, 2004||Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox|
If you crave poker (had to get a pun in), Crave Entertainment will sufficiently fill your longings. Console poker games are hard to come by. I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t heard of any this generation, to be honest, until now. While a mobile poker game might seem more convenient, a console poker game is useful, if of course, you mean to play online with live opponents.
The game modes available in World Championship Poker include an instant play of sorts, tournament, and online modes. The poker types available are stud, draw, hold ’em, etc. Earnings in modes other than tournament will not be transferable to the tournament mode. You will need cash to play in online modes, as entry fees are required (depending on the host).
To compete in tournaments, you will need to save your earnings, and spend to compete in a match. Each tournament will have an entry fee, and a given prize to strive for. Depending on your place, you will earn x amount of cash, the higher you place, the more you receive. Tournaments include AI opponents at the same table, and other opponents, who enter as a player from your table is eliminated.
Now, to talk about the offline mode. The computer opponents that you will face arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the brightest. Oftentimes, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re intimidated by high bets, are willing to check when their hand holds only a high card, and when they do have a straight or something comparable, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll check without a reasonable bet. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that the computer is hard to beat, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll sometimes get over-confident with your hand, which can lead to serious consequences.
For the online play (applicable to PS2/Xbox), the servers are managed by GameSpy. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find connection errors quite often, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gotten booted from a game when I was about to win a hand. While I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tried using the USB headset, I saw an icon displayed near one of my human opponents, meaning it allows it. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also an optional keyboard display, to communicate. Unlike offline play, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re dealing with poker experts. Where you left the computer intimidated offline, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the intimidated one online.
As odd as it may sound for a poker game, World Championship Poker has extensive customization features for the person that you play as. You can adjust his appearance from hair color/type, eye shape, lip size/location, etc. The creations that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find when playing computer opponents are abominable. White people with afros, woman/men looking like the opposite sex, people wearing green glasses. The horror, the horror!
So far as the graphics go, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a limited number of boards to play on, including a river boat, Vegas-like hall, etc. The visuals arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t anything to gawk at. In fact, due to the ugliness of the players, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re repulsive at times. Players online will sometimes use humor from the customization features, having a character with a head about an inch thin. One of the most disappointed parts of the game is how expressionless the characters are. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re more robotic than John Kerry and Al Gore combined. Aside from that, you have a camera that focuses on the current player, rotates around the board, and will show the dealer deal the cards.
The game length/replay value all depends on how much effort you want to put into the game. Tournaments can take somewhere around an hour apiece to begin with. Considering there are over a dozen tournaments, you have an awful lot of offline gameplay to beat. The question is, if you want to, which is where the quick match and online modes come into play. By customizing the game type, number of players, etc., it refreshes the experience, something that canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be done in tournament mode.
Overall, World Championship Poker is a must-have for fans of an increasingly popular hobby. Unless you can huddle around a dining room table with friends, exchanging cash from each pot, your best bet is to hook up online. Make new friends, challenge old ones, using the online features. For $20, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go wrong with this title.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||10|
|Written by Kyle||Review Guide|