Caesars Palace II
I was really critical of the original Caesar's (which I gave a 3.0 to in issue #102). Caesar's II is much improved. Interplay addressed many of the shortcomings I pointed out. This time around, you have many more games to play and many more variations of them (I had no idea a basic game like Keno could be played in so many different ways). It's also nice to see a healthy variety of slot and video poker machines this time around. The best improvement for this series is the Live Coaching option. If you want, you can have the CPU (as authenticated by a Ph.D. expert statistician) tell you if you're making a good bet or not. This handy feature can actually teach you how to real-life gamble more wisely, if that's possible (although on a few occasions, I didn't agree with his video poker advice...but who the hell am I to argue with a Ph.D.? If I were actually that good at gambling, I probably wouldn't be here reviewing this game right now). So on almost every level, this game is a big improvement over the original. So why isn't my score higher than it is? Caesar's II, like the original, is extremely dry. Here, you simply go to a menu and pick the game you want to play. Most 16-Bit gambling games are more immersive, interactive and fun, letting you explore the casino or talk to fellow casino patrons.
I don't know. Maybe it was in retaliation to all of the crap games we had to review this month, but I spent a lot of time on Caesar's Palace II. The game design is quite tight and really does give the feeling of being at a real casino--although I would've liked a real poker table instead of different video poker machines. The load times can get annoying when going from one game to the next, but overall CP II is a lot of fun.
What we have here is the ultimate trainer for would-be gamblers about to make their first trek to Vegas. Not only do you get more games than in the original, everything here is amazingly authentic, with the option to turn on a gambling coach who guides your every move. Even the manual is educational. But all this authenticity leaves little room for personality. Forget any story elements--you're just gambling for gambling's sake.
Ahh gambling. There's nothing like wasting your money and life away in search of the elusive jackpot. Caesar's Palace II lets you feed your dirty habit right in the privacy of your own home and that's all right with me. There's a lot of different games to choose from, each with detailed instructions and tutorials that help you avoid common mistakes. It would have been nice if there was some more personality. Not bad.