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How is Battle Poker's Game Play?
The title Battle Poker is a little misleading since this Wii video game has about as much in common with real poker as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out does with real boxing. Battle Poker is actually a collection of small mini-games that all involve making the best 5 card poker hand you can with the cards that are available to you. You use the Wii remote to point and click on a standard card deck on screen, in order to select cards to look at and move around the screen.
There are two modes you can play as a single player; Shuffle Up and Chain Reaction. Shuffle Up was the better of the two single player games included and was very challenging to beat. In this game you have to rearrange a 5 x 5 grid of cards, so that every row and column adds up to a high-scoring hand. You only have 5 minutes to complete this task which makes it even more difficult. Chain Reaction involves you selecting a card on a 5 x 5 grid of cards and then moving to adjacent cards in order to make the best 5 card poker hand. This game was faster paced but you get to see the cards the CPU selects, so you get the benefit of knowing which cards the computer has selected as well.
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How is the Multiplayer Game Play in Battle Poker?
Battle Poker also has a multiplayer capability that allows you and up to three friends to play three different games; Classic, Wait Your Turn and Mad Dash. Classis involves choosing the best 5 card hand from face down cards on a 5 x 5 grid. This game is the easiest to learn of the games included. Wait Your Turn is the same mini-game as in Classic, only this time the players take turns choosing cards, rather than selecting at the same time. Mad Dash is another simple variation of the Classic mini-game above, only this time all the cards are face up and the players grab the best cards they can as quickly as they can. These games a faster paced and the kids will enjoy playing them more than the adults but the included game play isn't going to get this Wii video game onto the list of the 5 best Wii games period.
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What Does Battle Poker Look Like?
Battle Poker has a pretty nice presentation with bright, crisp colors and well designed menus and screens that are easy to navigate. There's a lot of text to read and the font is big enough to make the job of reading the script easy. The interface is easy to understand, satisfying and useful but not really intuitive, so you'll need to learn a little about the game play before it becomes second nature.
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How is Battle Poker's Sound Quality?
The music that plays as you play Battle Poker sits in the background adding to the entertainment, without intruding on the action. The sound track is a collection of energetic electronic tunes and occasional soft rock that repeats constantly, which is the worst part of the musical experience of Battle Poker.
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How Does the Control System of Battle Poker Work?
Battle Poker uses the Wii remote as the control for all of the included mini-games in both the single player and multiplayer modes. You simple point at the card you want to select and then click to turn the card or select it. The action you want to make varies from mini-game to mini-game but the motions are all the same. You do need faster fingers and eyes than your competition to play some of the games while others are simply a matter of selecting using the Wii remote. The controls are simple, yet smooth and easy to use. There were no Wii remote accidents of any kind experienced while playing Battle Poker. This video game doesn't implement the Wii MotionPlus accessory but I don't think it would have improved the experience.
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The Last Word on Battle Poker
The intended audience of Battle Poker is a complicated subject, just as complicated as the type of player that should be recommended for this Wii title. Kids will certainly enjoy playing the majority of the mini-games included with Battle Poker and adults of a liberal mind will certainly enjoy playing Shuffle Up. The other mini-games included in the single player mode probably aren't going to appeal to too many adults. The multiplayer experience included with Battle Poker should entertain adults for awhile, as long as their competition is challenging.