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Poker Night 2 (Xbox 360) Review

 
TELLTALE, INC. POKER NIGHT 2
TELLTALE, INC. POKER NIGHT 2
TELLTALE, INC. POKER NIGHT 2

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC - Coming soon to IOS
 
Genre: ,
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
7.0
7/ 10


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


  • Wonderful cast of characters
  • Well written and funny scripted interactions between contestants
  • Nice mix of art styles on show

Not so much?


  • Very glitchy at times - sometimes resulting in the console hard locking
  • Core poker game is mediocre at best
  • Longevity is hampered by minimal depth, repetition of dialogue and limited unlocks


Final Fiendish Findings?

Poker Night 2 is great fun. There really is, except for Poker Night 1, nothing else like it and Telltale have pulled off what they set out to do very well.
It’s a shame that the actual poker game at it’s heart is so mundane and under featured.

2
Posted April 26, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Poker Night 2 tries to do something brave – it tries to re-engage you to video poker. Something that, lets be honest, has been done to death on games consoles and computers. So what makes Telltale, creators of last years smash The Walking Dead, think they can offer you anything you’ve not seen before?

Well for one thing they employ a cast of characters that, not even in your most lucid fever-dream, would you ever put together! Featuring the winning combination of Sam & Max (er… the Sam & Max games), Brock (Venture Bros), Ash (Evil Dead franchise), Clap Trap (Borderlands series) as your opponents. What could top that little quartet off nicely? How about Mad Moxxi from Borderlands as the bartender and GLaDOS from the Portal series as your dealer? You’re starting to get the picture I can tell…

The two forms of poker on offer here are the more widely played Texas Hold’em and Omaha, a variant where you are dealt four cards at the start and must use a combination of those and the ones revealed in the stack. There are very little in the way of frills or in-depth options available here in Poker Night 2. It does EXACTLY what it says on tin with little or no deviation from that.

Poker-Night-2-Review

The cast assembled in Poker Night 2 is what makes the game worth entertaining as a viable poker time passer. Strip back the characters and quirky nature of the surroundings and you’re left with a barely above average poker simulation that could be bettered with any number of online poker websites.

That said fold those wonderful characters back around the mediocre core and you do get something very special – if a little short lived. You see, as you play your part of the mute, unnamed stranger visiting the Inventory Club, your media celebrity cohorts engage in some truly entertaining banter. From GLaDOS’s sadistic dealer to Mad Moxxi shuffling bewildered and bored up to the table with drinks You have zippy retorts, classic comebacks and fan-serving back references thrown at you constantly whilst trying to play your hand. Each opponent around the table will have a series of tells that will clue you into the hand they might be holding.

You can even tip the scales a little more in your favour by using the game tokens you earn for playing to buy your competition a few drinks. The drunker they get the more obvious there tells are and the worse they play. On the subject of tokens in the game; These little treasures are handed out for performing well during a tournament – how many you get depends on where you rank. You can then use these tokens to unlock certain in-game items like new decks, felt and surroundings.

Other unlockables in Poker night 2 come in the form of Borderlands goodies (and Team Fortress 2 on PC!). These range from avatar clothing, to items etc. Each of these unlocks takes place after you have one a characters significant item. These items are put up for you to win during a tournament if you’ve managed to complete a set of random objectives in the previous tournament.

Poker Night 2

The game looks great with a bizarre mixture of art styles all mixing into one central location. Animation, as you’d expect no doubt, is superb and it’s great to see what Telltale have done with characters not their own like GLaDOS and Moxxi. Audio-wise Poker Night 2 is also top notch. The reworked versions of the franchise relevant theme songs are wonderful and you don’t necessarily notice them at first but it’ll creep on on you. The voice acting is what carries the whole affair though. Without a sharp script to read from and some excellent voice work the game would have fallen very flat indeed.

A litany of glitches take the shine off of Poker Night 2 though as small freeze frames, graphical glitches and the odd full hard lock of the 360 all take their toll on the gamers patience.

Final Thoughts

Poker Night 2 is great fun. There really is, except for Poker Night 1, nothing else like it and Telltale have pulled off what they set out to do very well.

It’s a shame that the actual poker game at it’s heart is so mundane and under featured. You’ll soon tire of the same (all be it well written) dialogue trotted out round after round and the glitching, coupled with the mediocre core game will leave you returning less and less to the game. I dare say once you’ve unlocked the items you really want you’ll likely never touch it. Not a massive issue on steam at £5 but at double that on consoles it’s a bigger consideration.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.


  • mowmow

    I never played the first one but this one i read has bonuses for each console so this is something i think I might want to pick up

    • Certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of any of the characters or fancy a lighthearted poker game.