Trying to Put the “Fantasy” into Fantasy Football…and Failing Miserably
Have you ever watched some of those intense battle scenes in Lord of the Rings, only to find yourself thinking about how much cooler it would be if the elves and the orcs dropped their crossbows and battle axes and picked up a helmet and a chest protector? Have you ever dreamed of seeing a horde of goblins and an army of dwarves, nose-to-nose, at the line of scrimmage?
Well, neither have I.
Some people, however, seem to find the idea of traditional fantasy creatures engaged in a fight on the gridiron to be great fun. In fact, the good people at Games Workshop even made a fairly popular role-playing board game based on on just this concept: Blood Bowl.
This mash-up of hobbies has also found it’s way to the world of video games several times in the past. A new development team has taken up the task of trying to convert this turn-based board game into a fun, visual-based video game. Unfortunately, Cyanide Studios doesn’t have much to brag about, at least as far as their take on Blood Bowl is concerned.
The board game version requires players to roll dice at the start of their turn, and this feature is implemented into the game. After you assemble a team from the various character classes, you roll the virtual dice to determine what actions your team of monsters can take toward the ultimate goal of advancing the ball and, ultimately, reaching the endzone. If you put together your squad wisely, you’ll have a better chance at success, especially if you also use in-game cash that you earn as you play to purchase upgrades.
Strategy, however, only gets you so far. The game has so many flaws that even fans of such tactical endeavors will likely be too frustrated to spend much time with the title. The visuals are simplistic, boring, and simply unappealing. It doesn’t help that the framerate stutters relatively often. The control scheme is confusing and, at times, unresponsive. Worst of all, unless you’re familiar with the board game, the rules and regulations are so confounding and plentiful that before you’re even done reading the instructions, you’ll probably be on your way toward hitting the eject button.
(Word of advice: If you do give this game a chance, don’t just jump straight into the gameplay without reading the in-game manual. You’ll be totally lost.)
It seems like this game was made for a different platform and ported over to Microsoft’s console without any consideration of the Xbox360 audience.
Look, if you’re a fan of the Blood Bowl board game, then maybe this is a game that you should take a chance on. Maybe you’ll even enjoy it. If you aren’t familiar with the board game, however, then you should steer clear of this one. It’s a poor effort, and in a video game market over-saturated with filth, it’s an effort that stands out for all the wrong reasons.
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