It has been a long, drawn out wait for "Stacked" - the video game featuring Daniel Negreanu to make its way out to the people. I asked someone involved in the game about it in November and he told me at that time that the game designers were tweaking the multi-table tournaments and looking at other ways to enhance the game. He said that it was on tap for January and, "It's going to be great!"
Well, January came and "Stacked" didn't. I kept a close eye on the video game news to learn when the much anticipated game for the PlayStation, XBox and GameCube (and presumably PC's, but I haven't been able to confirm that) would actually hit the streets. When I learned recently that "Stacked" was set to hit the stores in April for a respectably priced $29.99, I headed to my local Electronics Boutique (EB to some) to reserve my copy and got a nice treat along with that reservation.
It is obvious that there is going to be a major push with "Stacked", otherwise they wouldn't have gone through the effort to create "Inside Stacked". "Inside Stacked" is basically a promotional DVD for the game, featuring Daniel as well as many of the other participants in the game. 2001 World Champion Juan Carlos Mortensen, 2004 World Series runner-up David Williams and fellow poker professionals Josh Arieh, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren and Evelyn Ng join Daniel for the honors of being the featured players in the game.
The thirty minute DVD has many comments from the group about playing each other and poker overall. Of course Daniel is the featured speaker in the DVD, where he offers a few poker playing tips and his thoughts on the game today and its future. In talking about the game, Daniel exclaims, "I can't wait to play myself in it. I'll be interested in seeing if the real thing can beat the video version!" Other things on the DVD include the fun during the photo shoot for promotion of the game featuring all the players and a "blooper" reel of Daniel during the filming of the DVD and excerpts for the game.
From the looks of it, "Stacked" should be well worth the wait. One thing I have noticed with some of the video game offerings is that, when it comes down to creating a video game version of the pros, they are seriously lacking (I'm reminded of how Chip Jett looked on the World Series game...let's just say it wasn't very becoming). They also seem to lack and appropriate amount of artificial intelligence (AI) to make the poker challenging and realistic. In "Stacked," the players almost look identical to their living examples, including Evelyn Ng's beauty mark and the way that Jennifer Harman's bangs seem to always fall across her forehead. If they have gone to these lengths for reality in the players, then hopefully the same can be said for the AI. We'll find out when "Stacked" hits the stores next month. Until then, "Inside Stacked" is a pleasant extra to get along with the game.