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World Championship Poker 2 Review

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You gotta know when to hold 'em...

★★★★★

With every half-cocked development house on the planet jumping on the poker bandwagon, it’s a tough call to find a card simulator that plays a decent hand. But while it’s far from perfect, World Championship Poker 2 comes the closest to nailing the classic card game and giving players convincing computer-controlled competitors to challenge.

The Artificial Intelligence of WCP2’s card sharks is impressive, and after playing for a few hours you’ll encounter wildly different personality types – ranging from overly cautious to aggressive, with the odd bluffer thrown into the mix – making this the most convincing poker sim around.

The AI of computer players even extends as far as suspecting you of devious play from time to time, instigating a simple mini-game where you have to keep a marker inside a spinning circle to show a steely poker face, or else risk making an obvious move which betrays your hand.

The game’s multiplayer online components and RPG-style mode where you evolve your avatar also help round out this notable package, but where WCP2 falls down is its presentation: the character-creation system is cruelly underdeveloped when compared to other similar games; the venues where you play all look the same, meaning there’s little excitement in earning the chance to take your skills to another country; and overall the graphics feel clunky and uninspiring, something that doesn’t affect the core gameplay but does nothing to keep you hooked to the action.

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