CGR Undertow – PLAIN VIDEO POKER review for Nintendo 3DS

This is plain Video Poker. That’s why the
game is called Plain Video Poker. It is a
downloadable game on the Nintendo eShop. You
play poker. The object of the game is to make
the highest-value poker hand. Five cards are
dealt to you. You keep some, none, or all
of those cards. The cards you did not keep
are replaced. Then you either lose or gain
Oh, I’m sorry. You wanted something interesting?
Well, look away, buddy, ‘cause I don’t
have much for you today. What I do have is
Plain Video Poker, which attempts to bring
the excitement of a real-life casino right
into your hands. Except the reason casinos
are exciting is because you’re gambling
with real money, and not because of the games
themselves. And CERTAINLY not because of the
coded-in-an-afternoon flat-blue-backgrounds
of the various video poker games you’ll
come across. It’s a strange phenomenon;
while slot machines manage to carry bajillions
of licenses and at least moderately interesting
presentations, featuring everything from Tabasco
to Don Ho, you’re probably not going to
find a video poker machine that looks more
advanced than what your NES could pump out
back in ‘87. You need to create the immersion
of the casino environment to really bring
that across. Without those elements, you’ve
just got a random number generator with a
coat of paint.
Awright, enough about my personal beliefs
on the casino industry. Plain Video Poker
is a game that exists and came across my desk,
so the least I can do is tell you about it.
You’ve got options for twelve different
styles of game, from basic jacks-or-better
to double jacks, triple double jacks, deuces
wild, double deuces wild, double backwards
left-handed deuces wild, double backwards
left-handed deuces wild with a triple lutz
and chocolate sprinkles, double backwards
left-handed deuces wild with a triple lutz,
chocolate sprinkles, and the reincarnated
spirit of Lt. Col. Henry Blake giving you
a dissertation on fly fishing, and double
backwards left-handed deuces wild with a triple
lutz, chocolate sprinkles, and the reincarnated
spirit of Lt. Col. Henry Blake giving you
a dissertation on fly fishing while chastising
Maj. Burns for ruining Klinger’s brand new
dress. And the truth is, every single one
of them plays exactly the same, save for differences
in their payout tables. Which, y’know, is
complete verisimilitude with what you’d
get in a casino… but they’d also give
you free drinks. Plain Video Poker is too
plain for free drinks. Or any music. Or animation.
At all.
The takeaway is this: there are two meanings
of “gaming” in the world today: the meaning
we’re familiar with, and the meaning that
involves hundreds of thousands of women named
Ethel climbing onto busses, driving for hours,
disembarking, eating at a moderately tolerable
buffet, and then plopping themselves down
in front of a penny slot machine for the next
48 to 72 hours, standing to lose anywhere
north of twenty-seven dollars. And while I’m
down with casinos – especially when I can
find a $5 cheapskate-grade blackjack table
– it takes a lot to import just what makes
that whole experience work into a non-gambling
situation. Hence why it happens so rarely:
the only good example I can think of is Vegas
Stakes, and that was all the way back on the
SNES. So if you want some Plain Video Poker
to go with your dry white toast and your rhythm
and blues revue, I guess this is your best
bet that doesn’t involve crossing a mine
field full of Ethels. Every one of them’s
ready to tell you about their grandkids. Isn’t
that sweet?

25 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – PLAIN VIDEO POKER review for Nintendo 3DS

  1. The first 40 seconds of this may be the most I've ever enjoyed one of TJ's reviews. 

  2. Thumbs up for the M*A*SH references. XD Also thumbs up for even playing this though. If I wanna play something like this, I'm sure I could play this for free somewhere.

  3. Picture Poker minigame from New Super Mario Bros./Super Mario 64 DS was way more exciting than this.

  4. I think this is a good poker name, and it has character I know and care about as a member of the PC master race. Link:

  5. Really? Video Poker? Are you kidding me? Some dev was willing to spend an amount to get this game published on 3DS?

  6. I think the publisher of this game is secretly Microsoft/Sony, aiming to turn the Nintendo 3DS's eShop into the quality of the WiiU's eShop: littered with 3rd party shovelware.

  7. This is plain…
    but if you want Casino Gambling a bit more interesting, try out Sweet Memories Blackjack (and yes, that's the name)

  8. Thank you for showing me this. Now I know that there is something more boring than Breeder for the Famicom.

  9. This game NEEDS to be on Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, & Steam. IT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE 8TH GEN AS WE KNOW IT!

  10. It's supposed to be like those hand held video poker games they used to sell. It was casual game adults would play in hospital or while travelling. This perfectly achieves that for like 2 dollars.

  11. Play progressive jackpots online for your chance to make millions! THE METHOD

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