here we are just sitting around the office on a rainy Friday
morning. We had absolutely nothing to do, so we decided to play a
few hands of poker. All of a sudden Newman arrives at the door with
the mail which contained a few packages! Oh boy, perhaps a new game
to review? A big stack of bills perhaps?? Actually it turned out to
one of the first casino games to be released for the Playstation. A
little gambling simulation title known as "Golden Nugget"
by Virgin Interactive. I eagerly grabbed the package, threw Newman a
Drakes coffee cake and ran to my favorite gaming machine!
Now, just to set the story straight...we really weren't just
sitting around playing cards with nothing to do...we are actually
way, way too busy playing video games until all hours of the night
to be able to sit around and play cards. Oh, and our postal carriers
name really isn't Newman...I just thought I'd get you going a bit.
Anyway, Golden Nugget was my first crack at a gambling
simulation since the old Caesar's game I used to play on my Phillips
CDi machine. So get out that money stash and dust off that lucky ole
rabbits foot...it's off to the Nugget we go!
Nugget is a Las Vegas style casino gambling simulation. As you would
expect, it contains a variety of games from poker to roulette.
Nugget contains a variety of graphic styles. Ample FMV is used in a
wonderfully original little sub-game, while stills of the actual
Golden Nugget casino are adopted to present the various games that
you can elect to play. The polished 3-D graphics do a nice job
creating the casino atmosphere, right down to the authentic tables,
card and chips used at the real Nugget. The sprites used for the
cards, roulette wheel and slots themselves are decent but a bit
difficult to see at times. The numbers on the roulette wheel for
instance are impossible to read.
The actual FMV is a bit grainy but certainly acceptable. Heck,
it even stars Adam West from the old Batman television series!
Everything's laid out quite nicely and is about as detailed as
you would like to see for a casino sim.
Jeez, there really isn't much more to say...I mean I could
nit-pick a bit I suppose. The roulette wheel isn't really incredibly
well done. Yes, you can tell it's a roulette wheel, but it's just
kind of blah and doesn't have that chrome and high gloss paint
luster that the real ones have. I mention this because I have a
habit of getting a bit hypnotized by those shiny little wheels
spinning around and tend to plunk down a fair share of money before
one of my buddies shakes some sense into me! Anyway, there is
nothing earth shattering here in the way of cutting edge
graphics...just a very nicely depicted casino and the games that are
been inside a real life casino before? Remember how noisy and
crowded it was? People talking everywhere, shuffling and milling
about. Well, the Golden Nugget game is quite a bit more sedate. Yes,
there are various sounds of people talking, glasses clinking and
machines being played...it's just not like being there though. I
will say that the sounds included though, do a rather nice job of
trying to set up a casino "feeling". I guess without the
challenge of pushing people out the way or getting shoved about
myself, it just didn't seem the same...sigh.
The digitized sounds of the slot machines, cards, marble and
chips though are really nice. I just love the sound of coins as they
spill out of the slots...ah, money, money, money.
The dealers voice is also nice and clear as well as the other
I must admit, I have never been to Las Vegas before, but I do happen
to live very close to Atlantic City in New Jersey so I have had my
fair share of casino experience. I know the thrills of victory and
am all too familiar with the agony of defeat. I figured this would
be a nice way to gamble a bit and not lose all my real money again!
Golden Nugget offers the gamer twelve different types of games
to play with five different slot machines for a total of 16 ways to
lose your computer generated bucks. The games include several
variations of poker: 7- card stud, Texas hold-em, video poker and
one that I had never heard of - Pai Gow poker. You also have the Big
Six wheel of fortune, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Keno, slots and
Baccarat to choose from. All of the games are nicely represented in
play and the booklet gives instructions on how to play each game if
you are unfamiliar with it. As you play each game you can bring up a
little purse tray that displays your assets in accordance to the
type of game you are playing. For instance; for slots and video
poker, assets are shown as silver coins, in Roulette assets are
displayed as the unique Roulette chips. As you leave each table you
are presented with a statistic screen that gives you information on
the game you just played. This includes your starting bankroll,
winnings, average wager, number of games or hands played, total
money wagered and your ending bankroll. This is all a nice touch and
shows the games attention to detail.
The game really tries to do a nice job in creating the overall
mood of a casino visit. It starts out with a sweat little FMV of a
limo slicing through Nevada at night with Las Vegas shimmering in
the distance. The limo pulls up in front of the Golden Nugget and
the door opens, luring you to enter. Once in, you are standing in
the lobby with a choice of going straight into the casino, exiting
the game or going to the registration desk. Once at the desk you
will be asked to enter your name and are then given $1,000 and 9
markers, each valued at $1,000. You now have a choice of going to
the casino or participating in a clever little side game call Chaos
I was really taken by surprise by the inclusion of this
sub-game which is basically an interactive mystery game that takes
the gamer on a little adventure to help solve the case of the stolen
Chaos Chip! The game unravels via a lot of FMV clips (which now
explains the games two CD's!) that really bring the story alive. The
reason for this game is simple - it involves you in going to the
casino to play the games in order to win enough money to participate
in the Invitational Poker Tournament. This tournament just happens
to be where all of the suspects are. Once entered into the
tournament, you will play 12 hands of 7-Card Stud. In between the
breaks in the action you are presented with FMV clips that help you
to unravel the mystery. I thought this was a great way to give the
game some uniqueness instead of just blindly wondering around a
casino. The story is actually quite good to boot!
Golden Nugget also entices you with a goal that will keep you
trying to win more cash. The goal is to reach the high stakes rooms
or more formally known as the VIP Club. To become a member you will
need to have a total of $50,000 in your pocket. You are given a VIP
card and allowed to enter the High Limit Games and High Limit Slots
where the sky's pretty much the limit!
Overall I found the whole experience to be rather pleasant in
a relaxing sort of way. It was a real change of pace from the normal
action or driving games that I pop into my Playstation and to be
honest, it certainly won't replace them...but it was a nice
diversion none the less.
The only real fault I could find with this title was that it
only supported one player. Go figure....
you like playing casino games, this one is hard to beat. It offers
the gamer over 16 games to play, a little mystery game thrown in for
good measure and some real goals to attain to boot.
These kind of games hardly ever grow stale as there are so
many random elements involved. Of course if you don't like gambling
or have any interest in this sort of thing, this game will do little
to sway you.
best casino gambling game available at this time for the
Playstation. The game doesn't actually take itself too seriously,
yet manages to deliver a tough challange...especially in poker!
I really liked the idea of then mini mystery game and how it
was carefully weaved into this title. It was really a brilliant idea
on the designers part.
To be sure, there is nothing groundbreaking here but if you
like casino style games this one really offers up the goods. It's a
pleasant enough diversion and should keep you entertained for some