Blade Mistress Returns Review: Oh Please No
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
What happens when Blade Mistress leaves? Blade Mistress Returns, that's what. For those who are unaware, Blade Mistress Returns (BMR) serves as the rebirth of the once famous MMORPG. The game is a fossil that has been spit-shined to its former glory. The graphics, game play, and content are almost the same, with only some minor tweaks. I'm not really a big fan of the game (even before) and was easily disappointed after seeing its almost unbearable graphics. You can't really blame me since the first DOOM game looked a lot better.
Blade Mistress used to be a pay-to-play game back in 2002 (Windows 95 days lol), but eventually turned free-to-play after facing its modern competition. Without further notice, the game went under maintenance, leaving a note that assured its fans of the game's return; however, after years of waiting, the game failed to reappear, leaving its fans and lovers in discontent. Now that the Blade Mistress is back, our heroine faces her greatest challenge yet---- the crowd she betrayed. Is it too late for BRM to work her Windows 95magic? Let's see, shall we?
Create Thy Warrior Princess
Since we are now ten paces away from its former Operating System, it would be fair to just judge the game to our modern standards. After creating an account and logging in, players will be taken to the character creation screen, where they create and define their own Blade Mistress. Note that there are no other classes or archetypes in the game, as it features no other character than the Blade Mistress herself. You can choose between an array of poorly rendered faces, hair color (yes, you can only edit the color of her hair), and clothing, which look more like a large variety of body tattoos. This feature alone made me want to close the game. It was like a practical joke rather than an MMO, since I could name tons of Facebook applications that look and run better than this game. I know it's called Blade Mistress, but now everyone's a chick?
One thing that must be stated is how unresponsive the game's controls are. You can set the movement controls to your WSAD keys, but none of them seem to work or respond properly. It's like the W key is the only thing working all the way. What's worse is that you only stop running 3 seconds after you release the walk/run button. This makes it hard to land on certain locations like NPCs and can be distracting, especially when leaving you next to a strong monster who can send you straight to the afterlife. The camera system does not respond accurately either, as though you're playing a high end game on a low end PC (how ironic). Despite these unearthly horrors, some players still think of this as one of the best MMOs around, which kept me in awe as I tried to find the reason for their BMR devotion.
Simplicity Is A Killer7
The interface is so simple, that the word simple is an understatement. To my surprise, the game actually has quests, which really took me by surprise as not all games are able to implement this feature. Although I was well impressed by its questing features, the game lacks the ability to allow players to keep track of their quests. Unfortunately, the old witch didn't want to repeat what she told me a moment ago, so I was forced to get a piece of paper (IRL) just to remember that I was supposed to kill a Decaying Golem (or was it Rotten Golem). The chat window is also very small and cannot be scrolled up and down to view past chat logs. This means that a spammer can easily block your progress, just as those other players blocked mine. There's also no other way to filter conversations you don't wish to keep track of, leaving you on a wild guessing game on what to do next. The game also lacks tutorials. Simply accessing the game's "How to play" option will lead you nowhere; however, it does confirm that the controls are indeed unresponsive and terribly implemented. Some of the items on the menu like "community info" also exits the game for some odd reason. This... is really bad...
Graphics and Interface
The graphics are terrible! Extra bad! There's also an option that allows players to tone DOWN the graphics in case their PCs are too old to be true. The details are so bad, the only words fit to describe it are dunked in a cup of profanity. The world is separated into squares, with some containing monsters who attack you upon invading their territory. Note that the movement controls also make it harder for players to land on a designated square despite its size. All in all, the graphics are just too outdated to be appreciated by modern gamers. Heck, I've been playing for more than 15 years and I'm still unable to admire this classic. Everyone looks the same, almost like a fighting game with only one character of different palettes.
I..... have nothing good to say about this game. It's old, ugly, confusing, and simple. The combat is amazingly dull, with the Blade Mistress swinging her sword in a repetitive fashion. Another thing that makes this game troublesome is the character's viewing range. I remember being lost after taking a few steps away from town since it practically disappeared after I entered my 4thsquare. I'm still curious at how this game kept its charisma towards other gamers because it's either they love classic games, or they own such crappy PCs. I suppose I was looking for something that wasn't really there. It's good that the Blade Mistress decided to return after disappointing their fans back in 2006, but right now, I'm more interested on when the Blade Mistress leaves again.
- It came back
- People like it
- Too Simple
- Horrible Graphics
- Poor controls
- Bad interface
- Lack of mandatory features
- We're not running Windows 97 games anymore (except for Starcraft)