Here’s a formula that will surely never fail: scantily-clad girls + mechs. The following is a personal look into the game, not a technical review. I won’t be posting any M-rated images, but there will be some PG-appropriate screenshots.
I’ve played many MMORPGs. My last love was Allods Online, and I semi-casually play Granado Espada (South East Asia). Now, I’m playing as a medic named Neunmond in Aeria Games’ Scarlet Blade (SB), Venus server. SB is one of few M-rated game, and it’s not M-rated for gore and violence. Scarlet Blade has barely clothed women and provocative dialogue. I’ve read many comments about how the game is only for perverts, that it’s comparable to porn, that girls wouldn’t play it, that only lesbians would like it- and I agree. On the surface, it’s just that. Even the loading screen is a completely naked woman on a Royal Guard mech.
Why did I download Scarlet Blade?
My former guild senior (a kickass girl) in Allods Online PH posted the link. I checked it out and I saw boobs. Massive boobs. I downloaded the game.
Am I a guy? Am I a lesbian?
I’m a very straight girl. Sure, Rule 30 (which I often do quote), or TITS OR GTFO. I don’t mind if no one believes me. I know who I am and I’m not posting pics to prove it; it’s not the death of me if no one believes that I’m a straight girl.
What did I like about Scarlet Blade?
As I played, it wasn’t even about the boobs anymore. Five minutes into a game, I’ll know if I’ll like it or not. That was the case with some MMORPGs such as Ran Online and Pandora Saga. I downloaded them, I tried them, then I uninstalled them. With Scarlet Blade, that wasn’t the case. I chose the Free Knights side because I thought that the Royal Guards storyline was creepy. As I played, I noticed that the NPC dialogue was engaging; it wasn’t a massive wall of text. The quests, although repetitive, fit into the game’s lore perfectly and the explanations actually made sense (whoa!) The dungeons can be run in Solo or Team mode. Solo mode is easy and I usually run Solo, but it has few item drops. Team mode can be really difficult but there are many loots. Bikes, mechs and PvP armor are all free via quests. PvP is done every hour and it provides items and experience points, regardless of which side wins.
What about the objectification of women?
What about it? Don’t women objectify men as well? It’s all about how you look at it anyway.
A player once mentioned that in the game, women are “slaves” to men, primarily because most of the early-game human NPCs were men. However, as you play the game further, you’ll eventually come across female human NPCs. The lore of Scarlet Blade is this: Gigantic aliens called Narak attacked the Earth. The last resort was the “Ark”, a computer system and structure which could store DNA and produce clones. Once the Naraks were gone and the human population was decimated, Ark activated itself and its AI called “Mother” educated the human clones. This also explains why some NPCs look alike but have different names and personalities.
Because the human population is “young”, the Ark also activated special female clones called “Arkana”. They’re the girls who are controlled by the players (we are their “Commanders”). Arkana are all women because male clones did not respond well to the Arkana enhancement system, which included injecting modified DNA to allow Arkana to use chakra and to interface with mechanical systems (such as bikes and mechs). There is conflict as the Free Knights want to “free” Arkanas because they are just as human as the cloned humans (by severing their link to their Commanders without killing them, as the severance usually means death), while the Royal Guards think that Arkanas are humans’ tools and nothing more.
Looking at the lore, I noticed that rather than a random reason of making Arkana all-female, the reason was because females are more compatible with the project than males. Male Arkanas might have been more physically able, but female Arkanas were more fit for the chakra system, thus the former were terminated and discontinued. In Scarlet Blade’s story, the Earth is protected by girls while guys stood on the same spot all day selling bikes and hitting on Arkanas.
And anyway, as I’ve said to someone who said “admit it, you’re all playing because of the boobs” : Anyone can start playing Scarlet Blade because of the boobs, but it’s the gameplay, lore, and PvP that will make them stay.
Edit 05/01/2013: That said, compare my “review” to the article of someone who has not played the game and judged it only from a video: Korea’s Quasi-Porn Game ‘Queen’s Blade Online’ is Coming to Thailand
I’ve always said that “don’t judge a book by its cover” was a stupid quote, but Scarlet Blade isn’t a book or a person… it’s a game that can be reviewed by playing it.