Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

September 18, 2010

Blood Bowl - Oh the Memories!!!

During our recent trip home, I bought two games: Prototype (which I haven't played yet) and a game that I've been playing almost non-stop since we got home, Blood Bowl.

Obviously, this post is about Blood Bowl because I haven't even played the first one yet! Oh, yeah, and there's that whole "blog post title" thing too.

Blood Bowl is a video game based on the long-running board game of the same name. I used to play it with a friend of mine back in grade school or junior high, so you know how long it's been around!

It's set in Games Workshop's Warhammer universe, but this is a game of football, not role-playing fantasy battles or anything like that. And when I say football, I don't just mean the football you're all familiar with (though there are a couple of elements that are the same).

No, I'm talking about no holds barred, smashmouth football where a team will do anything to get into the end zone. And I do mean anything.

It is called "Blood" Bowl, you know.

Basically, you have a team of various races (dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, Chaos warriors, rat-man-like Skaven, etc), and you're trying to get the pig's bladder (that's in the shape of a spiked ball) through the other team and into the end zone.

One team kicks off to the other, and then tries to defend their goal. There are Linemen, Blitzers, Throwers and Catchers on the team (some other races' teams have a few different kinds as well). You can also have big creatures like an ogre or troll on your team too.

Blood Bowl is a violent sport, however. You're trying to knock the other team's players down to give you a clear path to the end zone, and if you happen to gouge out an eye (forcing the player to miss the next game) or break an ankle, oh well! Oh, and don't forget that you can kick the other player while he's down, causing further injury. But be careful if you haven't bribed the ref! You might get sent off the field.

The original board game was turn-based, with each game having 16 turns (8 turns comes up to halftime, where the players switch sides and kick off again, just like real football). The video game adds a real-time mode, but I haven't tried that yet. To me, Blood Bowl is turn-based, so I have no interest in trying that one.

Each player can move a certain number of squares, and each player also has a "tackle zone" that consists of every square around him/her. If somebody tries to leave your tackle zone, even just to go to another square in your zone, they have to make an agility check or be knocked down, ending your turn.

I'm having a blast playing my Asgard Assholes human team (the name just seemed to fit the atmosphere of Blood Bowl) in a campaign to reach the ultimate competition! The Blood Bowl itself. I'm playing in various tournaments to try and build up my prestige as the season goes on.

So how is the video game adaptation of this game? It's actually pretty good, though there's no way I would have paid $60-70 for this (I bought it for $20, as it's an older game). The graphics are decent, though I do wish there was a bit more variety in the various fields. I also wish there were more varied touchdown celebrations. Each race has its own, but it would be nice to see more within each race.

Don't get me started on the "announcers," though. They don't really comment on the game too much, and when they do it's pretty generic. They're also very hard to hear, though I suppose I could explore turning down the game noise to hear them better. That being said, I generally just turn my TV's volume down as the sound effects are pretty basic too. Finally, the music outside of the game itself, when you're looking at your roster or hiring other players, is repetitive to the point of madness.

Then again, maybe Blood Bowl is an agent of Chaos and that's what it's supposed to do!

The presentation is fairly lackluster, though you can track your individual players' stats, as far as knockouts, casualties caused, casualties sustained, etc. You can also keep track of your team's stats.

The names of your players are pretty generic too, though there has been a bit more variety as time's gone on. I went ahead and renamed them all myself, as I had Akhim the Fool and Akhim the Gifted on my team. I was getting confused. (no, not really, but it was boring).

I will also admit that the tutorials are terrible. If you have no familiarity with the game itself, then they certainly won't help you. It even took some time for me to get the hang of things.

However, what the game does do is bring back my memories of the board game. The game itself is still being played, and maybe current players will find the video game lacking (it certainly got lukewarm reviews, though I don't know if any of the reviewers had played the board game before). However, for somebody who hasn't played it in years, this video game is a shot in the arm.

Who cares what the pundits think? I paid my $20, and I'm having the time of my life.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.