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Review: World Championship Poker 2 - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 23 October 2007, 09:23

Tags: Oxygen Interactive, Sports

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To be a poker champion, you must have a strong bladder.

You begin your poker career with the creation of your avatar, choosing from the likes of gender, face type, body size and having the option to tweak various settings, such as nose size and distance between the eyes.

The character creation process is fairly limited in terms of customization and crude in presentation; the use of the Xbox 360 web cam and its face mapping ability would have been a much better idea. In fact, the presentation in World Championship Poker 2 is a bit of a letdown throughout, with the game looking tired and feeling dated, thanks to some awful looking environments, poorly designed characters and the robotic animations of the other players around the table.

The career mode involves rising to the top of your field by winning tournaments and improving your ranking. As you progress, you’ll hopefully rake in the cash along the way, which then allows you to enter higher-stake tournaments, in addition to being able to buy some nice things for your virtual home. This lifestyle element of the game means that you can walk around your home and buy the likes of paintings and TVs with your winnings as well as buying new clothes and accessories to show-off your new found wealth.

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From Texas Hold’ Em to 7 Card Stud, the game boasts 14 variations of poker, and whilst the array of game types means that there’s plenty of choice at hand, the action at the poker table never really takes off. The pace of the games is just so slow (the first tournament I played in took over 45 minutes to complete) and isn’t helped by the fact that there’s far too many ‘pot-limit’ games to choose from, each of which drag on for an eternity.

The addition of a turbo mode has been executed poorly and although it does mean that you can move through games more quickly, it also hampers your ability to try and read ‘tells’ (any behavioral pattern that a player exhibits which can tip you off to what they hold.). This means that you’ll spend any games that you play in this mode completely guessing how your opponents are playing rather than relying on your skillful deductions.