Right from the beginning, you need to know that Bloodstone has a game-crippling bug. From there, the game may not go downhill, but it certainly doesn't climb the pinnacle of thrilling gameplay either. The publishers acknowledge the goof by inserting a statement in the game box. If you collect those all-important artifacts, but don't give them to the dwarf leader of your choice before you pick up the god Rohrkhad's axe, they become dust in the wind. In one of the most anti-climactic endings I've ever seen in a game, this one wins hands down. As soon as you retrieve the god's axe, the game is over and proceeds to stroll off into the final end-sequence automatically. Huh? That's right, at that point, there IS no point.
There are a few decent aspects included in Bloodstone, if you look hard enough. During the "create-your-party" segment at the beginning of the game, you get thirty bonus points to spread among each character's skill and attribute ratings. Another plus is the auto-mapping feature, but rarely do you see one so primitive -- it's ugly, incomplete, doesn't scroll. Grab a piece of graph paper and brush up on your cartographer skills if you really to map a particular location (especially dungeons, where it doesn't work at all). Did I say it's a plus? Oops, my mistake. On the positive side, there are plenty of magic spells, but they turn out to be useless in combat situations. Many games extend premium rewards for training that priest, wizard, or sorcerer, but in Bloodstone, magic is undeniably weaker than the physical aspects of fighting. There are, of course, uses for magic, most dealing with mundane character maintenance such as healing, weakening an opponent, or stopping time, leavi
ng you with all passive spells and no decent offensive gem.
From an overall perspective, as a fan of fantasy role-playing games, I can't really recommend this game to anyone who has a genuine interest in RPG's. It's sad when one of the highlights of a game is the interface, but that's pretty much the situation with Bloodstone. The abundance of monsters is impressive, but their amazing strength and endurance levels aren't. Plan on spending huge amounts of time trying to build your characters to a fighting level equal to your opponents. Better yet, get your characters killed and walk away.
Graphics: Graphically challenged.
Sound: Average at best.
Enjoyment: Plodding action, disappointing ending.
Replay Value: It won't make any difference that you can choose from eight characters at the beginning.
It's an old Mindcraft RPG, very much like the Magic Candle series (need I say much more?). It has non-evil lizardmen! (first and last time I've seen THAT in an RPG)
Based on the same engine as Magic Candle 3, Bloodstone is IMHO a much better game than its better-known cousin (Magic Candle 1 is a true classic but the sequels were disappointing). Magic Candle fans will feel right at home with the ability to control your party members separately, a good turn-based combat system, lots of spells, and the epic scope. Despite cliche "kill the big woozle" plot, the game has many interesting side-quests and treasures to find.
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