Growing up from the 8-bit era through to today has given me a bit of insight to the background of fighting games and their roots and progression throughout history. Up till about the 32-bit era, fighting games were 2D, no matter if it was one plane (Street Fighter II) or levels (Final Fight), they were still 2D affairs. Once Playstation launched though, 3D became the norm for fighting games with titles like Battle Arena Toshinden and Zero Divide among many many others (Sega had Virtua Fighter 1 and 2 on Saturn). These were all free form fighting games, some using as many as eight buttons and controller operations to produce moves. My question is, why did it take so long for someone to figure out that simpler is better?
Glu Mobile have done just that with Blood and Glory, a gladiator themed 3D fighting game, they removed all of the complicated button presses, manula jumping and having to worry about environments. Sounds like they took out all of the fun too, huh? No, all they did was remove a lot of frustration from this type of game. Blood and Glory is all about the action, much like 3D running games, everything is focused on action and reacting to repercussions of your actions (arguably, “normal” fighting games were that too but a lot more complicated).
In Blood and Glory your character is fighting for his freedom and his life against other, larger than life, monstosities that the Emporer has placed in the arena with you. Fighting is handled by slashing across or down the screen at the right time, dodging puts your opponent in a vulnerable position, prime for additional attacks. Blocking is done by button (Street Fighter mainstays had a field day pointing this out at Mortal Kombat fans back in the day), so is dodging- simply press the onscreen key for each and your character will do them. Playing on a system with hardware keys (Sony Xperia Play or, like I did, the JXD S601) allows you to use hardware keys instead of the onscreen buttons (nice touch). The problem with the JXD is that the back button (Circle) requires changing keymaps within the Android OS and I was too lazy to do that just for Blood and Glory.
JXD S601 Specifics:
Here is where things get a little rough. As you can see in the pics, the first battle comes off without a hitch, everything is great and looks good. The second fight, only the floor and the fighters themselves are “all there” as the background arena and the stands pop in and out. This doesn’t hinder enjoying the game though and in fact, in the options you can turn those things off to get better performance on various devices (the S601 has plenty of horsepower to run with everything on though).