Blackjack: a game so simple it’s as easy as seven plus fourteen! Okay, there may be a little bit more depth to it than that, but not much! That’s why it is usually a hard sell as a standalone title, serving better as a mini-game in an adventure game, or as part of a full gambling package experience. That’s where Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo (SBB2 from here on out) comes to bat, aiming to bring a slightly more rich experience than one would expect, but is it worth upping the ante? It can be, but you have to really be into blackjack.
I have always been a fan of card games (blackjack amongst them) but a standalone game is a concept that may not always be approachable outside of a free game on an app store. SBB2 is not a sequel as far as I can tell, but rather uses the play on its name to further supplement the fact that is highly inspired by Street Fighter 2. From the aesthetics to the world map, and right down to its game over screens, it bleeds images reminiscent of the classic fighting title. Conceptually though, it is still just blackjack, and while a deeper “fighting” system could have changed this boring outcome, what is in place just falls flat.
I will skip the theatrics of explaining the basics of BlackJack, as many know it’s a numbers game. Get as close to or exactly at 21 to outdo your opponents and the dealer, and you win the hand. If you want to count cards, it gets deeper than that, but otherwise, it’s pretty simplistic. The main mode sees you traveling the world in a tournament of sorts, facing others one on one to win a game of ten rounds. In these “fights”, you start with $1000 and may bet as you please. To win, you can either have more chips than your opponent at the end of the 10 rounds or, your opponent can run out of funds. Alternatively, losing occurs if you run out of funds first or have less than your opponent when the 10 rounds are up. Other than this rule set, there is nothing new brought to the table, no pun intended. So the “fights” are luck based at best, and while by nature this is a game of chance, it does not do the title service to not add house rules or something that can impact the flow of the match. The inclusion of some type of fighting methods would have been great, like earning skill cards after getting blackjacks or a successful double or nothing. What If I had a bonus card that forced my opponent to hold or to hit, or one that prevented cards from being used on me in a round, or a card that automatically gave me between a six and a nine? These ideas just rolled off the tongue in the heat of the moment, so imagine what some time and effort could have done if a system like this was actually implemented. I might have stuck around the tables longer, if so.
Aesthetically, though, it has its look nailed down. It’s regionally stereotypical characters and the designs behind them work well for showcasing the Street Fighter inspired looks. Each character has their own stage to showcase too, with some taking place in your typical casino, while others take you to the shack of a warlord in the Congo. The tracks change per level too to fit in with the theme, but it is pretty standard stuff here.
Well, that’s all folks. There is an arcade mode, a battle mode, and a party mode for those who don’t have a deck of cards in that one drawer in the kitchen. It’s roster of characters isn’t enough to keep me coming back for more on Switch, though in another life I could see myself enjoying the Android version more on a bus ride or car trip. But that was not the hand fate dealt me, and I see this Switch version as a lost opportunity to expand on a well-known game. Unless you are a BlackJack diehard, your $8 can be better spent putting up a bet during a hand in your basement.
*Note: A copy of the title was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 6/10
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