Hmm… An interesting choice for a console game. When I first heard of Prominence Poker, my first thought was: “How can a poker game be successful on a console when there are so many established PC Poker games?” So, I was intrigued to say the least. I had so many questions and concerns, especially since this was a free game. Did Prominence Poker make the cut? Was it a success or failure? Let’s find out.
Blue Ball Score: 17 out of 25 balls
How hard can the controls really be? It’s poker for God’s sake. You have four controls: check, call, bet (including raising), and fold. So, needless to say, the controls were quite easy to learn. Prominence Poker did add some additional “controls” (for lack of better term) to add some fun into the game. You could taunt your enemies in various ways or even give them praise (as passive aggressive as it may have been). This was a nice little touch to provide a more realistic and interactive poker experience.
Speaking of a realistic experience, did Prominence Poker make you feel like you were really playing poker? At times, yes. I mean, as I sat in front of my TV naked eating cheesy poofs, there is a natural ceiling as to just how realistic it can feel. Just kidding… maybe. But seriously, the experience itself was as realistic as it could get. Some aspects (such as graphics, campaign, etc.) took away from the realism, but we will get into that later.
One special thing worth mentioning here is that Prominence Poker did have a customization system of sorts. First, you could customize your character. You could pick a gender (male, female, other…) and you could make him/her look just the way you wanted them too. You could determine how big or small their nose was (from “itty-bitty” to Jewish), the position of their ears, and so much more. But wait, there’s more! As you gain more money (in game currency), you can purchase more things for your character, such as: outfits, items to put on the table (cigar, switch blade, etc.), glasses, etc. This was a huge differentiation from typical poker games and helped make this game truly unique.
Conclusion? Simple controls, realistic experience, and a basic customization system lead this section to receive a perfect 5/5 balls.
Admittedly, the campaign is still in its early stages. There were a lot of places that said “Coming Soon!” But, my job is to review the game I played and not the game it could be. So, that being said, the campaign was extremely short – as in less than an hour short.
Ok Tasty Nades, so what about the parts of the campaign you did play? How were they? Even these missions were disappointing. They were divided into two different parts. The first part was beating the “henchmen.” After you beat the introductory people, you then went head-to-head with the boss. But, both parts seemed overly easy. Now, perhaps I just got “lucky” with the cards I drew. I beat the first boss with a straight flush! What are the odds! As I stated, perhaps it was luck, but I think that the outcome of the missions were intended to be that way.
One upside is that there was an introductory mission. This mission helped set the storyline, background (of who you are), and what the end goal was. SPOILER ALERT! The end mission is to play the Mayor again.
This clarity of direction was just about the only upside to the campaign. Hopefully, the game’s developers will create more missions and keep expanding on this aspect of the game by making it more difficult. Unfortunately, it just isn’t there as of now. Therefore, I must give it a 2/5 balls.
I will start this off by saying that Prominence Poker offered a few different game modes. You could play with several people at once, head-to-head, or even in a tournament! I did play the multiplayer for a significant amount of time since the campaign was so short and I enjoyed it. Yes, you had those d#$^-wads who went “all-in” every single hand, but those are in every poker game. I just look at those guys like I do strippers – They don’t understand what they are doing or how to do it, so they are doing the cheapest thing possible to get by. For the record, I am not discriminating… I love and endorse all strippers (male, female, other).
Moving on, one thing I liked about the multiplayer was that the currency was shared by the campaign as well as multiplayer. What the hell does that mean? In other words, if you won 500k in multiplayer, you could then use that same money to play the campaign missions. This was significant in regards to the customization system. If there was a pair of boss ass sunglasses you wanted, but they cost 50k, you would have to play the campaign missions several times. Instead, you could just take your mad skills online and get the money there.
One thing I noticed was that you could join an affiliation. Once you reached a certain level, you could join an affiliation and they were “card” themed (hearts, diamonds, etc.). Unfortunately, not all affiliations were unlocked, but I did see potential here.
Overall, the multiplayer was awesome. It had all the aspects of a typical poker game, but the carry-over with campaign and variety of game modes offered really laid down the fundamentals. The servers were pretty quick and very reliable, which is always good (especially for a free game). For these reasons, I give the online experience a perfect 5/5 balls.
Prominence Poker’s graphics were extremely disappointing. Let’s just say I now know how all my girlfriend’s feel after we do the dirty. The graphics seemed to be too cartoony at times. I know that may be the intended effect, but there were certain parts of the game that seemed realistic, but other parts seemed cartoony. I was getting mixed messages. For example, after each game, your character left by jumping in this invisible portal on the floor and he magically disappeared. I just wanted to say, “THERE IS A DOOR RIGHT BEHIND YOU! USE IT!!!” Another thing I can’t stand is when the characters’ mouths don’t match what they are saying. This has always been a pet peeve of mine since my early gaming days…
Ok, ok, ok, I get it. Get off your soap Tasty Nades! What about the audio? I didn’t really like the music either. I thought the music / soundtrack was poor. The sound effects were pretty good, but how hard is it to emulate poker chip noises? Not very…
Due to the horrendous graphics and poor soundtrack, I give this section what I like to call a Lance Armstrong – One ball (out of 5).
The game is still in its baby stages. There isn’t a whole lot of content available now, but if you enjoy playing internet poker then this is definitely worth the time. There is some campaign (hopefully more in the future) available, different multiplayer modes, character customization, and even a clear storyline/plot. If the developers play their cards right (see what I did there), this game could really evolve into something special.
If you were to download it right now, you may get bored since there isn’t a whole lot available. But, the potential is definitely there and you can go ahead and get a head start of those people that only play games if they are popular. Who doesn’t want a character that looks like a total badass and was there since day 1?
In conclusion, this game is definitely worth it. The only downside is that there isn’t a lot available right now so I will have to give this a 4/5 balls.
If you like poker, but don’t want to deal with all the fluff of “big name” PC poker leagues, then Prominence Poker is for you. There is room for improvement, but I think the fundamental aspects are there and there is definitely potential. Prominent Poker is quick and easy to learn and, if you run out of virtual money, you can even spend real money to get more! Thus, the grand total is 17 / 25 balls.