This year’s World Series of Poker title is back from Activision, and marks the first time released for the Xbox 360. In this edition of the game, the focus is on you being taken under WSOP Main Event Champion Chris “Jesus” Ferguson’s wing as he guides you through WSOP events. Keep winning and see your bankroll grow, as your fame, on your way to the prestigious “Tournament of Champions” event for $2 million.
The list of features as supplied by the manufacturer:
Face more pros than ever: Put your poker skills to the ultimate test against more than 20 of the world’s top poker players, the most poker pros every collected in a video game. Raise and bluff against Scotty Nguyen, Scott Fischman, Clonie Gowen, T.J. Cloutier, Antonio Esfandiari and many others. Expect stellar creative commentary every step of the way from the announcing team of Norman Chad and Lon McEachern.
Learn from the best: Not just a sequel to last year’s top-selling poker video game, this is high-stakes poker all the way. Check your amateur status at the door and head out on the Circuit as a poker pro. You’re not alone, though, you’re under the watchful eye of “Jesus” Ferguson, winner of five WSOP bracelets. Ferguson will teach you the personal tricks and strategies that have made him one of the world’s foremost poker players. But in the end, you’re on your own, your experience, your knowledge and your talent on display at the world’s toughest poker stage – The World Series of Poker’s Tournament of Champions.
Unlock winning tools: With successful wins, unlock valuable tools that help you bring a better game to the table. Unlock the ability to check the odds of hitting various hands at every stage of the deal, check the rank of your hand, and even check statistics and percentages of the hands your opponents are fishing for.
Show your face: Put yourself in the game with the proprietary DigiMask technology specifically licensed for this title. Use your Xbox 360 camera to map your likeness on your own in-game character. Will your poker face stand up to the pressure?
Expand your game: Raise the stakes with Xbox Live® play: Host multi-table tourneys, read your opponents tells via camera footage, or even test your psychic skills by playing “Blind Man’s Bluff.”
For both the PSP and the Xbox 360 versions, you’ll find the graphics to be fairly impressive and better than most of the poker titles out there. You’ll easily recognize world champs like Jesus Ferguson, Scott Ngyuen, and Joseph Hachem. The table graphics of the various players you’ll meet in all the tournaments is nicely varied, and overall, on both platforms offer a nice poker experience.
One great thing about this title is that you actually get to pick your own voice. From a cartoon-ish freak to someone that sounds like Barry White, you get a nice variety of people at the table making comments. The funny thing about the sound is that I was REALLY excited that the ESPN WSOP theme song was actually in the title. It’s impossible to hear that song and not think No Limit Texas Hold’em. One great side note is the awesome commentary by ESPN WSOP announcers Norman Chad and Lon McEachern. They’re hilarious and their voiceover commentary makes the game legit.
There’s only one real mode playing single player, and that’s the story mode. You start in a ridiculous home game, and no matter how you do, Jesus Ferguson (who happens to be there), takes you under his wing as a protégé. You then get to enter various WSOP tournament events, and only tournament events. There’s no way to sit down at a cash game and build a bank roll, or just enter a small sit n go. But the tournaments are surprisingly fun – from entering various limit and no-limit Texas Hold’em games, to even more sophisticated versions of poker like Omaha and HORSE.
The poker AI is pretty good actually if you play it on a tough enough level. You won’t find too many strong players early on in the “easier” tournaments, but as you get further you’ll have to start recognizing which players fire at pots with just over cards, and who’s willing to check-raise you on a draw. Of course, there is spotty play by the AI, but overall, it’s a very entertaining game to pass the time with. The PSP version is *perfect* for plane flights, and the 360 edition is great for online multi-player tournaments and “bigger than life” graphics.
Well if you like poker, then you’ll get a lot of hours out of both editions of the game. The PSP version is now my favorite game to travel with, since poker can really pass the time on a boring flight, and the 360 edition has great on-line components, such as multiplayer tournaments and sit n goes to play against people from all over the world. There’s no real money involved, so it isn’t gambling in the least – it’s just having fun with cards.
If you’re looking for a fun way to play poker on the road, I have to highly recommend WSOP Tournament of Champions 2007 for PSP. Playing through the tournaments via your created character is a lot of fun. The graphics are pretty standard, and although nothing special for 360, look solid and worthwhile on PSP. The sound is great, fueled by the wonderful commentary by the real-life ESPN announcers, and the gameplay is pretty varied. The A.I. for the various players is pretty consistent – you have your rocks, your agro players, and your fish. You just have to navigate all the way to get to the final “Tournament of Champions” event. All in all a solid poker game and comes recommended for you rounders out there.