|System: X360, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cyanide Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SouthPeak Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 26, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Inexcusably, the presentation and production value of this title is so bad that it saps most of the fun out of the game. From terrible visuals to mediocre and repetitive sound, Blood Bowl is shambolic. Playing the game on Xbox 360, you'll be "treated" to graphics not seen since the earlier lifecycle of the last generation of consoles. The game is blurry, it has awful animations, and it entirely lacks visual variety. Without a doubt, this is one of the worst looking video games I've ever played. Sounds are nearly as bad. The commentary can be mildly humorous, but after just one half of play, you'll be reaching for the mute button. Sound effects are better, but they do little heighten the stodgy action on the field.
Controls are also a major bone of contention if you're planning on playing the Xbox 360 version. Whereas executing commands via a mouse and keyboard is natural on PC, things get decidedly wonky when dealing with analog sticks and the facebuttons. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you take the game out of its traditional turn-based mode and play with the new semi-real-time mode. Successfully issuing strategies through the Xbox 360 controller without the turn-based cushion is so bad it's practically broken. Keeping the game in turn-based mode is definitely the way to go, but controls still aren't quite right.
Blood Bowl should have been released through digital delivery only for $10 to $15. If it were, this could have been an excellent addition to the XBLA. The fact that it is sold only via retail means you'll shell out $49.99 for a game that's uglier and less refined than most browser-based Flash games; that means finding online matches will always be a challenge.
If several more months were taken to polish the game, and if the "bargain" price were set at a far more realistic level, I would wholeheartedly recommend the title. As it stands, it's little more than Xbox 360 shovelware that no one's going to pick up. Do yourself a favor: If you absolutely must own Blood Bowl the video game, pick it up on PC. Not only will you save $10 bucks, you'll get an extra playable race, better controls, and a more vibrant community.
CCC Editor / News Director