Poker Night At The Inventory: No lady gaga.

Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -

It's like that level from Modern Warfare 2, except way more interesting.  

That's the only Pokerface joke i'm going to make in this blog. There, I got it out the way, now we can all get on with our lives.
Poker Night At The Inventory is a game that needs to be seen to be believed, let alone to be enjoyed. It was with trepidation that I handed over my internet money, though not much trepidation and, indeed, not much money. Because Poker Night is cheap. How cheap? Cheap enough that you should already own at least one copy. 
 
The beef with Poker Night At The Inventory is that it is:  
  1. A cheap excuse to get new items in TF2 and  
  2. A shitty poker game because it has no multiplayer.
  

I will admit, I shared these concerns. 

Fortunately, on both counts, the point has been slightly missed. Sure, there are items for TF2, but you have to unlock them by winning them off the other players. The opportunity to do so is rare, and your opponents are well versed in the art of poker.
As for the lack of multiplayer... the game doesn't need it. If you want a multiplayer poker game then there are many done to a better, more concise, quality. Poker Night At The Inventory is... something completely different.
  

What's important about Poker Night At The Inventory is that it's basically a scam.

 It's almost as though someone (somewhere) thought "Hey, we should get together all these awesome characters and make them talk about nonsense." The card game is provided merely as a platform to allow this scenario to exist. And it works. There's a wonderful dynamic between each of the slightly surreal personalities, and as a group they operate spectacularly. The poker feels almost secondary to the mere voyeuristic nature of the entire clusterfucking spectacle. Upon being knocked out of the game the player is even offered the choice of continuing to watch the match knowing that the true entertainment value of this product is in observing and appreciating the dialogue between it's assorted cast members. This is just as well, as my poker face is absolutely terrible: 

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.

 

In this sense, you win every time.

 Indeed, the penalty for being knocked out of a game is that you... start a new game with all your money returned. The dismissive nature of your victories and losses may make the game feel slightly underwhelming, but demonstrates proof that the nature of the game is in it's characters rather than it's competitiveness. I often found myself losing track of the game, hypnotised by Max's inane gabbling, or Tycho's enthusiasm for bestiality. 
 

The cast will often turn to you and acknowledge your moves, and I don't think I will ever get bored of the assorted gasps whenever you go All In. Poker Night At The Inventory makes the player feel less like a ghostly observer or shallow avatar, and more like an actual entity that has been accepted into whatever universe allows this shit to exist
 
It's a lot of fun. It is worth both your time and money.
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep    
Moderator
#1 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -

It's like that level from Modern Warfare 2, except way more interesting.  

That's the only Pokerface joke i'm going to make in this blog. There, I got it out the way, now we can all get on with our lives.
Poker Night At The Inventory is a game that needs to be seen to be believed, let alone to be enjoyed. It was with trepidation that I handed over my internet money, though not much trepidation and, indeed, not much money. Because Poker Night is cheap. How cheap? Cheap enough that you should already own at least one copy. 
 
The beef with Poker Night At The Inventory is that it is:  
  1. A cheap excuse to get new items in TF2 and  
  2. A shitty poker game because it has no multiplayer.
  

I will admit, I shared these concerns. 

Fortunately, on both counts, the point has been slightly missed. Sure, there are items for TF2, but you have to unlock them by winning them off the other players. The opportunity to do so is rare, and your opponents are well versed in the art of poker.
As for the lack of multiplayer... the game doesn't need it. If you want a multiplayer poker game then there are many done to a better, more concise, quality. Poker Night At The Inventory is... something completely different.
  

What's important about Poker Night At The Inventory is that it's basically a scam.

 It's almost as though someone (somewhere) thought "Hey, we should get together all these awesome characters and make them talk about nonsense." The card game is provided merely as a platform to allow this scenario to exist. And it works. There's a wonderful dynamic between each of the slightly surreal personalities, and as a group they operate spectacularly. The poker feels almost secondary to the mere voyeuristic nature of the entire clusterfucking spectacle. Upon being knocked out of the game the player is even offered the choice of continuing to watch the match knowing that the true entertainment value of this product is in observing and appreciating the dialogue between it's assorted cast members. This is just as well, as my poker face is absolutely terrible: 

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.

 

In this sense, you win every time.

 Indeed, the penalty for being knocked out of a game is that you... start a new game with all your money returned. The dismissive nature of your victories and losses may make the game feel slightly underwhelming, but demonstrates proof that the nature of the game is in it's characters rather than it's competitiveness. I often found myself losing track of the game, hypnotised by Max's inane gabbling, or Tycho's enthusiasm for bestiality. 
 

The cast will often turn to you and acknowledge your moves, and I don't think I will ever get bored of the assorted gasps whenever you go All In. Poker Night At The Inventory makes the player feel less like a ghostly observer or shallow avatar, and more like an actual entity that has been accepted into whatever universe allows this shit to exist
 
It's a lot of fun. It is worth both your time and money.
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep    
Moderator
#2 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

You have described precisely the reason that I AM interested in this game. I'm glad they maximized on the potential of the concept.
 
But I gotta finish Cryostasis first.

