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NFL Blitz is Not Football

As part of the perks (hell, one of the ONLY perks) of having my own website, I received some free merchandise from the lovely folks at Stacked sent me a free copy of their game. Why, pray tell? Probably because they checked a variety of poker-related sites and didn't have time to realize the drivel coming out of my keyboard. But too late, suckers! I gots the game. And now, with that introduction, I shall proceed with the review.

Here is the thing about Daniel Negreanu's Stacked. It's a video game, not poker. It's essentially the NFL Blitz of poker, in fact. If you don't know NFL Blitz, here's a brief explanation. Blitz is a football game, but the tackles and action is over the top. It's not about sound football, but rather about having some fun running some characters around and kicking ass under the football backdrop. And so is Stacked.

I played the PC version of the game, and it took a while to install. But once there, the game was quick. I started Career Mode by making my character. He actually looked surprisingly like me, especially considering that the game lacked a variety of character types and accessories.

Once my character was made up, I entered an SNG in the first, bottom-rung casino. I played one SNG in total, but you can also play cash games. The players were pretty bad, but then again, I was at the lowest rung. In that regards, they actually played like the donkeys at Party. The action is pretty quick too, but it doesn't feel rushed, as though the blinds escalate too much (although they did seem to go up every 2-3 hands). In the end, I placed 2nd, happy to win some money....until I found out it was a winner takes all. The winner, by the way, was a pretty good player too. I actually watched to see how players were acting to see if they had set patterns, and sure enough, I did see some.

So, what's the deal with the game? I only played that one SNG, but I was impressed. But the real question is who is this game for? The only think I can think of are teens. They don't know the game, they don't have money, they've seen poker on TV, and now they can play at home for free over the Internet with other players! Sounds familiar? It should. It's the play money games at any online poker site.

So, I ask again, why buy this game? I can only come up with two answers. 1) You are going away where you will not have an Internet connection, but you still want to play some poker for fun. I played the game on the train ride from LI to NYC. No problem. 2) You are a videogame player who has a mild interest in poker.

So, to recap, in my brief experience, it is a good videogame, but a poor game of poker. It'll be fun for the casual player or the serious player looking to get a fix when there are no other options. Overall, I think it was a valiant effort, similar to an NFL Blitz, when the game that you have is not quite the real deal, but if you don't compare it to the original, it's pretty damn sweet. I don't know how the multiplayer action is, so no comment there.

Now, after all that, let me direct you to a post that has a different viewpoint. Random Space for Random Info really was displeased with the game. I'm not a shill, although I play one on the Internet, so I'm going to direct you to his post and his comments. Specifically, I asked him why he thought Stacked was not good, and he gave some good reasons. So take a look and see some of the pitfalls of the game. Just remember, though, that Stacked is Not Poker. Stacked is a Game about Poker.

posted by Jordan @ 4:01 PM,


At 9:20 PM, Blogger mowenumdown said...

Speaking of NFL, I am thinking of putting together a fantasy football league for bloggers. What do you think about it?

At 11:06 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I'm down for the fantasy football league on paper, but, well, I know jackshit. But I like me some mindless gambling, so let me know what you have in mind, and I'd be glad to help get the word out.

I was also thinking of doing a Football survivor pool. For anyone who doesn't know, its an NFL pool where you choose one team to win per week, and if you guess wrong you are out. You can never pick the same team twice in a season.

Anyway, the point is, bring it.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Own the Flop said...

I'd join that survivor pool. I'd also join a league if an extra is needed.

Stacked is the equivalent of logging on to any poker site and going to the play money games.

Even if I owned a PSP and commuted by train, I doubt I'd play. I wouldn't want it to mess with my real game in any way.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Exactly, Own. It's a videogame, and not poker as it should be. For players like us, it is mostly a detriment, but to players with no clue, this is their stepping stone. In fact, it is games like this (and the MTV special) that will bring players to poker for years.

For those naysayers who think the fad will end, they forget one thing: it's hard to stamp out a good vice. And once these kids starting playing, they'll keep playing.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Own the Flop said...

Yeah, this isn't some fashion trend. It's an addiction! I mean vice. Yeah, vice.


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