App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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As I find myself playing an increasing number of freemium player-versus-player style games, I find myself beginning to appreciate them more and more. But that’s not why I appreciate Bloody Western. I appreciate it because it’s genuinely interesting, fun, and actually manages to do a few things differently (in a good way) when compared to its peers.
Everything starts with character creation. As it should. But Bloody Western really asks players to own their characters. They have to choose a faction (Outlaws or Lawmen) and one of three classes that get bonuses for earning cash, energy required for dueling (PvP), or energy required for completing missions. All before any sort of visual tweaking options show up. From there it’s all a matter of preference. Players can focus on completing quests for cash and experience, dueling other players for cash and fame, or buying up properties to rake in real estate payments. Gold earned can be put towards buying better gear or more property, naturally.
There’s so much about Bloody Western that’s just plain cool it’s tough to figure out where to start. For one thing it’s got this incredible Tarantino-meets-Eastwood theme that works ridiculously well. It’s hard not to get swept up in the gritty frontier shenanigans. Watching a character go from formless greenhorn to badass as more and more equipment is purchased also has a very instinctual appeal. More than anything, however, is the way that there’s always something happening on the screen. Brief and simple animations play out every time a quest is completed, during the duels which also happen to be interactive thanks to a simple mini game for critical hits, and even on the main menu thanks to lots and lots of scrolling news items.
A few small issues dampen the experience, however. Bloody Western isn’t the first iOS game to have a laughably awkward localization, and it won’t be the last, but some of the phrasing during the tutorial (and parts beyond) is facepalm-inducing. It’s also a terrible shame to have so many great character customization options via the purchasable equipment, but have an avatar that’s nothing more than a (literally) faceless shadow. However the biggest problem I’ve run into is that main menu page. In short, it’s ridiculously cluttered. So much so that I was somewhat intimidated by it when I first started playing. It wasn’t long before I learned that most of the buttons held absolutely no significance for me, but it’s still something of a mess that could do with some reorganization.
I’m glad I was able to get through my initial hesitance about Bloody Western’s interface, though. It’s not as complicated as it initially appears and actually ends up being a lot of fun. I’d urge any and all iOS gamers who don’t suffer from Hemophobia to try it out.