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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poker Night 2 PC Review - 8.9/10

*Random slurs and angry grunts*
Oh man, this game is going to give me high blood pressure. Alright, so this is an awesome game. Apart from the nice little things you get for actually playing the game, you also get a couple of funnies along the way. This game is less about... the game and more about how the other players interact with each other. If you're not a poker player or fan (like me), you'll still find something to like about this. The characters you'll play against are Brock Samson from the 'The Venture Bros' cartoon (funny as hell show), Clap-Trap from the Borderlands games, Ash from 'Army of Darkness' and Sam from 'Sam and Max'. If you guys want a review of the first game I'd be more than happy to put it up if even one person asks me.

The Good:
This game just oozes style. Apart from having some awesome iconic characters, a few in-game unlockables as well as nice interaction between the characters that fits their moods and character traits in their respective series, but also their intros are in character and the jokes are in character and funny as well. It looks like The Walking Dead game (Tell Tale, not that god awful Survival Instinct) so you're not going to find much in the 'amazing graphics' section. Though I find it better that super high graphics aren't used. Nice to see Tell Tale is more into quality of games rather than them looking pretty. Apart from the other players, they have some other minor characters. GlaDos is the dealer, Max is right behind Sam and talks every once and a while and Mad Moxxi is at the bar but doesn't talk at all.
If you're not a poker player, there's a different game you can play called Omaha. I'm not sure if this is an actual card game but it involves you getting four cards in your hand, making for some tense situations and forcing you to think before playing hands.
The game is... actually tough. The computer gets wise to your bluffs so you have to time them well and intelligently. Apart from that, simple things like common sense work well. Like the last game I played, I only had Sam left in the game and all I had to do was put twenty thousand of my seventy thousand to make him bust. I went all in stupidly and he ended up winning. The game does get a bit tough as you progress through. Having the most money doesn't always mean you will win.
An improvement from the last game is now you can see how much of a percentage you have to win against the other player's hand when you've bet all you need to. This is more of a thing for me considering I really don't know how to play poker. I found it annoying in the last game where I would lose a hand despite having a flush or an aces high and they won the same way. It adds a bit more of a learning experience in case I actually do want to play poker in the real world.
Playing the game will get you some tokens which you can use to buy new items in the unlock shop anytime you want. Sure it's pretty limited to just about fifteen things but it's nice you get to both choose what to unlock as well as when to unlock it. Apparently you can also pay for drinks using tokens for the other players. Not sure what this does or how to do it but it's an interesting thing to think about. Apart from that you can also unlock items for other games like Borderlands 2. It's a nice thing to see people rewarding for playing a game. I'd love to see more stuff like this.

The Bad:
If you don't know these characters, hate poker, don't like comedy or don't care for cell shading, you won't find anything here. If you don't play Team Fortress 2 or Borderlands 2 then you've just spent 5 bucks and not find much else.
I really wish there were more interactions between the characters. In the first game, the characters always had something to say. They'd have little conversations with each other and everything. Sure they'd loop sometimes but they were frequent. Here it's a bit more reserved. That means there's plenty of stuff in the long run to get but not much for impatient people.
There's a bit of a cutting problem. Cutting meaning GlaDos makes her rare appearance she'll sometimes cut out of the scene completely. This only happened a few times and the only thing it serves to do is cut into my gaming immersion, nothing more.

The Meh:
I was talking to my friend about this as a suggestion: why aren't there interchangeable characters? Switch out some of the characters so I can play against the Team Fortress guys or even just some of the past players from the previous game or even some other characters from the other series' of the characters like to play against the players from Borderlands instead of Clap-Trap or have Gordon Freeman or Chell be the dealer. Granted they wouldn't speak but they'd just be there for show I guess.
I really wish there could be actual 'tells' in this game. You can't have completely straight faced players all the time. A tell would make it awesome to see the facial expressions so I can get an edge or even be tricked by the computer.
The game never really seems to have ties. It'd be interesting to see and a nice sense of realism. Come to think of it, not even sure you can tie in poker.


This is more of a style game than anything. Pretty much what you're going to get out of this is an experience as well as maybe learn how to play poker and have some table conversation with friends. This is a solid game and I have no regrets buying it. Hell, it's five bucks so you get a good game for cheap. What's not to love?

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