The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums 
 

Amazon.com

  *  

Product: Casino
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/games
Estimated Street Price: $34.95
Review By: Julien JAY

Introduction

Microsoft regularly releases ‘smart’ games that aren’t dedicated to hardcore gamers. With the release of Microsoft Casino, Microsoft has introduced the first Casino game that costs nothing when you play with it but that earns nothing too. This game will open the doors of Casinos to everyone and promises to bring you a lot of fun due to the challenging games. The game has many interesting aspects: the first one is that you can loose thousands of virtual dollars without impact on your finances, the second one is that you can live a Casino experience while being at home without going to the real thing. The final aspect I found in this game is if you’re not a Casino addict like me you’ll learn the rules of all these popular games so you’ll be able play a little poker with some friends next time they ask and not actually lose J

Features

In Microsoft Casino you’ll discover an exciting universe where luxury and chance reign in absolute masters… With a very realistic realisation, Microsoft Casino reproduces the greatest Casinos in the World so you’ll play at your convenience in: Treasure Island, Mirage, Bellagio. The game is a real challenge to rise and features the ten most well-known Casino games like: BlackJack, Baccarat, Video Keno, Slot Machine, Craps, Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, The Big Six Wheel. To make you feel the excitement of the real Casino universe Microsoft Casino offers four different game playing modes: 

Casinos challenge:  From Treasure Island to the Bellagio and the Mirage, you’ll live a panting experience hosted by ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Danny Gans, and beaten by the crazy rhythm of these Casinos. As you go along your opponents will become more & more formidable while the stakes are higher and higher. In this mode you’ll have to choose your destiny by becoming a high stakes player or a looser with no money in your pockets. 

  

Free mode: This mode is the one everyone should start with. You are free to choose your Casino, your game, and you’ll play for a few minutes or for hours to feel the extreme anguish money games can create. 

  

Tournament: This mode allows you to organize your own tournament alone or with friends. When playing against the computer you’ll meet 10 high quality 3D characters that’ll be your adversaries for this tour. 

  

You can play against the dealer or against a wide variety of 3D-rendered characters with unique styles of play. 

   

Before you start playing you have to set up your starting bankroll (from $5,000 to $1,000,000) and choose the character picture that will represent you. Adversaries speak like the Casino staff and are managed by the AI engine of Microsoft Casino. You can walk your way through the Casino but the Casino environment isn’t rendered in full 3D: only characters are in 3D. Defeating them is a real challenge and can be very difficult especially for certain games. Like in a real casino, the Slots allow you  to easily earn small money but the jackpot is very hard to get. The game rewards good players and best you will be covered of virtual gifts. These gifts include meals, drinks, a night’ stay in a palatial suite or tickets to Las Vegas glamorous stage shows. The only regret we can express is that the gifts aren’t real. Here are some game shots:

    

    
 

Resorts

Microsoft Casino brings you to three Resorts that are:

  • Treasure Island at the Mirage: In the midst of an ocean of lights, discover the romantic island getaway that offers something to every traveller. 

  • The Mirage: With lush foliage, towering waterfalls, sparkling lagoons, and a fiery erupting volcano, The Mirage blends the serenity of the tropics with the excitement of Las Vegas. 

  • Bellagio: An extraordinary place of beauty and elegance, of wonder and spectacle; Bellagio meets every need, fulfils every desire, and surpasses every expectation.

 

Final Comments

How It Grades
  Originality: 85%
Gameplay: 90%
Graphics: 85%
Fun: 76%
Sound: 80%
Music: 85
Interface: 85%
Overall: 83%

 

Microsoft Casino is really a fun game for those you who want to play money games with high money stakes without the risk of being ruined in the real life. The Casinos are accurate, the characters’ artificial intelligence is good which ensures you won’t win too easily and the rules clearly explain each game to beginners. Every novice casino gamer should get this game just to learn the basics of the most famous Casino games or to further improve your skills. I must say you can definitely spend hours of your time playing in the different Casinos this game has to offer. The only thing I regret is that you can’t meet opponents on the Internet to run casino games with virtual stakes: too bad! Due to it’s very reasonable price, this game will make an excellent gift for the Holidays!

 

Specs & Package
Overall Score 83%
Version Reviewed Microsoft Casino
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 CD
The Good Points Great Graphics
Fun Gameplay
The Bad Points No Internet MultiPlayer feature
Reviewers PC Setup

Pentium III 1 Ghz B
Intel VC820 Motherboard
Windows Millennium Edition
256 MB PC800 RDRAM w/ECC
DirectX 8.0
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1

17" Sony Trinitron Monitor
Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb AGP 4x graphic card
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
Adaptec 19160 Ultra SCSI card
Promise Ultra ATA 100 controller
Pinnacle Studio DV Plus
Pinnacle Studio PCTV USB

Microsoft TrackBall Explorer
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro

DVD Pioneer 105s (16/40x)
Yamaha 16/10/40 IDE internal burner

PC Required Windows 95/98/Me/Windows 2000
Pentium 133
16 Mb ram for Windows 95/98
32
Mb ram for Windows Me
64 Mb ram for Windows 2000
40
mb free hard drive space
2x cd rom Drive
Mouse and Keyboard
16 bit color capable graphics card with 2mb ram
Windows compatible sound device


 

If you want to learn more about the different casino modes and how to play online casino you can always visit a casino guide. Here you can find information about anything from casino room reviews to the various casino rules and how you can increase your winnings. Taking advantage of a casino guide comes highly recommended as it is a sure way of getting the best deal, i.e. bonuses, and to make sure that you do not end up playing at a casino room with poor quality.

 

  *  
  *   *