Payout Poker and Casino
Payout Poker and Casino is the PSP's latest entry in the ever growing, ultra competitive poker genre. In it, players create a character with what has been the most easy to use and friendly character creator I have ever used. Then you unleash them on the casino in the hope of scoring big and maybe finding some surprises.
Running around a casino has never been fun for me, even in real life, but when a game has you running around one just for the sake of running, that is a big turnoff. Unfortunately, that's the case here. It would be one thing if you could walk around and find hidden things in the nooks and crannies or even a chip or two on the floor (like real life) but nope that is not the case. Instead it's more of an exploratory tool to take you from one type of game to the other.
When in the games, the developers have implemented an interesting way to move up to the next casino. Instead of winning bucket loads of cash, you must collect stars and once enough stars are collected you can access the next casino. To get the stars, you must meet certain in game requirements. For example, the first time you get a natural blackjack, you get a star but the natural blackjacks you get afterwards do not yield any more stars. So the game does a good job of forcing you to play those casino games you may not play normally, like baccarat.
The tables of the games look absolutely great, with the cards and tables being sharp and easy to read. There are a couple of visual hiccups in the game, like the lack of other players (this is supposed to be a big time casino) other then the small amount of folks you see standing around. The game's sound effects are done with the correct snap to the card or dice or ball, but the canned phrases that the dealers and other players say get old really fast.
The game does allow for some wireless play via ad hoc and that can be a bit exciting when playing against a fellow blackjack player. However, the game always seems to fill up your table (with comp players) when playing a game, which can be somewhat frustrating when you just want to play with your ad hoc friend.
If you like playing poker, then you may not want this title. Even though you can play poker, the game itself tries to be an all encompassing casino experience and that made me feel a little lacking. Still, there are an awful lot of games to play and the challenge of getting to those bigger casinos is a substantial one. Not too bad for the well rounded gambler.