This is the chain of events as I remember them...
1987, Christmas - I receive a NES at my dad's house.
1989, Christmas - I receive a Game Boy at my dad's house.
1989, Summer - We get a NES at my mom's house.
I'm almost certain that my mom got me a NES for her house because I had showed her Tetris on my GB and she was hooked. The NES meant she could play Tetris. Plus, my Nintendo Power subscription came with a free copy of Dragon Quest, so now we had two games. Plus, the console came with Super Mario Bros, so three really. And our fourth game? Vegas Dreams.
I have no idea where that one came from or why we had it. But if I had to guess - my stepfather a the time probably wanted it. I mean, a casino simulator? In a house with three kids under 10? Maybe not the wisest choice. But whatever. It was the late 80's. Things were different back then.
At any rate, we all played Vegas Dreams. A lot. It was neat. There was gambling and bits of what we'd now call visual novel stuff thrown in. I mean, brief. It boiled down to making quick decisions to lend money or not, but it was an interesting game.
Developed by HAL Labs, Vegas Dreams was a bit more than your standard table game simulator. It had an actual plot. And a goal - like a legit win condition. It was cool.
Vegas Stakes is the sequel on SNES, and it feels more like a deluxe revision of the original game rather than a true sequel. All the original stuff is there, but it feels bigger. There's more casinos. There's friends that hang out with you. It's not super deep, but it's fun as heck.
I've spent most of the past week losing money in Vegas Stakes. I've restarted my game five or six times because I'm not good. The one night I spent in a real casino (my brother's bachelor party - so yeah, I guess Vegas Dreams totally debased him), I spent the ENTIRE night at the blackjack table. Well, Vegas Stakes is the same deal mostly.
I don't like pure games of chance. So craps, roulette and slots mean nothing to me. But blackjack? I'm in. I once played Red Dead Redemption, and the majority of my time with that game was playing blackjack.
This week I've been dabbling with poker, too. Which meant finally learning how to play poker. I'm 40 years old. This is embarrassing . But I think I get it, and I'm horrible. At any rate, it's been fun spending a week at a virtual casino. I'm going home broke - I've lost the $1,000 I came in with. But I had a good time. Oh, and the actual SNES cart only cost me $2. Not bad.