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Full House Poker XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.5
Value 7.0
Distributor: Microsoft
Review Date:
April 2011
Edwin Millheim


Full House Poker

My, my, my, my, poker face, well my avatarís poker face anyway. Full House Poker on Xbox Live Arcade brings the closet card sharks out to the virtual table in visual style.

Be it against the games AI or against fellow gamers, the game rewards you whatever way it goes. Win or loose the game is actually fun. Your gambling success is not only displayed by how many chips you are winning or have won, but also by the experience level of your character. Oddly enough, experience points are earned even if you are loosing. The old saying of know when to fold um and know when to hold um holds true here. Folding a bad card hand will earn some experience points.

Every new hand gets the player closer to some Avatar gear, new cards or even furniture. Thankfully, it is not only dependent on how many chips you have won, but also mainly, it seems by the experience level.

Not a card shark? Never fear, Full House Poker has both video and text tutorials that will help you along. You may just be winning those virtual jackpots in no time. Any time during game play a tap of the bumper shows a list in order of strength of possible hands. The game for some one that has never really played cards can actually be a bit intimidating at first glance, after allÖhow do you know what to bet, or what to do if you have never played? There are plenty of how to play tutorials and tips in the game, showing different hands.

The AI seems to be aggressive or that may be just because until itís the players turn, everything happens at a break neck pace, cards fly and the AI reacts with in a second or two, there is no thoughtful pause, or dramatic stare down as the AI character simulates thinking of what they will do. It is very evident the player is against the computer, there is no feeling in single player mode of going against different styles or personalities. Itís still fun and challenging, so take the pause to have look at what the opponents are doing or what they are showing in their hand and then make your play. At first go round with Full House Poker, I felt compelled to make or at least try to make just as fast choices as the AI opponents do.

The Pro Take down mode is when the games AI bring out the virtual card sharks. The player in this mode has to take on and take down nine different AI characters in competition play. This part of the game tends to feel the most rewarding, just after multiplayer.

Ranked and unranked games are in the multiplayer experience. Players can be host of their own game or find a game to join. Going against other thinking players brings on a different feel since you know your playing against another actual person. They may be cautious in their style of play or more aggressive. As games go that incorporate your avatar, Full House Poker is a blast and the rewards are a real hoot too. The player comes away feeling some sense of reward, be it from the chips won, experience points or even cooler still some customization for your virtual self, from decks of cards to outfits, or even tricks with chips to show off how awesomely cool you are.

All through the multiplayer experience, messages flash up at the bottom of the screen letting you know how well your doing, the ambiance in the game can get rather exciting and itís fun to get lost in the moment of your virtual gambling with out the consequences that it can well bring. Players see other players; you can even hear cheers when someone has won big. All you have to do is pony up some Microsoft points to get you started in this slick looking game. While the concept is cool, it almost makes what the game simulates a pointless affair, since there is no risk here. Win or loose you get something out of it. Which can be cool, perhaps in an overly gamer friendly fashion?

Full House Poker is well worth the time or in this case the past time. Full House Poker is a fun game for its single player mode or its multiplayer mode and beautiful whimsical graphics and use of our avatars.

Have fun, play games
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor
Impulse Gamer


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