Is this poker game a “Flop” or should you put all your chips in?
It was only a few years ago that poker entered the world of professional sports. Now it is hard not to see a high stakes poker game on TV. But poker has also extended beyond your television set and late night friendly get togethers. The video game market has taken advantage of the poker popularity by creating numerous games on every system under the sun. However, World Championship Poker 2 is definitely one of the better poker games that die-hard poker fans will enjoy.
Offering more than just the usual Texas Hold?em, World Championship Poker 2 takes a step further by giving players a few more gaming option. This game includes a total of 14 different types of poker games included the standard five-card-draw to the slightly ambiguous lowball-deuce. This wide variety of card games extends the game?s replay value and keeps players from growing bored.
Making this a true poker-sim, the artificial intelligence was also taken into high consideration. Each computer-controlled character, (which is based off real professional players) while usually following strict gameplay behavior, will often throw the player a curve ball from time to time. Seeing aggressive players holding back and witnessing conservative players go all in is a great way to keep the player guessing. In fact, the A.I. is so well thought out that I give this game credit as having some of the best Poker artificial intelligence.
When the game first boots up, the player is given the task of creating their own character. The player has a decent amount of options to customize their character, but it still feels a little bit limiting. The give and take nature of video games forces this Poker game to take a decline in variety but adds a higher value of quality. In essence, it almost seems like a fair trade off. More options would have been welcome. After creating your character, the game gives the player $1,000.00. However, this money is used as your bank account for both off and online play. So if you go crazy when playing the computer characters in the single player mode, you might not have the betting ability you want when playing online. This forces the player to learn, rather quickly, when to stay in and when to fold.
The biggest problem with this game is the insipid bluffing system. Instead of just playing out your hand of poker, the player has to keep a marker in a colored zone for several seconds. The success or failure of this task will determine if the player retains a poker face, which will display if the player is buffing or not. While a feature like this sounds like a great addition to a poker game to retain the realistic feel, it winds up being cumbersome and annoying especially when playing online. An option to turn this off would have been the best-bet; pun intended.
One of the highlighted features of this game is the online mode. Players can now compete against anyone else in the world through the Infrastructure mode. However, there are still a few programming flaws when playing online. On more than just a rare occasion, the game unexpectedly kicked me out and booted me offline for no apparent reason. Why this happens is anyone?s guess. However, it should be noted that the PSP players can also play against the players that are playing the PS2 version of the game. This cross platform multiplayer mode is rarely seen in gaming today, but should definitely be taken advantage of to establish a wider gaming audience. The PSP has the power to link up the processing power of the PS2 so hopefully other game developers can look upon this game when creating future online games.
With any poker game, the sound and audio department will always take a hit to the face. Since music isn?t a part of poker, the game tried to be more realistic by adding voiceovers from players and the announcer. However, these quips are more robotic and annoying than anything. Luckily, these options can be turned off in the option menu if one so desires.
The truth is, the video game market is now flooded with poker games. However, World Championship Poker 2 is definitely one of the better ones. The online play is strong due to the compatibly with the PS2 version of the same game, but it lacks consistent stability. The different versions of poker available to the player is quite deep and the artificial intelligence is also well crafted, but there could have been a few more character customizable options when creating your own player. Poker games go one of two ways: you either hate them or you love them. This being said, if you love playing poker and/or poker video games, then this is definitely a worthy purchase. However, if you don?t like card games, then you are going to have to look else to fulfill your entertainment needs. But, why does the PSP version of World Championship Poker 2 cost more than the PS2 version of World Championship Poker 2?