Aaachoo!! Never knew poker players were so allergy-prone

User Rating: 7.2 | World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions X360
Assuming you already know how to play poker, there isn't much of a learning curve here. The interface is intuitive and really there isn't too much need for a manual.

The gameplay mechanics work pretty well. There are a few annoyances, such as when you make a decision such as "fold," your player will sit there playing with his chips for a while before folding. Stop playing with your chips, and fold already! I realize it's for visual effect, but it happens way way too often, and it gets incredibly annoying when you just want the game to move on. The AI seems good, though I'm no poker expert. Some of the characters really do play like the pros, as they play fairly aggressively compared to a lot of newbies who play online (for real money).

Graphics are severely disappointing and are PS2/Xbox level graphics. Clearly Activision didn't put much effort into spicing up the 360 version of the game. Character models are rather basic, textures are ho hum, and the character's movements look robotic. The game clearly would've benefited from some motion capture. Facial expressions are lifeless, which you'd think is a good thing for a poker game, but even when someone wins big, their face remains emotionless.

Audio is also extremely disappointing. It would've been really nice to have a lot more audio going on: audience noise, better chip sounds, things like that. Even if some people find all that annoying, there could've been options to adjust those sounds. It's really a bummer when you go all in and win a major pot, and you CAN see the audience clapping, but hear nothing. Sometimes you can hear them clap (not sure why you can't always hear it), but it sounds like a few people clapping, not a large crowd. Players sneeze WAY too much, seriously. Is there a huge cold bug going around Vegas or something? It would've been nice to have more recorded phrases from the pros, too, and maybe a nice extra bonus if players talked to each other once in a while ("you got a pair of jacks, don't ya?").

I haven't tried online play yet so I can't comment on that.

Overall, it's a good game, probably one of the better poker games out there right now. But I hope Activision addresses the above issues for the next version.