Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bowling for Blood

I just bought Blood Bowl:  Chaos Edition on Steam.  I have such fond memories of playing BB on Lucky's board back in university:  Staying up all night fighting exhaustion with adrenalin, sticking little bits of paper with notes scribbled in tiny letters on the tops of the figurines, and screaming "YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!!!!" in concert with half a dozen other excited spectators when a player got ejected for fouling.  It was a wonderful time full of camaraderie, flow, and intensity.  I would love to recreate that but the community and environment is evaporated, never to be recreated I expect.  We are too old and jobs, children, wives, geography, and gray hairs keep us in check.

The computer game is a faithful recreation of the old board game with a few modifications that I heartily approve of.  The basic mechanics are the same - block or dodge away, run the ball or kill the enemies, make the desperate long pass or sit tight.  There is still the glory of the unlikely touchdown and the agony of watching a favourite player get pushed into the stands and die to the zealous fury of the fans.  It has a campaign mode that seems reasonable so far since it is pretty much just a framework on which to hang playing a bunch of games of BB and it is hard to fault that.  The graphics are mediocre and the menus are not the best but the gameplay is so much fun that it is easy to forgive.  It feels like going back to play Final Fantasy 1 or somesuch - it looks terrible but I love it so.

I got into a league right away with some old friends, fellow alumni, and some folks who I know from my M:TG days and it seems like it should be a lot of fun.  Hopefully it can scratch an itch I have had ever since I stopped playing WOW; the ability to log onto ventrilo randomly and chat with really smart gamers about a game that excites me.  The community that surrounds competitive play is something I have missed very much since I stopped being a serious contributor to Ret Paladin theory on the Elitist Jerks WOW forums and I have high hopes that this can give me that feeling again.  It doesn't feel like there is the same degree of number crunching available and I probably won't be writing any huge simulators but some armchair theorycrafting certainly is in the offing.

Now I just have to find a way for my squishy ratmen to score a crapload of touchdowns while avoiding being killed too much!

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