Rin Plays: Scarlet Blade

(Warning: the images in this post are NSFW)

I planned to write an article on this MMO while I was still playing it. Unfortunately, it seems as though the honeymoon period with this piece of work was shorter than I anticipated. As such, let’s consider this a postmortem judgment on our time together Scarlet Blade, and no, we are never ever getting back together.

Scarlet-BladeScarlet Blade takes place in the distant future where regular humans have all but been wiped from existence and instead we have Commanders, Arkana, and the baddies. Arkana are perfect beings forged by the one called ‘Mother’ to bring peace to the planet, but working for peace also means working only off the filtered information Mother gives you. Those that choose to fight under Mother’s militaristic rule and her protection become members of the Royal Guards, while the revolutionaries who value freedom and autonomy over all else fight under the name of Free Knights. However, there is corruption and betrayal on both sides of which the Arkana must unravel.

There are lots of things I don’t like about this game, but one of the things I do like is the classes that both factions can choose from. Of course, there are the generic classes like Medic and Defender (aka: the tank), but there are also a couple more creative ones. Whippers take their namesake weapon and provide powerful AOE attacks, ripping through hoards of enemies almost effortlessly. Shadow Walkers use stealth to sneak up on their opponents, then stun them in place so their team can murder the target. Punishers are heavy-hitting gun wielders that have some range, but trade much of it for sheer power while Sentinels have speed—both movement and attack—but not as much power. There’s lots of room for some really fun game play and for the most part, these classes are really fun.Scarlet Blade SentinelThere’s usually one class that really clicks with a certain person; for me it was the Sentinel. I also really loved playing Shadow Walker. These character classes aren’t the reason why one would get bored playing this game.

No, that would be because leveling up after level twenty is friggin’ impossible. Just recently, the level cap was raised from twenty-nine to thirty-nine, but after reaching that magical 2-0, it becomes drastically harder to get experience. Whereas previously I could get at least one level a day, after twenty if I didn’t spend the whole day grinding off mobs I’d get maybe twenty percent of a level if I was lucky. The original Korean version of this game has a level sixty-nine (it’s a sex joke, ha ha…) level cap, so I can only imagine how painful it will be further on down the road. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that when you reach higher levels it takes much longer to reach the next one, but the experience drop rate is too low for people that only play casually to ever have a chance to catch up. That’s not good game design.

Another small reason why I don’t like this game is that the economy is balls. Usually MMO economies are really terrible, so this is nothing new, but the one in Scarlet Blade fluctuates so much that there’s never a stable market price. It’s like playing a game of roulette each time you go to the marketplace. Unfortunately, the game is severely lacking in security, so the hundreds of hackers and gold-sellers aren’t helping the matter either.

While I enjoyed the controls (they’re really fluid and responsive), the graphics (amazing for a free-to-play MMO), and the PvP (which somehow is extremely interesting and fun), I think any promotional image will tell you what I have the most problem with.

queens_blade1640

Clockwise from top left: Defender, Shadow Walker, Whipper, Medic, Sentinel, Punisher

Yes, what this game is infamous for is its provocative armor and well-endowed ladies. I don’t even really have that much to say on it. Just… look at it! I appreciate the ‘strong women wearing whatever the fuck they want and still kicking ass’ thing that seems to be going on in video games right now, but this has nothing to do with empowerment or character development. Like you were surprised. And I think I might have even been okay with it—well, more okay with it—if it was a constant in the universe, but no! The few male characters that exist are completely and normally clothed. Of course they are, no one is going to jack off to them, especially not with the shitty voice actors they hired for them.

One of the more popular cash shop armors

One of the more popular cash shop armors

If you remember what I said earlier about the premise of Scarlet Blade, you’ll see that I haven’t mentioned anything about the ‘Commanders’. That’s because the player is the Commander. No, we’re not supposed to be playing as the Arkana that are fighting; we’re supposed to be playing as the Commander who is instructing a specific Arkana to fight for them. Each Commander is “partnered” with an Arkana at the beginning of the game, and the Arkana, in turn, is instructed to be subservient to them. Since the setting is a militaristic dystopia, it can be argued that this is a normal chain of command type of deal, but honestly, since when do free MMOs care about things like plot? No, this is clearly just a huge ol’ power fantasy where the player is encouraged from the beginning to zoom in on their Arkana’s ass while they’re running around killing creeps.

The translators and writers for this game do get a couple of brownie points, though. It’s obvious that these people knew what kind of game they were selling and rather than going with the “oh master, you are so great” kind of writing, the Arkana is a snarky woman who hates this situation and more importantly hates the Commander. Unfortunately, as the game progresses it seems as though that hatred turned into more of a tsundere love, which I’m not really cool with, but then again I’m not playing the game anymore. Score.

Before I wrap this up, I want to go over one more thing briefly: the community. As to be expected, a wide majority of the players are male in their late teens into their twenties. Strangely enough, though, at the time where I was playing almost constantly, the community was fantastic, or at least better than a majority of the MMOs I had played. Of course there were discussions about the character’s attractiveness and various sexual discussions, but for the most part, people were nice and there was always someone willing and ready to help you should you need assistance. Unsurprisingly, this mindset has deteriorated and the community is now pretty shit with petty arguments taking up the majority of the all-chat and more players ready to make fun of newbies rather than helping them. There still are decent people, but it’s a struggle to find them.

I have a hard time saying whether or not I’d recommend this game. Scarlet Blade is fun. It’s a surprisingly well put-together game with an interesting lore behind it. However, the sum of its positives doesn’t really outweigh the negatives, in my opinion. If you’re okay with everything I’ve explained previous, then sure, give it a shot. Just don’t be surprised when the game becomes the feared grind quest earlier than anticipated.

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About Tsunderin

Greetings and salutations! Feel free to just call me Rin—we’re all friends here, or nemeses who just haven’t gotten to know each other well enough. I’m a video game lover from the womb to the tomb, and Bioware enthusiast until the day they stop making games with amazing characters that I cry over. And while I don’t partake as often as I used to, don’t be surprised to find me poking around an anime or manga every once in a while either. A personal interest for me is characterization in media and how women in particular have been portrayed, are being portrayed, and will be portrayed in the future. I’m not going to mince words about my opinion either.

2 thoughts on “Rin Plays: Scarlet Blade

  1. Pingback: Scarlet Blade: Not what everyone says it is. | zippyplays

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