With the extreme level of popularity of Texas Hold'Em that has only continued to rise over the past few years, it is never a surprise to learn of an upcoming release of yet another medium for this game. What is unique, however, is seeing a version coming to a major console as well as a handheld. In the past, the only options available to play electronically were found on the PC.
Poker fans rejoice; the day has come where that is no more. Console and handheld players alike will now be able to share in the excitement that PC players have been enjoying for some time. Coming this May 30th, Stacked with Daniel Legreanu will be available for the PS2 and PSP, as well as the Xbox and PC.
Developed by 5000ft, Inc. and published by Myelin Media, Stacked is set to be the most realistic poker experience to date. Its features include three real Las Vegas casinos, seven poker stars and complete character customization. On top of this, the game will include a learning section for Texas Hold'Em which will be presented as videos of Daniel Legreanu himself explaining the concepts to players. From the basics to more advanced strategies, it's all there.
Of course, the single feature that sets this game apart from others is the AI. Based on an algorithm that has been in development for ten years, the computer-controlled opponents are set to be the de facto standard for years to come. Not only do they display realistic facial expressions that one would expect from human players during a poker game, but they also learn and adjust to the player's expressions over time. For example, if you choose to smile often while bluffing, your computer opponents will pick up on this and adapt. And I'm told that this is only the beginning.
Another plus for players who own both a PS2 and PSP is the ability to take your game with you on the road. Saved characters will be completely transferable between the two systems allowing unparalleled flexibility and a theoretically (unless your batteries die) the ability to play anywhere at any time. Did I mention that you can also play this game online against other human players?
Although I did not have much hands-on time with this game, it looks like Stacked will deliver on all of its potential. Although it will cost you two copies of the game, PS2 and PSP owners will benefit the most from the portability. Regardless though, I would wager all my chips on this one.