Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blood Bowl for Xbox 360 review

Title: Blood Bowl
Release Date: January 25, 2010
Genre: Strategy (with a football theme)
Rating: T for Teen
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Cyanide

Ok, I have to admit, I was sorely disappointed when I got this game. I was expecting a fast paced action game, as described by GameFly: “What do you get when you mix American football with the fantasy world of Warhammer? You get Blood Bowl! Form a team filled with Orcs, Wood Elves, Humans, Dwarfs, and other fantasy races, and prepare for real bone-crunching action.” Instead, what I got was a strategy game.

Blood Bowl is what football is called in the Warhammer universe. Both games are quite similar but there are also many differences. The game consists of setting the position of your players on the field, and in turn based action, moving each player around to try to advance the ball into the endzone. The game only awards points for touchdowns, there are no field-goals or safeties.

The graphics are sub-par, nothing groundbreaking here. One nice feature is the ability to move the camera in almost every direction anytime during gameplay. Controls are pretty good, since the game is turn-based you don’t need to worry about quick response times. The sounds are also really good. Bone-crushing hits are represented well and the commentators are hilarious with their quips and one-liners.

Just about every action you perform is based on a dice roll. From fielding a kickoff to encountering an enemy, to blocking, passing and running, everything is all dependent on a dice roll. Your player’s stats improve you chances of winning the dice roll but it’s still rather annoying that a blocker cannot pick up the ball because his ball-handling rating is so low.

It is not uncommon for a game to end with only one touchdown scored. The games themselves seem way to short. There are only a certain amount of plays you are allowed per game, and with halftime included it chops short any long drive. The game could turn on one unlucky play or one roll of the dice. Setting up your blockers and advancing them slowly down the field takes too long and I’ve had a number of games end right before I could get into the endzone.

Blood Bowl is available for Xbox 360 and PC. For someone who was disappointed when he first got the game, I actually enjoyed playing the game for a while. However, I will warn you, you should not consider this a football game, instead think if it as a strategy game with a football theme. Also, do not trust user review scores on different websites. Users will get this game expecting a NFL Blitz or NFL Street type game and see it is not a fast-paced football game and mark it down for that, if you just look at the professional reviews, you’ll see this isn’t that bad of a game.

Overall Rating: ***1/2

The Gaming Savant, Ryan Smith


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