Blood Brothers – Video Game Review (iPhone/Android)
It’s an exceptionally rare achievement when a game manages to rival the addictive nature of wildly used drugs such as cocaine and heroin, dragging you through more highs and lows than Lindsay Lohan in rehab. This leads me to believe Mobage (the publisher) and DeNa (the developer) are either a group Satan worshipers or a team of genius marketers…or both, Satan worshiping marketing specialists. Thanks to DeNa, never has spending long hours pushing a single button been so addictive. In retrospect there’s little to Blood Brothers in terms of gaming mechanics, you simply push the button; watch your familiars attack, rinse and repeat.
The last game to have this effect on me was World of Warcraft, amply known to its addicts as World of WarCrack. Blood Brothers in the same boat except it has something Warcraft doesn’t, the ability to play it when and wherever you are because it’s a mobile game (iPhone/Android). This alone makes the game a danger to society. Often I played the game while driving, forcing my girlfriend to yell at me repeatedly, with me responding, “I can’t stop! I have to make top 30 or my week playing has been for nothing…” So what the hell is Blood Brothers all about, and why is it so addictive? Allow me to explain.
The story behind Blood Brothers is almost none-existent. I’ve yet to know anyone who actually pays attention to the scrolling boxes of text, but really you’re not going to play the game for any kind of story development. All you need to know is that when you begin the game you have the option of choosing one of seven Warlords. Each Warlord is apparently a ‘vampire’, but I question the character concept art to this day. A Giant Gorilla and Lizard vampire, come on!! Reptiles and Apes can’t be vampires, can they? Be careful which one you chose because you’ll be stuck with your choice forever. Certain Warlords are better than others, so research first before selecting one. It’s not a huge deal if you chose a bad one because when you reach the end game you’ll never use your Warlord again.
The game is much like a Pokemon game except there’s a lot less gameplay. You venture out in several different maps, encounter the enemy party and kill them. You’re given the option to toss a vial of blood at the defeated ‘familiars’ (yes blood) and if successful you get to keep them. You’ll find out fast that barely any of the Familiars you can capture are worth a damn; the game forces you to upgrade your familiars quickly in order to compete for the top prizes (weekly competitive events). In combat you push a single button that kicks off the battle. Your party begins to auto attack the enemy, you seriously do nothing except sit back and hope your team ‘procs’ as much as possible. Each familiar has an ability that when fully leveled has a 30% chance to go off when it’s their turn to attack. Support familiars have a 70% chance to proc their ability. The key here is to put together a good team that works well together, like an agility or wisdom based team.
Moving within the map requires energy. You start with 30/30 energy, and as you take steps you lose energy at a time. When you’re done you have to wait a few hours full recover. If you want to keep going you need to spend an in game resource called a Mandrake, which regenerates your energy back to 30. The in game value of a Mandrake is 1$. Same goes with PVP battles. You have three energy bars, if you participate in three PVP matches, you lose your energy. You can either wait 40 minutes to regenerate them all, use a bugle which gives you back one energy, or use a horn which gives you back three.
As you play the game you earn pacts, allowing you to open graves revealing newly acquired familiars. There’s copper pacts, silver, scarlet and occasionally special pacts. Copper and Silver pacts you can get easily playing the game. Scarlet pacts cost 300 Mobage coins (about a 3$ value). You can also get a Scarlet pact for free by ranking high in an event.
Each familiar can usually be combined four times to create a better version of the familiar. This is where the game shines and why it’s so addictive. It’s a perfectionists dream and nightmare combined into one. If you want to make the perfect evolution of a familiar you’ll need eight 1* versions of the familiar. 1* being the first phase of the familiar, which actually makes the 1* more valuable than a 2 or 3 star version that familiar. I’m not going to get into the mechanics of how it works, but you can find some great guides on how to evolve your familiar here.
There’s also another addictive part of the game, the Bazaar. Here you can buy and sell your familiars for resources or trade for other familiars with real players. DeNa limits the amount of trades you can do to 5 a day, which is bullshit. Again, it’s all about maximizing how much many they make from the game and trimming down trades, forces the players to spend more money buying from their in-game store. People started multi-accounting, having several accounts to counter this, but DeNa has been pretty firm with their ban-hammer, and has been banning cheaters left right and center. Which to be honest is a good thing, it gives the rest of the players equal ground.
The way I see it there’s two points to the game.
1) Putting together a top of tier group of familiars to be competitive in all the events.
2) Collecting Legends (top tier familiars) to prove how big your E-Penis actually is!
What really makes Blood Brothers fun and time consuming is the weekly events. Every week there’s a new event. ‘PVP’, which is all about battling other players parties, ‘Raid’, where you team up with allies to take down massive bosses, ‘World PVP’, basically a capture the flag with pvp elements and Tower, where you scale a tower and have to capture the boss over and over again. Each event has a leader board and the higher you rank the better rewards you get. The top players get legendary familiars which are worth the most in the entire game. I ranked top 30 five times in my three month stint with the game and let me tell you it was no cake walk. You need to dedicate tons of resources and hours to make to the top. You have to consider it as an investment. You put 200$ into the event to win a familiar that is worth 400$. If you make rank 31-100 you get one legendary familiar, while making top 30 gives you two legendary familiars, which can now be combined into an even stronger legendary. It’s very rewarding coming out on top, but to be honest I’ve lost a ton of sleep and at this point in my Blood Brothers experience need a break because if you allow it to it’ll take over your life.
Blood Brothers is a fun, addictive but flawed game. If you’re looking for a mobile game to waste time on then look no further, this is the game for you. If you’re a casual player the game is still fun but you’ll never be as uber as the players that spend real money and dedicate hours to events. I highly suggest that you check out http://www.bloodbrothersrpg.com/ if you’re looking for a community to share your gaming experience with. I’ve met some great helpful people there and it’s truly the place to be for everything Blood Brothers related. It’s hard to give a mobile game like this a rating, but I give it a 3.5/5 even though there’s tons of flaws and lets face it, it’s a money sink, but damn …it was fun while it lasted.
3,5/5 Raging Nerds