Real Talk By: D.
Full House Poker is the spiritual successor to Xbox Live’s popular, but now canned, 1 vs. 100. However, unlike 1 vs 100, Full House poker features both single player and multiplayer modes, along with the live scheduled events. Full House Poker is a poker game that follows the Texas Hold ‘Em rule set.
Gameplay for Full House Poker is pretty standard for a Texas H
old ‘Em game, featuring tables of up to 10 players, precise control over how much you’d like bet, and the option of which cards you’d like to show after everyone else has folded. Single player features both sit-down games and tournaments, along with pro takedown challenges. Pro takedowns features a series of one-on-one games against different computer players, each with their own personality, play style and special costume to unlock, with the final pro takedown being a tournament against all of the players. Single player can be a fun distraction at first, but pales in comparison to the multiplayer. Also, at times it seems as if the computer players get unbelievable lucky, often times winning the hand on the last card, but that’s just my experience.
Multiplayer consists of both ranked and unranked tournaments and sit down games, along with live scheduled events known as Texas Heat. Bots can be turned on for player matches, but tend to suck a lot of the fun out of the multiplayer experience. Texas Heat events consist of three separate tables, each with their own buy in and ranking. The goal is to get to the highest table and earn the most XP, which is something I’ll get too in a bit. When playing Texas Heat, a player is sent to the next lowest table when they bust out, allowing whoever has the highest chip count at the next lowest table to move up a table. These events are the most fun, with the only downside being the fact that they’re not held every day. The winner of each overall event is whoever earns the most XP during the event. Multiplayer is mostly a great experience, although on rare occasions the tables sometimes freeze on a player and sometimes you run into players who go all in every hand, but that’s not the game’s fault.
Full House Poker features a ranking system where you level up by earning XP, which can be earned in any of the game’s mode. XP is earned for doing things such as winning hands and showdowns, being dealt in, and making smart folds. Leveling up earns you new costumes, venues, tables, cards, and chairs, along with access to higher buy-in games and tournaments. The XP system does a good job of making you feel like you’ve accomplished something, win or lose.
In Full House Poker, there is a heavy emphasis on avatar interaction, with your avatar, and any avatar clothing you may be wearing, representing you in game. There are even outfits you can unlock for your avatar, either by ranking up or winning the game’s pro takedowns. During gameplay your avatar will react to certain events such going all in, and losing or winning a hand. When folding, checking, calling, or going all-in, by holding one of the triggers, you can control whether or not you avatar does an action aggressively or timidly. Also, there are special tricks that your avatar can perform with his/her chips, which is a nice little touch. These tricks can either be unlocked by leveling up, or purchased off of the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Overall, Full House Poker is an excellent poker game that every Texas Hold ‘Em fan should add to their library.
Full House Poker Gets
4 out of 5
+ Neat avatar integration.
+ Entertaining live events and great multiplayer.
+ Just plain fun.
– Texas Heat events don’t occur everyday.
– Single player can be a little dry.
– People who go all in every hand (But that’s every poker game with fake money)
Available on: Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
P.S. There is also a Windows Phone 7 version of the game, where allows to play with the same profile on either device.