Poker Night 2
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2013-05-19 Xbox 360 Casino M (Mature) Telltale Games

Playing poker may not be my idea of an interesting evening. However, playing poker with a group of video game characters is an entirely different story, and it was this cast that peaked my interest.

Poker Night 2 places you - the player - against four characters: Sam from Sam & Max, Ash from Evil Dead, Claptrap from Borderlands and Brock from The Venture Bros. GlaDOS from Portal becomes your artifical intelligence dealer, not only of cards, but of clever insults as well. You can enter two types of tournament, Texas Hold'Em and Omaha

Mad Moxxi takes the role of seemingly bored bartender, msot of the time. Max provides some assistance to Sam as well as comedic relief, and there are cameo appearances by Doug (The Walking Dead), Steve (Borderlands), a waiter from Gravity Bone and your host, Reginald Van Winslow from Tales of Monkey Island.

Poker Night 2 offers a good number of unlockable goodies. You earn special tokens by winning tournaments, which can then be redeemed by items such as card decks, table felts and chip designs, with the themes related to each of the characters. Alternatively, you can use said tokens to buy rounds of drinks for everyone at the table, and in the process, making it easier for you to tell when they're bluffing.

There are also other goodies for use outside the game, and those depend on the platform you are playing the game on. All platforms will be able to unlock Borderlands 2 extras, such as Evil Ash head, Max mask and a poker visor. Xbox 360 players can also find five exclusive avatar items, one of them being the famous Necronomicon, while PS3 players will be able to unlock five special themes. For Steam players, there are five unique Team Fortress equipable items.

Obviously, if you're not into poker, you may not want to pick this up. However, being able to sit and play against a colorful cast of characters makes it worthwhile. Poker will always be poker, but the humorous banter keeps it interesting and fun. Claptrap can be particularly hilarious in his remarks, but also pretty annoying when he goes on and on with Sam about dogs.

The downside is that after a few rounds you will find yourself listening to the same comments, which makes this game better enjoyed a tournament at a time and not hours of card play in a row. Playing for the rewards will keep you going for a while, but once you are done collecting all of them, there is no reason to keep playing. Unfortunately, there really is no replay value, something that could have been easily changed by the addition of a multiplayer feature.

Poker Night 2 is like a celebration of favorite characters and their respective games, with an interesting cast, witty dialogues and excellent voice-overs that made me laugh out loud on occasion, and plenty of unlockable extras for everyone, regardless of platform. It's definitely a fun and interesting game while it lasts. But it's a shame that it doesn't last all that long.