#3 Posted by Humanoid (206 posts) -

No multiplayer in a poker game? THIS IS BLASPHEMY! 

#4 Posted by BeachThunder (11793 posts) -

*max 
 
...and no, there shouldn't be multiplayer...that would be counter to the point of the game.

#5 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

Yep. It's not a terribly deep game of poker, but it is a hell a lot of fun. I'm loving the way the characters interact with each other; and even though I'm not a great p-p-p-poker player, I'm insistent on continuing to play the game until I unlock everything.

#6 Posted by Humanoid (206 posts) -
@BeachThunder said: 

" *max   ...and no, there shouldn't be multiplayer...that would be counter to the point of the game. "

How so?
   
#7 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -
@Humanoid said:
" @BeachThunder said: 

" *max   ...and no, there shouldn't be multiplayer...that would be counter to the point of the game. "

How so?
    "
Because the game is just an excuse to hear funny dialogue from 4 characters.
#8 Posted by Humanoid (206 posts) -

You could always have a character selection screen before you play a match. You choose your favourite character or it gets chosen at random, then you play a poker match against your friends with the lingo still intact. 

#9 Posted by Rockanomics (1150 posts) -

I was going back and forth on the fence with it, but after watching the Quick Look I decided I'd get it as a small bit of compensation for all the Idle Thumbs episodes I listened to, even if those two were only on some of them.

#10 Posted by ProfessorEss (7307 posts) -

I'm kinda hoping lengthy videos of this game go up somewhere as I think I'd much rather watch/listen to this than play it.

#11 Posted by Finstern (640 posts) -

My only gripes with the game are that I don't particularly like the Strongbad character and sometimes Tycho's lines sound exactly like a dude in a mic booth. 
 
That said I haven't really laughed as hard at a game this year as I have at Tycho and The Heavy's conversation about his moist hands.

#12 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -
@Humanoid said:
" @BeachThunder said: 

" *max   ...and no, there shouldn't be multiplayer...that would be counter to the point of the game. "

How so?
    "
Are you fucking kidding me? Did you read the OP at all?
Moderator
#13 Posted by Humanoid (206 posts) -

Beach said that having multiplayer would weaken the game, where as you said it didn't need it and that there are better games for multiplayer poker. I'm sorry if my two words infuriated you.

#14 Posted by CaptainObvious (2996 posts) -

No Sam no buy.

#15 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -
@Humanoid said:
" Beach said that having multiplayer would weaken the game, where as you said it didn't need it and that there are better games for multiplayer poker. I'm sorry if my two words infuriated you. "
Well, it was more the first comment:
 
@Humanoid said:
" No multiplayer in a poker game? THIS IS BLASPHEMY!  "
 
But just generally how you seem so unreceptive to the entire concept of a non-competitive poker game. This game is about watching, not playing - and a multiplayer component would be counter productive to that environment. 
Moderator
#16 Posted by fleethefactory (175 posts) -
@Sweep said:

 

Poker Night At The Inventory: No lady gaga.

 
 
And that my friends, is the real crime here.
#17 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

And that is exactly why I got the game. 
Multiplayer doesn't bother me though since I don't wanna hear what random hated-by-parents-fukctard number 1, 2 and three have to say about how they got lucky with this "hot" chick the other night (at least she was in a magazine).  
I wanna listen to the often very funny conversations between Max(Not Sam, geesh. MAX FOR PRESIDENT!), Strongband, Tycho and Heavy. 
It's just a good game to play when I feel like playing poker against someone who actually knows how to play poker. 
 
Also, them going "Oh, big maan, you're so great" or something else similar to that when I go all in with a bunch of money on hand is always funny. 

#18 Posted by heatDrive88 (2297 posts) -
@Sweep: I tried explain to my friend what the point of this game was, which basically had the same talking points that you wrote about, but he couldn't come to grips with it and couldn't get past that this is just a shitty poker game, and only a shitty poker game. It's weird too, because he likes Telltale Games and the comedy of Strongbad.
#19 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -
@ZeForgotten: Shit, only just realised I wrote Sam - my bad!
Moderator
#20 Posted by ZombiePie (5629 posts) -

I don't like playing virtual poker...so I'm gonna say that this isn't worth it.

Moderator
#21 Posted by damswedon (3184 posts) -

Early on I realised that what I like the most in the game is just hearing the guys talk.  
I got knocked out today early game (fucking King straight beat my queen Straight) and I ended up watching the whole game.

Online
#22 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

I wish Lady Gaga was a character in all my games..
 
I want to run around in 1500's Italy and stab dudes as Lady Gaga. ):

#23 Posted by President_Barackbar (3448 posts) -
@ZombiePie said:
" I don't like playing virtual poker...so I'm gonna say that this isn't worth it. "
Not only that, but I have no desire to shell out $5 on dialogue, no matter how good it is.
#24 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I just ordered this game for my mom for her birthday tomorrow. I don't really know if she will care for it, but she likes Sam and Max... hey, its 5 bucks (3.50 if you use a coupon code).

#25 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

I agree, even when you get knocked out I sit there and watch them finish the game, their banter alone is worth the money, and I love the heavy's stories. 
#26 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

How many hours of dialog does it have before they start repeating themselves?

