Prominence Poker Review
Although Poker is a massively popular game enjoyed by millions there has only been one game released on the Xbox One so far. Pure Hold’em not only came with a premium price tag it also had the audacity to require you to pay for more chips should you run out, which should be a big no-no when paying $20 for a game. Prominence Poker has gone down the free to play route which initially was a cause for concern but what could have potentially been a massive grind to get chips has actually turned out to be a very well balanced poker game that is incredibly addictive.
It’s Poker! – Reviewing a game like Prominence Poker is a little tricky as if you don’t like Poker then you are naturally going to find it harder to enjoy. Fortunately for me I am a massive Poker fan, and actually learned how to play in Red Dead Redemption as I was trying to unlock an achievement. Prominence Poker caters to those who want to play online with friends or strangers as well as offering a single player mode so there is a little of something for everyone here. There is a brief tutorial of how everything works and also a practise mode for those who are not overly experienced although I think the addition of a more detailed explanation of how to play for those who are new to Poker would have been a welcome inclusion. The single player aspect of Prominence Poker is fairly well done even though there isn’t a lot to do, you’ll likely spend the vast majority of your time on one of the multiplayer modes available to you. At the moment only casual play is unlocked although ranked play is displayed as coming soon. You can currently play head to head, join a ring game or take part in a tournament at the buy in of your choice. A rather welcome option is to play privately with friends. Some games tend to penalise you for this by capping the amount of money or XP you earn but Prominence Poker doesn’t punish you for gaming with a group of friends.
Cool Customisation – There is a wealth of customization options in Prominence Poker and these can actually be used to enhance more than just your looks. Buying drinks for the table actually give you a XP boost which is useful when trying to level up. Wearing a certain outfit on a particular day will also trigger an XP bonus so those who want to level up would be wise to play on these days and invest in the required gear. You can make your character look as lifelike or as crazy as you want although I would like to see the addition of even crazier outfits or licensed costumes for you to buy. I for one would love the possibility of sitting down at a Poker table while dressed as Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger and I imagine it would be a popular option. The Poker games all take part in a variety of locations ranging from a rundown bar to a laundry room and are full of activity. Panning around the room you can see people playing pool and drinking at the bar or dancing next to the jukebox. I also really like the way players leave when you are playing online; instead of simply vanishing they stand up from the table, wave and then jump through the floor which I thought was a fun way to show a player exiting a game.
Just One More Game – The sign of a good game is when you tell yourself you’ll just play one more game and then call it a night, yet you find you are still playing several hours later. Prominence Poker just so happens to be one of those that gets its hooks into you and doesn’t let go. The XP system used in the game is well balanced and keeps you levelling up at a fair pace. It also crucially means that if you do burn through all of the chips you get at the start you have multiple ways of being able to earn more instead of paying for the chip packs in the store. There are also a multitude of challenges which can help you level up and each day you are gifted chips just for logging in to play so there are plenty of options available to you if you do manage to find yourself low on chips.
Background Irritation – Although I really like the backgrounds and how animated they are I am not a fan of the ambient noise they have used in some of the locations. The one in particular I have the biggest problem with is the casino. The slot machines in the background are constantly beeping and making noise which can get rather annoying, especially if you are playing a tournament as they can potentially last for hours. I also encountered an audio glitch where the sound of the chips increasing would get stuck on an infinite loop and the only way to get out of this was to leave the game which isn’t an ideal solution. I know that this can be turned down in the menus but the rest of the audio is pretty good so to have to keep turning it up and down isn’t a long term fix.
Achievement Issues – The achievement list in Prominence Poker is actually a pretty decent list for the most part. Unfortunately though it is let down in a couple of key areas which can make working on them a lot more work than it should be. The biggest culprit is the ‘Social Butterfly’ achievement which requires you to play 100 online games. It should be an easy achievement to get but the game doesn’t properly track this. I played 13 online games and it only gave me a 2% increase which definitely doesn’t add up. The only workaround I could find was to completely close the game and reload it after every game to make sure it gave me credit for every game I played. There is also an achievement for being in possession of $1billion in chips which will take a crazy amount of time. I’m all for achievements that can take a bit of time but this does seem a little on the excessive side.
Prominence Poker may not have much competition when it comes to Poker games however I think you’ll be hard pushed to find a better Poker game on any system regardless of it being a free to play game or one that comes with a price tag. With the incoming addition of ranked play in the not too distant future there is plenty here to keep even the most avid of Poker players happy so this is an easy recommendation for me to give.
Prominence Poker was developed by Pipeworks and published by 505 Games. It was released on Xbox One August 16th, 2016 having previously released on Steam on May 18th, 2016. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
15,088 total views, 0 views today