Scarlet Blade – PSA
Hoo boy. Well, it is likely you might have seen an ad for the now-in-beta MMO Scarlet Blade, which seems to be spending a fair deal of advertising money getting the word out. It’s billing itself as “The Premier Mature MMORPG”.
Well, as I have no shame, I have tried out the game, so you won’t have to. It is most definitely a T&A MMO. Not something I necessarily have a problem with, as I do like looking at pretty girls, but my impression of Scarlet Blade is not especially good. It’s only “mature” for a certain value of “maturity”.
The short story here is: You probably shouldn’t play Scarlet Blade. You definitely shouldn’t spend any money on it.
If you want to know more about why I’ve reached this conclusion, please read on. There will not be any screenshots though. You can’t really get safe-for-work screenies from that game, and even if you can I don’t want to go through the effort.
The game is not completely without merit, even if the boobs and butts don’t appeal to you. I actually like the auto-pilot feature, for instance. There’s a built-in pathing system in the game, so at any time you can click a highlighted word or phrase in your quest log, and your character will run (or drive) over their on her own. You can even set your own go-to points on the map. It’s incredibly lazy, but considering how I play MMOs these days, it’s a feature I can appreciate.
And the story is actually somewhat interesting. I found myself reading all the quest-text, which I certainly never did in World of Warcraft.
It’s even possible to enter dungeons solo. They all seem to come with a solo mode, which is nice for when you just aren’t able to, or want to, group with other people.
But… even though it initially came across as an okay time-waster with some eye-candy, the more I reflect on this title, the less I like it. It just seems like such a lazy effort from the developers. They’ve put some work into the visuals, but the rest is incredibly bare-bones.
You can only create female characters. The game acts like the player is the “commander”, while the characters are referred to as Arkana, bonded to the commanders, and following their instructions. They try to make it seem like the Arkana aren’t mindless slaves by having them speak their mind and even give you missions from time to time, but it’s still a tad creepy.
Character creation is even more evidence of the laziness that went into this. Each class has its own body-type, one of which is of course loli, and all you can customise is the head. I’ve heard there are in-game items and such that let you customise your appearance, but I didn’t play far enough to find anything like that. The first thing I saw in chat (apart from the rampant and unchecked gold-sellers) when I first logged in was “there’s an item that makes your boobs bigger”. Of course there is.
Pretty much all the NPCs you deal with are also women dressed in improbable outfits. Even the vending machines show their butt to you. I think I met a total of four male NPCs, if you disregard the guards in power armour that never speak. They could be androids, for all I know. There’s the guy in charge of the capital city, because of course a society of strong women need a man at the top, the probably-pedo guy that sells mounts, a dim half-wit boy who’d forget his own head if it wasn’t attached to him and finally a super-sleazy dirtbag I was told to just ‘tolerate’ the advances of, though my Arkana still told him off, which actually made me kinda happy.
After I’d reached a point where the only way to advance was to grind mobs to get to the next level (probably as an incentive to buy experience boosts from the real-money shop) I called it quits. But before I went away completely I decided to check out the other faction, which revealed just how deep the laziness went. The only real difference between playing as Royal Guard or Free Knight is that the faction names are swapped around in the quest text. You’ll be dealing with the same NPCs, doing the same quests, in the same area and having the same capital city.
And then there’s the gear, or rather the lack of it. Which can mean two things, considering how the “armour” looks in this game. In fact a lot of it, underwear especially, looks like it’s glued or stickered on, often with little rhyme or reason. But I meant primarily the lack of loot. For each item slot you’ll only get a new upgrade for every 10th level. So you start with a weapon at level 1, get a new one at level 10, and then a new at 20 and so on. Any drops you might get will adhere to the same levels, and have the same look as what you get from quests. The stats might be slightly better. So all characters at the same level of the same class will look identical, apart from the head. Maybe this expands later, but I saw nothing to indicate that.
And I should probably mention that if you buy one of the Starter/Founder packs, you will get a lingerie unsealer. Because normally you can’t unequip your underwear, but with this item, you can! Le sigh. Not that it really matters, because with how the outfits look, the Arkana are probably sexier with clothes on.
Scarlet Blade is insulting to women, insulting to men, insulting to the player’s intelligence, lazy and kinda boring. It’s a highly cynical attempt at exploiting horny boys, and while I can’t stop any of you from checking it out, I would implore you to not give them any money. The internet is rife with free porn that would serve you better. Or even paid porn that your money would be better spent on.
It did just enter Open Beta, so it is possible some issues will improve towards launch, but honestly I don’t see much potential here.