#27 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -
@Claude said:
" How many hours of dialog does it have before they start repeating themselves? "
That's a tough one. There are lots of lines of dialogue that only crop up in very specific situations. For example I heard one today where Max raised the bid and everyone else at the table folded, so Max goes "I guess I will fold too!" and Tycho is all: "Everyone else folded to you. You won the hand?"  
There's also a nice mix of the characters talking together, as when you knock out a character they will leave the table - so you might end up playing with just Strongbad and the Heavy - but they will still have a load of things to chat about that you won't have heard. 
 
If you go to the menu there is the option to alter how much the characters talk. If you leave it on the default value, they spew out stories every few hands or so. However I turned it up so that they were pretty much constantly knockin' the shit back n' forth. It's a much more enjoyable way to play the game, though you will probably end up running through the available dialogue much faster.  
 
Also 
 
I'm amazed Lemon hasn't posted in this thread yet. He LOVES lady Gaga....
Moderator
#28 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -
@Sweep:  Thanks Sweep. I saw the Quick Look and it did look interesting. I could see myself sitting down with some cold beers for a round or two of poker with the boys.
#29 Posted by Dalai (7016 posts) -

Anybody buying this game looking to play poker is doing it wrong. I only bought it because the cast of characters borders on epic.

#30 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3482 posts) -

"Remember, no Poker Face"^^ 

#31 Edited by jakob187 (21662 posts) -
@Sweep said:

"@Humanoid said:

" No multiplayer in a poker game? THIS IS BLASPHEMY!  "
 But just generally how you seem so unreceptive to the entire concept of a non-competitive poker game. This game is about watching, not playing - and a multiplayer component would be counter productive to that environment.  "
It's the "Fight Club" scenario that Chuck Palahniuk has talked about time and time again.  People think the fighting is the main point of Fight Club, but it's not.  He could've named it Golf Club, and it could've easily been the same story replaced with golf instead of bare-knuckle underground fighting.  The story, in and of itself, is a love story between the Joe/Jack character (name depends on whether we go by book or movie) and Marla Singer, how Tyler Durden affects that relationship, and the end revelations that bring them together. 
 
In short, the point I see you making here Sweep is that the poker isn't important.  It's the characters interacting with each other, as well as the Inventory and its history.  They could've used backgammon in place of poker and it would all end up the same. 
 
Also, I'm hoping that previous explanation of Fight Club is going to make people go back and rethink the events of Fight Club for what they really are and lay off this pseudo-philosophical bullshit that people try to sling from it.
#32 Posted by Dalai (7016 posts) -
@Bloodgraiv3 said:
" I agree, even when you get knocked out I sit there and watch them finish the game, their banter alone is worth the money, and I love the heavy's stories.  "
I was expecting Max and Strong Bad to be funny, but whoever wrote the Heavy's material deserves a raise and a promotion. He's been my surprise favorite thus far.
#33 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -
@Dalai said:
" @Bloodgraiv3 said:
" I agree, even when you get knocked out I sit there and watch them finish the game, their banter alone is worth the money, and I love the heavy's stories.  "
I was expecting Max and Strong Bad to be funny, but whoever wrote the Heavy's material deserves a raise and a promotion. He's been my surprise favorite thus far. "

 
The heavy's stories are the best. 
#34 Posted by mithhunter55 (598 posts) -

I don't see how charging 5$ is a scam with all the great dialog. 5 dollars could also get you.. Bioshock(Okay that is better), Chime, VVVVVV and tons of other great OR terrible games. 
 
 I bought 'Tank Universal' during on of the steam sales, waste of 5$ thought it was like tron and tank hunter. Assumed there would be multi-player.

#35 Posted by Jasta (2217 posts) -

For the amount of time I've spent playing it so far £3.50 is a steal. 

Great review mate.

Yavo'sadke!


#36 Edited by Mayu_Zane (606 posts) -

I think it all just depends on how much you care about the four characters involved in the crossover. Since I'm a big fan of all four, it's only natural I'd come to like this game. I really love the fact that The Heavy has some hidden depth in terms of personality
 

#37 Posted by Ferginator4k (737 posts) -

I agree completely with you,.

#38 Posted by Halz (127 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
" And that is exactly why I got the game. Multiplayer doesn't bother me though since I don't wanna hear what random hated-by-parents-fukctard number 1, 2 and three have to say about how they got lucky with this "hot" chick the other night (at least she was in a magazine)."  
That... that is not how playing poker online is like.
#39 Posted by ImperiousRix (2963 posts) -

I knew I loved this game when I realized that I'd actually feel bad for knocking out players because I didn't get to hear their input anymore. 
Having said that, I still attempt to win simply because I'm a sucker for superfluous unlocks.  Just got the Automata table yesterday.

#40 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -
@ImperiousRix: There's an Automata table? Hot damn!
Moderator
#41 Posted by ImperiousRix (2963 posts) -
@Sweep:
Yes sir.
And the best part about it is it turns the entire game black and white, so you can imagine that all the dudes are playing poker in some weird neo-noir story.  Either that, or this was going on at the same time as the shooting of "Clerks".

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