Want to experience all the fun of picking cards and pulling slot machine wheels without all the cheap food, free drinks, glamorous surroundings, beautiful women and risky excitement of Vegas? Then Caesars Palace 2000 is for you! If you’re normal, however, then you might want to steer clear of Interplay’s newest stinker.
True, we approached Caesars Palace with some skepticism. After all, how fun could gambling on a Dreamcast be? The fun of gambling is WINNING MONEY. Even losing money is fun, because the risk that’s involved gives one a rush of adrenaline. The fun isn’t in picking the cards, and it would be hard to find someone who would sit in front of a slot machine, pulling the arm all day long, if there weren’t a chance to hit it big. Someone at Interplay forgot the all-important “fun” factor and decided to just give us all the other stuff involved in Las Vegas style gambling.
Upon starting the game, players enter a somewhat drab lobby to decide in which form they wish to test their luck. The glitter of Vegas is nowhere to be found, even in virtual form. The Lobby is merely a screen consisting of six options: Card Games, Table Games, Slot Machines, Video Games, Cashier and View Statistics. Available card games are: Blackjack, Spanish 21, Mini Baccarat, Red Dog, Pai Gow Poker and Casino War. The rules of each are neatly explained in the game instructions, and a help screen is available if necessary (though it rarely answers the questions that arise). Further, a gambling coach pops up on the screen after players have made a decision in a game, to tell the player what they should have done. While initially annoying, the gambling coach is actually a pretty good feature. It definitely helped us improve our game by repeatedly pointing out the flushes and straights we missed. The above games proceed exactly how one might expect them to; it’s all very simple and drab. Even the dealer’s voice is an annoying monotone that refuses to excite.
The Table Games section only has two games, Craps and Roulette. While these are probably the most fun games in CP 2000, they certainly don’t knock one over with their excitement. Being videogame fanatics, and generally shying away from such social endeavors as card and table games, we first made our way directly to the Video Games section, expecting at least a little fun. The Video Games section includes Video Keno, Video Poker and Poker Challenge. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much to say about these games. In Video Keno, you randomly pick numbers and hope the computer does or doesn’t pick the numbers you did, depending on the game you’re playing. Other than that, the video games are rather straightforward and lacking in any real innovation or creativity. Couldn’t we at least get some showgirls beside the machines to cheer us on? Apparently not.
Starting as a novice, the game gives each player $2,000 to gamble with. At first, players may only play at the lower-limit tables of $1-$100, or on slot and video machines using 50-cent coins. As players increase their bankroll, they are also increasing their rank and will be entering into higher stakes tables. However, once they build up their rank, players will rarely be coached or helped, as it is assumed they already know their mistakes. Players progress through the ranks by playing the required minimum number of rounds and winning the specified amount of money. Once players reach the “Professional” ranking in every game, they will be invited into the Emperor’s Club. Here, they can play with table limits of $1,000-$100,000.
Players can borrow money from the cashier when their stash is low. Don’t worry, there isn’t some surly, cigar-smoking meathead behind the counter to deal with (though it probably would have been more fun if there were); instead the cashier is just a virtual ATM that will loan players money when they fall below the $200 amount. They can borrow money in chunks of $2,000 and can go all the way up to $10,000 in debt. Don’t worry, though; if you lose all of the casino’s money, you need only to start a new player and wear a fake mustache while you play.
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention the graphics of CP 2000. It is probably the best looking casino game on the market. But it’s hard to think of someone who would actually play this game for fun. Since actual gambling (which is a lot more fun) can be found in almost any populated area, someone would have to be pretty hard up for things to do to actually progress to the top of this game. However, we live in a society where sadomasochism is not only accepted, but even encouraged in some places. This game will surely find a home in the leather-smelling dungeons of several dominatrixes looking to push the pains of their clients past the mere physical realm. Others, however, need not apply.