Review: Blood Bowl (Microsoft Xbox 360)


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Blood Bowl
Developer: Games Workshop
Publisher: Southpeak Games
Genre: Strategy Sports
Release Date: 01/26/2010

Blood Bowl is a spin-off of the tabletop miniatures game Warhammer. In this game, you’ll be pitting teams comprised of elves, humans, orcs, etc. against each other in a battle for (American) football supremacy. The idea sounds interesting, however the simple fact that it is converted from a board game creates difficulty.

Learning the rules and maneuvers necessary to make you a superstar elf takes a good deal of time and without any real direction in terms of controls, this can get confusing in a heartbeat.

Setting up matches is easy enough, but then things seem to go haywire. The controls of the game dictate you can only move certain amounts of space and achieve certain moves with certain people (one person can blitz per turn). Apparently nobody ever mentioned these rules to the computer because the computer is a blitzing freak with no regards to the other teams safety. My elves kept getting annihilated, even the badass elves with spiked steamrollers. That’s just not right. Maybe some can say my strategy is off, but when one little elf goes running about four squares away from a human, said human should not be able to trip the poor elf, his legs just aren’t that long.

While I would’ve enjoyed trying this against someone online, my many attempts at finding a game were futile. It is remotely possible that if I were playing against another person rather than the supercomputer I may have scored a touchdown. That’s right, I didn’t score a touchdown once. Every time I got close, it was halftime. Bullocks.

The visuals on the game are poor, as you can barely make out words when players get injured, the overhead view leaves much to be desired and when you take control of the camera, the system is extremely sensitive and leaves you wondering how to get back to a semi-normal view. In addition, when getting close up you can’t figure out what is going on anywhere else on the field.

The sound is fine for what it is. There is nothing spectacular about it but it gets all the grunts and groans out in an acceptable manner.

In terms of replayability, you need a friend who is into this game to have any shot at playing regularly. It’s a converted board game so playing often may be equivalent to saying that you want to play Monopoly almost daily. It’s not likely.

Overall Blood Bowl is a decent shot at bringing dice and set pieces to a console, but suffers immensely from visual issues, control issues and, quite simply, being way too complicated from the get go. If this were moved out of a board game structure and into something along the lines of Blitz: The League, you may have a decent draw. As is, it’s a roll of the dice that comes up short.

The Scores
Modes: Mediocre
Graphics: Poor
Audio: Good
Gameplay: Poor
Replayability: Poor
Balance: Poor
Originality: Good
Addictiveness: Poor
Appeal Factor: Mediocre
Miscellaneous: Worthless
Final Score: Below Average Game

Short Attention Span Summary
Blood Bowl is you in ancient times playing football…with dice to see who goes next. Would you rather be an elf or an orc? It won’t matter because the computer will crush your dreams of scoring a touchdown with its computer intelligence that rivals Stephen Hawking. While the computer is destroying you, enjoy the sounds because you’ll have no idea what is going on on the screen. For an enjoyable time, find a friend, go to Medieval Times (or Burger King), get a crown, come home and play online for hours. It may be the only way to properly enjoy this game.

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