Review by Raijen
A solid game... for about 30 minutes
I picked this up awhile back in the bargain bin of my local electronics store, and if I had paid more than ten dollars Canadian I'd have felt ripped off. As it was I'd personally value this game at closer to the five dollar mark.
Apart from the odds-based casino games, the main aspect to the game are the poker variants, and unfortunately for the games value the AI for these components are woefully inept. The presentation of the other games are good for what they are, but they're purely luck as to wins/losses (with the odds in the house's favour as in real life).
The two poker variants are hamstrung by the horrible horrible AI. Does the AI bet? If so you can bet real money that the AI has a strong hand. With the AI never, ever, bluffing, and the fact that the AI will call more often than not (I've seen it calling an all in bet with a 2-5 off suited in the hold em variant), the single player is absurdly easy. You'll get enough money to unlock the highest level in about 30 minutes. If the AI were to change (i.e. occasionally bluffing, being smart about calling) the higher level may provide a bit more play value and challenge, but the only difference is the money the CPU players get and the blind/ante values. Same with the higher levels of the other games, all that changes are the min/max bet values it seems.
The only partially redeeming feature of this is the local multiplayer (there is no WiFi option). If you've got poker fans that also happen to have DS's the download-play can whittle away some time, but the GBA quality graphics and sound tend to grate after a short time. Most of the people I've played with agreed that other than the convenience of not having to carry around a case of poker chips, we'd all much rather play poker with real cards if we need to be close to each other anyhow. WiFi play would have changed this, but there is none, although 6 players can play local multiplayer (1 person with the cart and 5 people using download play)
In summary if you can pick it up for 5-10 dollars then feel free to grab it, otherwise give this game a pass.
Gameplay: 3 - Only two non-random modes of play, both of which get old quick
Graphics/Sound: 5 - The graphics and sound both are of a quality I'd expect from the GBA, not the DS
Multiplayer: 6 - No Wifi limits this games potential, and even the local play gets old quick.
Replay: 2 - Lack of AI and unlockables provide no replay value or impetus
Overall: 5/10 - A solid game... for about 30 minutes, but stupid AI and uninspired graphics/sound make the fun end quick.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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