Minigames are an important part of gaming as it is now practiced. What other activities are available to keep you occupied if you find yourself getting bored with the main quest? Perhaps you’ll turn into a fish. Maybe a dancing mini-game. While playing Shenmue or Yakuza, you could kill time by playing some classic Sega arcade games. Both Shenmue and Yakuza are excellent choices.
Nonetheless, the casino section is one of the mini-game clichés (and, in some cases, level tropes) that is frequently overlooked. Even though I’ve never actually been inside a casino, the neon lights and catchy soundtracks of these slot-filled stages and minigame mazes have left an indelible impression on me. Despite the fact that they are jam-packed with gambling tricks, this is true.
And it’s clear that I’m not the only one. Whether you prefer to gamble for real money at one of the best casinos in the world or engage in risk-free gambling, these subgenres have unquestionably cemented their place in gaming history. As a result, let’s discuss the top five casino settings I’ve enjoyed playing in throughout the history of video games.
The Game Corner first appeared in the 2009 editions of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
When I think of gambling-themed minigames, the first thing that comes to mind is the Pokémon series’ “Game Corner” section. This was a staple of the first four generations of Pokémon games, but it was abruptly removed in the 2009 editions of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and was replaced by a minigame called Voltorb Flip.
Previously, the slot machine minigames were the main attraction of these locations. These games allowed players to earn in-game coins, which they could then spend on items and even Pokémon. In fact, this was the sole method available in Pokémon Red and Blue for obtaining Porygon, the electric army Pokémon.
The absence of the Game Corner in later games was unexpected, but it was probably foreseen. A typical Game Corner had been implemented in the Japanese versions, complete with what was by far the best implementation of the classic slot machine minigame. This minigame, however, was not included in the game’s localized versions.
Concerns have apparently been raised in the European Union about the inclusion of a casino sector in such a phenomenally popular children’s video game, despite the fact that it has been available for purchase for nearly a decade without incident. The slot machine minigame was not included in the European version of Pokémon Platinum Version, which was released in 2008, because the developers wanted to avoid any potential problems. When HGSS was made available all over the world, the Game Corner was completely redesigned.
The Japanese version of the location, on the other hand, appears to be quite stunning. This incredible arcade had fantastic music, bewildering lights, a fantastic overall look, and even teeny tiny cutscenes that popped up whenever you racked up combinations on the games. It has to be one of the most exciting casino settings in any video game!
Platter of Gold (Final Fantasy VII, 1997)
The original Gold Saucer, which should not be confused with the location of the same name in Final Fantasy XIV, is my absolute favorite place to play minigames.
In this casino area with an amazing theme, you can participate in a variety of activities such as Chocobo Racing, Monster Battle Gauntlets, Shooting Minigames, and even an Arcade! These activities will keep you busy for hours! It’s easy to lose track of time in there, for better or worse, just like it is in any excellent real-life casino (or perhaps possibly even online at newzealandcasinos casino online).
The feature that most piques my interest, however, is not one of the gambling-themed minigames. Chocobo Racing is one of my all-time favorite games. These enormous yellow chickens are surprisingly lovable and entertaining to care for, and trying to win races with them gives me what feels like a whole game’s worth of material – which is an impressive effort given how much content is already packed into Final Fantasy VII across all three discs!
In general, this is a fantastically memorable location that is enjoyable for both those who enjoy gambling and those who do not. This is a must-see, especially if you enjoy watching large birds compete in frantic races.
The Neon District Casino (Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, 2018)
When I decided to write this post, I knew I wanted to include a section from one of the Yakuza games in some way. When it came time to choose one, however, I chose to discuss a book that is only tangentially related to the series!
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a video game created by Yakuza developers. It is based on the post-apocalyptic anime and manga series Fist of the North Star and is modeled after the Yakuza games. The game was designed in the same manner as the Yakuza series. Kenshiro’s journey in this location includes a large number of ripped males and bloody battles, but there are also a large number of minigames.
In addition to the previously mentioned iconic Sega arcade games, Lost Paradise includes a more traditional casino in the game’s Neon District. Karaoke, buggy racing, and bartending minigames are also included in the game. The four classic casino games available here are baccarat, blackjack, poker, and roulette. Slot machines and bingo are two other games. Actually, every single one of them is a fantastic player. I found that playing the mini-game roulette was a great way to kill time while I was here!
Lost Paradise may be one of the most underappreciated Yakuza-style games out there. However, it is an excellent game, and the addition of a casino and a large number of additional minigames adds to the overall impression that the title is extremely well-rounded.
Pinball Waluigi (Mario Kart DS, 2005)
Waluigi Pinball in no way represents or holds itself out as a casino. The neighborhood’s appearance and atmosphere, on the other hand, strongly suggest that this is the case.
Waluigi is everyone’s favorite non-Smash Bros. fighter with a purple mustache, and this fantastic track has you racing through a large pinball machine themed after him. The stage is crammed with enormous pinballs and bumpers, as well as neon lights, pulsing electronic music, and even a massive slot machine! Even when you strike an item box, slot machine sounds replace the usual noises. This occurs whenever you play a slot machine.
It is also without a doubt my favorite course in Mario Kart DS. It’s a lot of fun to sprint through because of the flashing lights and pulsing music, and it’s even more fun with friends.
In fact, it was my top choice for the best course in the Mario Kart series for many years. In my opinion, it can only be surpassed by the Electrodome in Mario Kart 8, which was released in 2014. However, Waluigi Pinball is a fantastic track in its own right. It was more of a full-fledged stage than a minigame location, but it left an indelible mark on my memory.
Casino Nightlife District (Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 1992)
None of the casino zones seen in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise shine quite as brightly as others in the realm of casino settings found in video games. Sonic has been to more than his fair share of amazing casino settings, from the pinball minigames of Casinopolis in Sonic Adventure to the pitfall traps of Bingo Highway in Sonic Heroes, and even Sonic Mania’s Mirage Saloon Zone’s unique blend of classic western aesthetics and pinball bumpers.
The first version will always be the one that people remember the most. Casino Night Zone is not the most action-packed casino zone in Sonic. It doesn’t have the best music, in my opinion, which is self-evident. It does, however, include a variety of platforming challenges, pinball-style challenges, and even slot machines that will award you with extra lives if you’re lucky.
This was my absolute favorite level in Sonic 2 when I was younger. I’d sometimes spend up to ten minutes at a time just trying to rack up lives, to the point where I didn’t notice the clock ticking closer and closer to the stage’s end. But I didn’t mind. It was a good time for everyone.
Casino Night has breathtaking visuals that will take your breath away. It’s a lot of fun going through it all. But, more importantly, it stays with you. Sega appears to agree with this assessment, as they have revived the franchise on numerous occasions.