So desperate am I for another Portal game that when I heard someone had GLaDOS dealing hands in a poker game I downloaded it even though I hate poker and am objectively awful at it. I didn't care, as long as a bitchy robot called me fat. Imagine my surprise when I found that Poker Night 2 is amazing.
The sequel to 2010's Poker Night at the Inventory was quickly developed by Telltale Games during a break in their release schedule. It manages to combine characters from several different franchises in a Texas Hold 'Em tournament. Participants are Brock Samson (Venture Bros.), Ash Williams (Army of Darkness), Claptrap (Borderlands 2), and Sam (Sam & Max), with GLaDOS serving as the dealer.
What makes the game so fantastic is the way Telltale made interactions between the characters so flawless and enjoyable. Listening to your opponents insult and make small talk is easily the best part of the game, and even after the lines begin to cycle they're still amusing. A lot of care was put into the voice acting and dialogue, and hopefully we're seeing a new paradigm in crossover gaming. It certainly makes more sense than random go-kart outings or fighting games where every suddenly beats the crap out of each other.
Telltale has done something so simple and yet so revolutionary that I am here to beg for more characters. I will happily throw money at the screen until I can download...
Johnny Cage (Mortal Kombat): Johnny Cage is video game royalty, with a winning track record going back over 20 years. He's loud, obnoxious, and wonderfully overconfident. Plus, he'd be the perfect character to make Hollywood screwing up video game movie jokes with and about.
Booker DeWitt (BioShock Infinite): As the first non-mute first-person protagonist in many a while, DeWitt is already shaping up to be one of the most iconic heroes in video game history even with only a single game behind him. Gruff and troubled, he'd make a nice straight man for the group, and could offer helpful explanations about the nature of traveling between worlds.
Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw): Lollipop Chainsaw wasn't exactly a brilliant game, but Tara Strong turned in a hell of a performance as Juliet. Aside from GLaDOS the games have been total sausage fests thus far, and a hyper-violent cheerleader would just about do the trick. It would give Johnny Cage someone to flirt with at least.Flashback 7 Games We Wish Nintendo Would Give the DS Treatment
Dr. Horrible (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog): Anything involving Neil Patrick Harris is by definition better than anything not involving Neil Patrick Harris. Even if Telltale was forced to use a substitute as they did with Ash, the presence of the awkward mad scientist would still be a hilarious addition to the game. Winning money to buy evil science gear is exactly the sort of thing that Dr. Horrible would do.
Murray (Monkey Island): Captain Reginald Van Winslow is already the host of the Inventory, so why not bring in the infamous and megalomaniacal Murray in as a player? Granted, I'm not sure exactly how a disembodied talking skull would handle cards, but I'm sure he'd think of something. It's not like Disney is going to do anything with a LucasArts property that isn't Star Wars any time soon. Hey, that would be a great in-joke, having Murray trying to win money to buy back his series.
Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Wreck-It-Ralph): Speaking of Disney and things that are never going to happen, there could not possibly be anything cooler than having the withering with and scorn of Jane Lynch and her gritty space-warrior avatar plunked down among the psychos and nitwits that gather for cards. Nobody on Earth has ever been more capable of going toe to toe with GLaDOS verbally.
Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory): There is nothing I can say about Sheldon in a poker game that they video above doesn't say... except that I would also settle for being able to play against Wil Wheaton.
Catwoman (Arkham City): In keeping with my goal of increasing the female options in the game, I nominate Catwoman. Tara Strong got all the love for her Harley Quinn in the game, but I personally felt she phoned it in. Grey DeLisle-Griffin offered a much more fun and empowering performance, and who better to drop into a high-stakes, off-the-books poker game than DC's master thief and femme fatale.Flashback 5 Franchises That Need LEGO Video Games
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The Doctor (Doctor Who): Doctor Who video games are usually passable at best and horrid at worst, but not enough credit is given to Matt Smith as a willing and enthusiastic participant in the game making process. The Doctor rarely needs money, but is an avid game master of many contests when needed. I could totally see him popping in to scratch up some cash to bail a companion out of jail. He'd also be fun for character exposition as a sounding board for time-travel questions.
The Law (Video Game High School): I am eagerly awaiting the second season of Video Game High School, and what better way to promote that than with an appearance by the schools big man on campus and all-around bullying dick, The Law. Crass, arrogant, but still possessed with incredible talent, he was always a driving and powerful force in season one. Let's see him shoot his mouth off against the biggest characters in gaming. I'm sure he'll waltz in with both a sneer and a hearty, "Law ready for this?"
GLaDOS and Murray were among the 5 Video Game Sidekicks That Deserve Their Own Game. Don't know much about Video Game High School? Check out our coverage of Season 1.