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DS

North America

Sega Casino

by Ty Shughart - December 13, 2005, 7:11 pm PST

6.5

Strip poker is, sadly, not included.

Sega games always seemed to have 'Casino' zones in them - like in pretty much every Sonic game, and even in totally implausible games like F-Zero GX. Apparently, "CASINO" is the new basic element of a level that goes along with "LAVA" worlds, "SNOW" worlds, etc. I'm not sure exactly why I brought this up. I think I was just expecting something a little flashier in a whole game dedicated to "CASINO" from Sega. Well, actually, it's developed by Tose Software, but, I mean, if it says "Sega" on it, it ought to be a little more polished.

Right, this is a brand new Nintendo DS game, and it's $29.95 on EBGames and I assume pretty much everywhere else. It's plain as can be. For that price, I was expecting something cooler than a bare-bones set of the Casino mainstays. I used to like playing Vegas Stakes on the SNES, which had dialogue and unique characters and your choice of personal escort. That was cool. Sega Casino has none of that. It doesn't even have slot machines with little hedgehogs or anything. It doesn't have any real defects either, per se, but I was expecting more for a game that costs thirty bucks.

At least it has one-cartridge multiplayer for the card games. The multiplayer-able games are Blackjack, Texas Hold 'Em, and Seven Card Stud. Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, Chuck A Luck, Keno, and Video Poker are available for one-player only. These are all fine, if graphically simple, except for the betting limit in Roulette. Nothing is more fun than making like $30,000 and then betting it all at once in Roulette, I'm sure of it. Too bad the limit in Sega Casino is $1000.

Some of the games need to be unlocked by acquiring enough total money, but they can all be opened on day one. It's pretty easy to play one of the card games, go all-in on a hand, and turn the game off without saving in the event of failure. The opponent AI in the card games is decent, but it gets predictable after a while. The game works pretty well as a teaching tool, since the full rules for each game are included, and it's only play-money, after all.

Sega Casino is underfeatured for the price. It's not bad, but it's just not worth thirty bucks. Keep an eye for this one down the road if the price comes down and you're hankerin' for some wireless card games.

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Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7 6 8.5 7.5 7 6.5
Graphics
7

Clear and functional, but so plain it seems like a waste of DS hardware. It's not like simple casino games need flash, but I was expecting more for the price.

Sound
6

It's a rule that all casino games must have crappy jazz soundtracks, apparently. No surprises here. I play with the sound off and jam to my own music.

Control
8.5

Both the stylus and regular controls work really well. I use them both, depending on the sub-game. The only gripe is that sometimes bets are matched with the same button as checking them, leading to some accidental giant bets.

Gameplay
7.5

Works pretty well for teaching how to play Texas Hold 'Em and Seven Card Stud, so you can catch up with the card game fad. The rest are, you know, games of chance. It's disappointing to not be able to put tens of thousands of dollars "on black" all at once.

Lastability
7

Betting tops out at $1000-$5000, depending on the sub-game, so the game gets slow once that is no larger a particularly huge bet. Card games are always a great time-waster, though.

Final
6.5

Although lackluster, it's a pretty solid assortment of games. Probably not worth $29.95 when there are better casino games on the SNES or free on the Internet, but it could be worth getting when the price comes down on it or if you find a used copy.

Summary

Pros
  • Fast and convenient card game practice
  • Seven games (plus a couple variations on video poker)
  • Single-card wireless multiplayer
Cons
  • Incredibly plain-looking
  • Losing a lot of money in Casino mode can be circumvented by turning the game off without saving
  • Only the most basic of features
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Party/Parlor
Developer Sega
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Sega Casino
Release Nov 15, 2005
PublisherSega
RatingTeen
jpn: Sega Casino
Release TBA
PublisherSega
eu: Sega Casino
Release Feb 03, 2006
PublisherSega
Rating18+

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