Poker Night 2

7.0 Overall Score

Very Funny Dialog | Unlocks Add Replayablity

Game Breaking Bugs on Xbox 360 | Dialog Repeats Often

Written by on April 30, 2013 in [, , , , , ]

When Telltale launched their award winning series The Walking Dead, many wondered exactly where they could go from there. We knew they were working on a video game adaptation to the comic series Fables, but we didn’t know if they were working on anything else. Little could we expect they were working on, of all things, a sequel to Poker Night at the Inventory, a poker game starring various video game characters. Poker Night 2 has now launched and, while it does have some very clear problems, the game is still quite a bit of fun.

The premise for Poker Night 2 is similar to that of Poker Night at the Inventory. The silent player meets with four characters to play poker at a club called the Inventory. This time, Brock Samson from TV’s The Venture Brothers, Ash from the film Army of Darkness, Sam from Sam and Max and Claptrap from Borderlands all join in. Additionally, GLaDOS from Portal is the dealer.

A big part of the game is listening to the conversations the players have with each other. They usually have the Telltale brand of humor very heavily attached to them and deal with everything from armed babies to talking about dogs playing poker. However, you can very quickly hear the dialog repeated, which can get somewhat annoying after you’ve heard the same lines multiple times within the span of a few games.

Additionally, a lot of the dialog from Ash feels incredibly forced and often times simply sounds wrong coming from his character. Ash was always more of a slapstick kind of character and never spoke for more than a few words at a time. Here, almost all of his dialog is cheesy references to overplayed jokes from Army of Darkness exclusively (as opposed to The Evil Dead series of films where he got his start). Also, the voice actor who plays Ash sounds nothing at all like Bruce Campbell, the actor who made the role famous, so if you’re a big fan of his character this game will do nothing but make you want him to be quiet.

Poker Night 2 features both Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha poker variations and learning everyone’s tells is a big part of being successful in the game. As with the original game, the AI is never too brutal towards you so if you’re a newer player, you’ll probably find this game to be one of the easiest ways to learn exactly how to play the basics.

However, if you play for more than a few hours you begin to understand the exact ways that characters will react. It can, at times, become far too easy to understand exactly which player does which thing when they have certain hands. For example, some players seem far more prone to bluffing you by going all-in. You can easily knock multiple players out within the first few rounds of a game if you know what you’re doing.

The game does add in some challenge by adding a random set of bounty challenges for the player to complete. These may be as simple as coming in fourth in a tournament or as challenging as beating multiple players in a showdown with a certain type of hand. Upon completing a set of challenges, you’ll be given a chance to play for an item from one of the players. If you win the tournament, you’ll get an item for a character in Borderlands 2, as well as an item that varies for each platform. If you’re playing on the Xbox 360, you’ll get an avatar item and on the PC you’ll get a Team Fortress 2 item.

Additionally, when you finish a tournament you’ll gain tokens that can be used to unlock themed decks, tables and chips. Completing a set of these will result in getting a new location to play at, themed towards one of the characters. These include new ways players will get taken from the table, such as getting attacked with a confetti rocket at the Borderlands 2 location, and will unlock location specific dialog. This adds in a bit more of an incentive to keep playing the game to see more actual content.

However, all of this might be for naught if you’re playing on the Xbox 360. This version of the game has several near game breaking bugs that can force you to restart a tournament multiple times. These glitches don’t appear to be present in the PC version. Additionally, the Xbox version costs twice as much as the PC version, making the PC version the clear choice if it’s available to you.

All of that said, though, the dialog is still a lot of fun to listen to. While it’s extremely easy to learn the players’ tells, it’s still fairly fun to play and the unlocks add a lot of replayability. While the Xbox 360 version is not optimal, it’s still enjoyable due to the clear work that Telltale put into most of the dialog. It’s just a little bit too pricey when you compare it to the other platforms it’s available on.

A code for Poker Night 2 was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

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