Review of Blade Slots
I never read a lot of Blade comic books growing up because none of my friends on my street bought them, and my major source of new comics was trading with them. However, I watched the first movie in 1998 and became an instant fan. The casting for the film was perfect and Wesley Snipes, (or “Wesley Pipes” as many affectionately refer to him), played the cold-hearted, half-vampire to perfection.
Blade isn’t on most people’s list of Top 10 Marvel Heroes yet everyone always speaks very highly of his graphic novels and subsequent films. This isn’t really surprising though since we’re talking about a half-dead vampire hunter who kicks butt every time he leaves the house. Unfortunately, there are many disappointing aspects of this game and even diehard fans will have their patience tested.
This expert review of Blade Slots will break down everything you need to know about the bonuses, free spins, and features, in an attempt to save your bankroll from the evil bloodsuckers that await you.
The screenshots below give you a good idea of what you’re in for with this machine. It doesn’t have the most interesting design and it already feels dated even though it was only released a few years ago. And yes – these images are of the most exciting parts of the game: we looked hard for something interesting to show you and this was all that we could come up with.
Eric Brooks never knew his mother because during his birth she was eaten by a fake doctor who was really a vampire. The good news is that this encounter gave Eric enzymes that resulted in him being immune to vampire bites. Growing up while fighting in gangs he developed a love of knives – so much so that it earned him the nickname “Blade”.
After saving a strange, old man from a vampire attack as a child, the drifter took him in and trained him in the art of vampire hunting. It was this man, Jamal Afari, who taught Blade everything he knows about combat. As an adult, Blade battles run-of-the-mill night stalkers, as well as Dracula himself, in a quest to avenge his mother’s death and rid the world of the evil ghouls.
This release from Playtech takes you along Blade’s journey and awards you cash as you help him defeat his enemies. Unfortunately there really isn’t a storyline in the game other than Blade growling at the screen and Mercury clawing at the air – and if this is enough of a story for you, you have a much better imagination than I do.
The software designers could have spruced up this release with some interesting unique symbols from the movie, or the graphic novels, and included characters like Federico Valencia, Bitsy, Union Jack, Blackout, Rotwrap, or Stonecold. Instead they chose the easy route of just slapping a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace into the game. At least they had the decency to add a cool “blood dripping” effect to these symbols if they are used in a payline win.
To be fair, Playtech did add in some traditional items from the comic book like Skyrim, so they do deserve a bit of credit for that. Here’s the full list of what they decided on.
- J (Jack)
- Q (Queen)
- K (King)
- A (Ace)
- Garlic-filled Silver Bullets
- Adamantium Darts
- Acid-etched Swords (Skyrim)
- Machine Gun
- Blade Split (Bonus)
- Blade Logo (Scatter)
- Blade (Wild)
The coolest thing about Blade Slots is that you can actually hit 6 of a Kind if you get the Blade Split symbol. Taking this into account, the Blade Wild symbol is the highest-paying and gives you 2,500 coins for 5 of a kind and a staggering 25,000 coins for 6 of a kind. The next best symbol is Mercury who gives you 1,000 coins for five on the board and 4,000 for six.
Like all Marvel-branded online slots games, Blade is linked to the “Marvel Multi-Level Mystery Progressive Jackpot“. Many find this feature to be both frustrating and exciting for the same reason – you never know when it’s coming. It can go off during any spin, at any time, and with any bet amount. Marvel claims that the more you wager per spin, the greater your chances are of getting into the jackpot round, although there’s not many details available on how this actually works.
Once triggered, you are brought to a bonus area where you choose squares until you have matched 3 of the same type of prize and you are then awarded the corresponding jackpot amount. There are four different ones available, with the best one usually paying a minimum of $25,000.
In any event, since the machine gives you the opportunity to get Six of a Kind during regular mode, maybe we should consider hitting six Blade Wilds and receiving 25,000x your wager as a type of jackpot as well.
In what is easily the biggest disappointment of this release, Blade Slots does not have a true bonus round. Instead it relies on freerolls to satisfy players who are looking to mix up the action with a good special feature. They basically combined a “Free Spins Mode” with a “Bonus Round” since the machine gives you free games that dish out higher prizes thanks to their special win multipliers.
As touched on above, one aspect of the machine that could be considered a bonus is the “Blade Split Symbol Feature“. Whenever this symbol lands on the 5th reel of a winning pay line, Blade draws his sword and splits it in two for you making it two of the same symbol.
This means that it is possible to hit Six of a Kind, which is obviously quite rare to find when you play online slots for real money and are hunting for big payouts. Every symbol except for the scatter can be split but they actually even allow that to be split if the scatter is replacing an extra Wild during the feature. Not too shabby.
Three Blade logos anywhere on the reels takes you into the free spins mode and you will be awarded with 15 each time. The Scatter symbols then become an extra wild symbol, which of course increases your chances for big wins.
The round will start you with a 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x multiplier, with the amount being chosen at random, and most players will agree that it’s quite frustrating that you can’t influence this multiplier amount in any way. Be warned: every time you encounter a losing spin the multiplier drops down one level, so this just adds to the pain of not winning any bonus cash during a spin.
Playtech thankfully allows you to win unlimited extra spins while freerolling and they can be re-triggered an unlimited number of times.
Although the imagery is far from “cutting-edge”, the graphics in Blade Slots come together to provide a strangely entertaining adventure when played in small doses. Some symbols drip with blood when you win, while others spring to life in threatening and menacing ways. So yes, if you are someone who likes your gambling games to be “in your face”, you will probably enjoy this one.
There are many symbols that become animated when used in a payline win, whether it’s Blade drawing a sword to cut a Split Symbol in half, or grabbing a gun to shoot you in the face with. Actually, let’s make this point clear – during any big win, Blade’s hand appears and grabs his machine gun and he turns and points it at you. He then pulls the trigger and an explosive flash goes off, so if you are the kind of person that does not like guns pointed at you, even fake ones, you will not want to play this title whatsoever.
Audio & Soundtrack
There’s not really much to comment on regarding the audios in Blade Slots. They’re quite simple but when you hit a winning combination with the Wild symbol, you will hear a heavy rock guitar blare as the animations do their thing. This audio is a vast contrast to the sound that you hear when you land a smaller win, which is the classic reel synth sound of, “doo dee dee dee doo doo durn“: you’ll know it as soon as you hear it. It’s the one that you hear on every casino floor when you’re walking through their machines.
The one strange thing regarding the soundtrack that should be mentioned is that during the free spins mode, it sounds a lot like the beginning of a Coldplay song. Seriously – go play until you trigger the feature and you’ll clearly hear it. It’s totally out of place considering that this release is about the fiendish appetites of the undead.
Although this is not my favorite Marvel Slot by any means, it’s still entertaining to play for short periods of time when you’re in the mood. Any diehard Blade fan or Wesley Snipes groupie will certainly enjoy spinning on it for much longer, so if you fall into one of these categories, fill your boots.
However, casual fans of the comic book or movie will probably tire of this game quickly although you’ll definitely want to see it at least once. After that, there might not be enough excitement or features to keep the average player entertained, so many will want to put on a garlic necklace and drive a stake through the heart of this disappointing day walker.
Don’t let this half-ghoul suck your blood – or your bankroll.
Bonus Video of Blade Slots
Well now that we’ve bashed this machine we might as well ruin the movie too. Here’s the guys from CinemaSins doing their take on “Everything Wrong with Blade“. Warning: tons of spoilers and a lot of gore…