Reader Reviews: Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition

It's been far too long since the last reader review, so here's a new one for your perusal. This time it's Mitch Alexander in the hotseat, with his review of Blood Bowl: Legendary.

Let's hear it Mitch and, as always, let us know what you thought of the game in the comments below!

Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition (PC) Cyanide Studio's adaptation of the cult fantasy football game returns to PC, bringing with it more teams, bug fixes, new rules and most importantly, more violence. But is it as Legendary as Blood Bowl fans would hope?

Loved New Challengers: While Blood Bowl's first incarnation was decidedly light on team selections, Legendary Edition fills out the roster with the full complement of tabletop teams (except, sadly, for the Chaos Dwarfs whose quadruped Centaurs proved too difficult to tackle in the current engine). From the fearsome Undead to the twisted Nurgle, the hapless Halflings and the schizophrenic Vampires, Coaches are sure to find a team suited to their play-style.

New Rules & Bug Fixes: BB: LE brings the game to near-full compliance with the tabletop rule-set and previously bugged skills like Grab and Dirty Player finally work as intended. The popular Bloodweiser Babes are now available in non-Blitz game modes and players can hire Wizards to blast fireballs and lightning bolts at their opponents. Unfortunately, a lot of the Star Players are still missing, but there is hope of them being patched in after release. While not as comprehensive as a number of Java-based Blood Bowl clients out there, these changes serve to balance the game and address a lot of the problems that saw "Killer" teams wreak havoc in the Public League.

League Play: The multi-player League systems have been given a lot of love in Legendary Edition. In addition to the regular Public League system (now called the Auld World League), a number of other options such as the Naggaroth Open have been introduced. These Leagues are limited to Matchmaking-Only teams, minimising the rampant team 'farming' that plagued the system in Standard Edition. The new Leagues do not allow unranked matches, and once a team has entered the competition, they must stay there for good. Perhaps the most important addition for Private League players, is that League Commissioners now have the ability to reset or edit match results, allowing league matches to be replayed. This change will do a lot to ease the frustration of anyone who has had their play-off ambitions foiled by an ill-timed ISP drop-out.

Hated The Old Paid Beta Trick: While Cyanide have at least offered a generous discount for owners of the previous version, the fact remains that Legendary Edition is the game that Blood Bowl fans should have had in the first place. At worst, this should have been an add-on pack, not a standalone game. It's even more galling to think that Cyanide stopped providing any support for the regular edition as soon as they started work on the new version, leaving paying customers languishing with broken skills and numerous glitches. The situation for console players is even worse, with no updates coming to fix the numerous problems with the 360, PSP and DS versions and no plans to release Legendary Edition on these platforms as yet.

Still No Customisation: One of the greatest joys of Games Workshop's miniatures games, is painting and customising your forces to be uniquely your own. Sadly, customisation options are still limited to basic colour choices, pre-set emblems and a meagre array of skins for players. Modders are left out in the cold, with no official avenues for custom content. This isn't all Cyanide's fault - much of the blame can be placed at the feet of Games Workshop's draconian approach to IP protection that has hamstrung adaptations of their properties in the past.

Real-Time Mode Still Sucks: While I understand that Cyanide's real-time mode is intended as a way to attract newcomers to the game it's implemented so poorly that I fail to see how this is going to attract people into the meatier turn-based gameplay. The interface is clunky, confusing and, frankly, not fun. While there's bound to be gamers who find an appeal in real-time, violent football matches filled with werewolves and scantily-clad Elf dominatrixes - they're not going to find what they're looking for out of this game.

Overall, Legendary Edition is a vast improvement over the original release. Aside from breaking out the miniatures and cracking open a beer over the tabletop with your mates, this is as close to an authentic Blood Bowl experience as you can get. Blood Bowl remains a niche game, and it's difficult to recommend it to a casual gamer with no familiarity with the board game, but for die-hard fans, Legendary Edition is undoubtedly an essential purchase.


Comments

    Awesome - i didn't get the first one as i knew there would have to be another one coming soon enough, or at least an expansion. I'm so glad to hear this one has worked out and the majority of the bugs have been fixed!

    I'll certainly be picking this up as soon as i can and hoping i can run it on my damn laptop properly! lol

    Great review, Mitch - absolutely awesome stuff and much appreciated, especially seeing as it's a niche game :)

    Have they improved the single player AI ?

    Thanks Chuloopa.

    They've tweaked the single player a bit by altering your opponents' Team Values. They've also added a rather interesting Story Mode that sees you take control of various different teams and attempt to meet certain in-game challenges and win conditions.

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