|System: PSP, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crave Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Crave Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
World Championship Cards for the PSP is a decent little title that makes use of the portable capabilities of the handheld. It makes more sense to play this game on the PSP rather than on the PS2. The PSP is a more acceptable vehicle for such puzzle and novelty games. Although it's basically the same game on both systems, the portability and online capabilities of the PSP make this the better bargain, even if the PS2 game is actually cheaper. But I ask you, what could be more portable than a deck of cards?
World Championship Cards contains more than 40 cards games, but before you get all excited you should know that a lot of them are variations of a specific game. For instance, there are 10 variations of solitaire. But the most important thing you should know is there are no poker games. For a video game to be called World Championship Cards, you would imagine that it would have a good Texas Hold 'Em poker game. Well in this case you would be wrong. I love poker, so allow me a bit of a rant to express my disappointment. With more than 40 card games, you would just automatically assume that poker would be among the collection. This game even uses the same engine as World Championship Poker. So how difficult would it be to include a few poker variants from that game? I think the developers missed a huge marketing opportunity to include a couple of poker games here and direct interested players to the World Championship Poker game.
As one might expect, World Championship Cards is a budget title. You can pick up The PSP copy for just under twenty bucks. The presentation is garish and has little to do with the fact that this game offers a variety of classic card games. Do we really need to create a player? Do we really need to add bling to our cribs? What should have been a straightforward presentation has been marred by silly features that actually detract from the game. All of these elements, such as choosing face, body types, hair, furniture, furnishing, and jewelry are limited to a handful of options; not very deep at all. There are even some ridiculously inane characters such as a Samurai Warrior and a knight in shining armor. You'll even play a game of Hearts to defend the Earth from an alien invasion. I'm all for the ridiculously inane, but the stuff included here is just ridiculously lame. There's no reason this couldn't have been presented as a classy, understated, card game.
So now you have been warned. Not only are the production values questionable, but there are no poker games in World Championship Cards. So what kind of card games could possibly be included in the "World Championship" category? How about War? How about Crazy Eights? What about Old Maid? Yes, these are some of the games included in World Championship Cards.
As a pure challenge, this game might work for some players, as it obviously worked for the developers that had little more to do than to transform already existing and copyright-free games into game codes. These card games are presented as mini-games, arranged in a specific order to be completed so that the player can move on to the next level. In this way, you are literally forced to play all of these games. This is a sneaky concept, but it does work by making you learn the different concepts and rules of each game. Bridge was a bit of a disaster for me to learn. There is a decent tutorial which points you in the right direction and even gives you some interactive examples to test your knowledge. It will explain a certain rule or concept and then present you with an interactive scenario. This is the only way to educate, as it turns an intangible concept into a concrete reality, but I had to consult the internet nerds for more comprehensive instructions. Bridge is actually worth the effort. You won't have much of a learning curve with games such as War and Old Maid.