Review by Saikred

"There will be Blood... Bowl"

What is Blood Bowl you ask?

For some the name means nothing, for some it is a lifestyle. There are even some, who upon mere mention of the name, they remember times past and hours of tabletop gaming with friends
Based on Games Workshop's long-running, dice-throwing board game, and set in the Warhammer Universe, Blood Bowl is a fantasy football game, with a twist.
Think American Football crossed with dismemberment, cheating, wizards and even the odd death... and you're getting there.

The player has eight races to choose from. Whether it be the hardy Orcs, the evil forces of Chaos, or the speedy mutant rats known as Skaven, each team has its own strengths and weaknesses and rules are thrown out of the window as you use sneaky tactics, special abilities and the roll of the dice to assault, stamp on and maim your opponents, and maybe even score a touchdown or two.

Career mode sets you up with a small pot of cash to start off, and a basic team (You can change team and player names) You earn more by winning against other teams, which allows you to hire more players and build your fantasy team, bribe referees, or even buy potions that aid you in the matches. You can also dish out training prior to matches to help improve player's performance.

The game works on a system of SPP (Star Player Points) each time a player has a positive impact on the game you can accumulate these points, and your players will increase in skill and level over the course of their careers, adding a whole new 'management' side to the game.

As for game modes, you've got Blitz mode, which is all-out action and set in real-time, or you can jump into a more traditional turn-based gameplay mode based exactly on the Living Rulebook (A constantly evolving book of rules that govern the Blood Bowl universe) a slower-paced game that is more tactical and where success often relies on a throw of a dice.

Unfortunately Blitz mode is a little redundant for most fans such as myself, Blood Bowl (In my opinion) doesn't feel right in real time at all.

There have been complaints of the 360's 'watered down' multiplayer mode. It's possible to take your game online and dish out a sound thrashing to a friend. But due to certain restrictions, unfortunately online tournaments aren't a possibility, and you cannot develop your own custom team by playing online (Although you can copy your career team across to USE it online)

Whether you enjoy your Blood Bowl experience, or hate it with a passion, will depend on one vital thing: whether you're familiar with and enjoy playing turn-based games. I emphasise that THIS IS NOT A STANDARD SPORTS TITLE.

The tutorial does little to help players new to the game get used to the slow-paced action of turn-based mode and this may well put off anyone new to the game who accidentally thinks that Blood Bowl is going to be an action-packed sport's game, and while it does has its moments, Blood Bowl is more Strategy than Action.

As mentioned before, the diabolical real-time mode arguably provides a little bit of excitement that one could loosely describe as 'action,' but alas the controls are clunky and hard to get the hang of, and the simply atrocious A.I. and general lack of polish will ensure that you won't spend any good amount of time with it, which is a shame because it had potential.

Overall

Graphics : 8* - Very pretty looking and a good image of what I as a blood bowl player imagined it would look like

Sound : 7* - The crunching of crushing your opponent is always satisfying, but the commentary is repetetive

Gameplay : 8* - Will keep blood bowl vets entertained with classic mode, but Blitz mode should have been more

Lifespan : 7* - Online progression would have improved this a lot

A solid buy for hardcore fans of the series, but maybe a little too unforgiving to be commercially successful


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/11

Game Release: Blood Bowl (EU, 11/27/09)


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