Vegas Stakes Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
Always bet on black
Here's an odd offering for the VC - a gambling game! In Vegas Stakes, sequel to Vegas Dream on the NES, you head to Vegas with a group of friends to try to make it rich.
There are four casinos to go to, ranging from the-run-down Hideaway, which only allows small bets, to 2020, a futuristic-looking casino that allows high bets. Your goal is to increase your $1000 starting funds to 10 million dollars - quite a feat! Earning $100K unlocks Laurel Palace, where you can win big but must bet high. If you drop back below a hundred thousand, you get kicked out of Laurel Palace and have to earn your way in again.
There are five games to play in Vegas Stakes - Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and the infamous slot machines. The locations and games aren't the main "gimmick" though — sometimes, one of your friends or a random person may ask you for a small donation to pay for somebody's wife's operation, buy a watch, and so on. If the borrower succeeds with the borrowed money, you will get a higher sum back. However, it's just as possible that the person's a con artist or will lose your money. These events are entirely random, but add a little flair.
At all times, one of your friends will be with you to offer advice, which can be handy, or lead to disastrous results (certain friends give better advice at certain games, so experiment a little). This adds a little more interaction to the game.
After earning 10 million dollars, the credits roll and you can start over from scratch. It's a bit unfortunate that you can't continue after this, but 10 million is a large sum, so it should take you quite a while to get that far. However, when you're done you can try multiplayer mode with your friends in any game but poker (which is not practical for this mode as everyone would see each other's cards!). In this mode there are no random encounters, so it's just the games. If you don't have a craps table at your house and you've got friends over, then why not play it digitally?
The music's your typical casino fare. It might get annoying eventually, but it fits the mood well. All of the games have their own sound effects which actually work pretty well, and visually the backgrounds are nice and detailed and a pleasure to look at.
This is most likely the only game of this kind you're going to find on the VC. There are games on other systems that include one or two of the games here (Super Adventure Island II, for example, includes roulette and slots), but none of these are announced for release at the time of writing, and none feature multiplayer and interactivity. If you're a gambling fan, we highly recommend this title. If you're not, maybe you'll discover something good!
NOTE: The original version was compatible with both a controller and the SNES mouse, leading some to believe that this version would possibly use the Wii remote pointer as mouse - it does not, you have to use buttons.