High Stakes on the Vegas Strip Poker Edition Preview
May 10, 2007 - Sometime this summer, poker fans will be able to soothe their gambling itch with High Stakes at the Vegas Strip, to be available for $9.99 USD through the PlayStation Network. The feature being pushed in this game is EyeToy or other PC compatible USB camera support, which will display the camera's target in the screen's corners during online games. Whether or not players choose to point their EyeToy at their faces or houseplants or something more inappropriate remains to be seen.
Two modes are available for offline play: quick game and career mode. Choosing quick game lets you pick between Texas Hold'em, Super Hold'em, Shanghai, Billabong, and Tahoe poker. In career mode as well as during online play, only Texas Hold'em is playable. Advancing through career mode's various tiers earns points to unlock special shirts, pants, sunglasses and more for your avatar, which you choose to apply to one of the five male and five female avatars. The game starts out placing easy AI around the six person tables, and as you progress will randomly drop in more challenging AI opponents. While we saw the game running, we didn't have much of a chance to actually test out how the AI behaved, so we'll have to bring you details on that later.
Offline play can be sped up between hands with the press of a button, meaning you don't have to sit there waiting for all the computer opponents to think about and make their turn. From what we saw, the graphics looked pretty slick for a PSN game, with AI opponents even reacting slightly to events on the table. Three different camera views can be switched between, depending on how close up you like to view the action.
Of course the game's main appeal would be online, where up to six players can battle it out. Expect online leader boards to keep tabs on hands won, played, flops seen, and a slew of other extraneous numbers. Should you want to yell or congratulate anyone you're playing against and don't have a USB camera with which to give a visual representation of your emotional state, you can always use a USB headset or USB keyboard to publicize your mind's contents and, if you're good, mess up your opponents' thinking.