Playing Poker Tournaments on the Go
Experiencing the thrill of the WPT on the 3DS
Compared to genres like platformers, fighting games, and the yearly Madden NFL updates (yes, Madden is still its own genre, unfortunately), casino games are few and far between. This is why it’s such a breath of fresh air whenever one comes along.
Digitized versions of the sport have slowly been supplanting their brick-and-mortar counterparts ever since the advent of online casino games. Online games provider Betfair has even hosted satellite events of many major poker tournaments, and has even closed a deal with Trump Plaza to have its online games played in swanky game rooms, gradually making Betfair Poker more visible to aficionados of the sport.
This transition into digital territory only makes sense considering that video games have become a huge part of pop culture in recent years. This means that poker enthusiasts will be seeing more of their favorite sport in video game form in the coming years. For 3DS owners, a few quality titles have in fact already permeated the market, one of which is a great handheld recreation of the World Poker Tournament.
The WPT in Dual Screens
Originally released back in 2010 for the DSi – but nonetheless still playable with the 3DS – Hands-On Mobile’s World Poker Tour: Texas Hold ‘Em aims to emulate its namesake’s tournament proceedings. Despite being played on a small portable screen, the WPT’s presentation style translates surprisingly well on the handheld system’s sprite art style.
Additionally, the game also plays well. You can set up quick matches where nearly all factors are adjustable, including number of opponents, betting limits, blind amounts, and so on. And for the serious gamer, there’s the Career Mode, which sees your customizable avatar work its way through the whole tournament; provided you last that long, of course.
Playing for the Long Haul
Top notch presentation and gameplay aside, there is one niggling drawback to the game: the lack of a comprehensive save feature. If you’re in the middle of a match, you have to see it all the way through in order to save your progress. Otherwise, you’ll have to start all over again. Some would say that this captures the tension of a real poker match, which is all well and good. On the other hand, it’s a given for portable games (especially modern ones) to have relatively forgiving save game functions; and not just because of players’ bathroom break tendencies, but because of potential battery issues as well.
On the whole, though, World Poker Tour on the DS is a fun little title that plays better than your average handheld poker game. Just remember to have your system’s AC adapter within easy reach.