Early Access: Scarlet Blade Pt 1 – Choose your Fetish.. er Class!
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
It’s been nearly a year since I dropped in to see what’s going on at Aeria Games’ office in San Francisco for a look at Lime Odyssey. So other than mergers with IJJI and Gamepot as well as the sudden rise of their mobile gaming line, I’ve been quite curious what this company has been doing with all that income from Eden Eternal and the various other titles that round out their portfolio. With 2 titles from Xlegend currently under their belt and a history of FPS and Anime styled titles, I was expecting perhaps an Anime Styled FPS Hybrid. So when they announced Scarlet Blade (formerly known as Queen’s Blade, I wasn’t caught completely off-guard or off the mark on my prediction. What did catch me off-guard was that there was a decent crisp controlling MMORPG under the M-rated hood of this title.
The (Sexy) Elephant in the Room
Now before I can get into features I have to get this disclaimer out of the way. This game isn’t rated mature by the ESRB as some gimmicky marketing campaign by Aeria Games to get attention. They are indeed using gimmicky marketing because of their mature rating, there’s no doubt about that. But the mature rating stands for partially nudity, violence, alcohol use, and various sexual off-humor jokes, each of which I intend to get into at some point in my write-up. Consider yourself warned though if you’re reading this at work or in your mom’s basement. There will be boobs and this game is NSFW.
Scarlet Blade doesn’t just offer classes, they offer the holy trinity delivered via a fetish filled fantasy line-up. From power lifting goddesses to barely legal lolis, to assault rifle wielding beauties and even a whip wielding dominatrix, if you’re the type of person this game is targeted towards, they’ll likely have your dish of choice on display.
The Supports -
Defender - I'm overcompensating for my Commander
Since I spent the majority of my time playing this class and only have 3rd party accounts to discuss the others, I’ll go ahead and lay out my thoughts on this class first. The defender is tall, determined, and can whip an oversized two-handed sword around with enough ease to make League of Legend’s Garen proud. This class is a jack-of-all trades though as not only can they absorb huge amounts of damage and push forward with superior personal healing skills, they can also take out their foes’ top dps with a ranged stun, gap closers, and various disabling skills that make even the Whipper’s bite feeling no worse than a mechanical kitten.
Furthermore, if you choose to ignore the Defender and take the fight to her party, she can throw defense to the sidelines and unleash an offensive flurry that will force you to recognize her for the threat she is. Just be careful how you play with this fire as a smart opponent can send you packing once you choose to go all-in for this assault. And when in doubt, spin to win in the middle of the enemy’s backline to turn any fight to your team’s favor.
Medic - I stole Space Channel 5's fashion but you're probably too young to know that! (I won't tell ;) )
To call the medic a healbot would be an accurate description. After all she’s practically a bioengineered robot and can heal. But to say that’s all she brings to the table in a fight would be a misconception. Medics have a ton of long duration buffs to keep their team strong even if they themselves fall in battle. They also have plenty of AoE heals, self-heals, and CC removal to make them a nuisance in any engagement. And should you corner one be on guard. They can do some limited but very nasty burst that can take a low HP target out of the fight before they know what hit them. Should your foe survive that though, best look cute and spam your skills into cooldown as you’re going to need back-up to put up a fight.
Melee DPS –
Shadow Walker - I actually wear armor. I'm also one of the squishiest classes. Physics!
I honestly can’t say much about this class. It took keen eyes to even realize they existed on the battlefield. Still the final score tallies told the tale of their subtle effective work of systematically picking off weakened targets across the battlefield and then just as quickly disappearing into the shadows. They have the potential to unleash the higher burst damage in the game at the expense of having low durability. But if you have the skills to handle her curves, your foes will soon question the “Walker” in your name as this roguish assassin is fast as hell and hard to catch if they make the first move on you!
The Whipper - Your MMORPG isn't man enough to include me as a class
It’s ok if this is the class you’ve been waiting for. I’m not here to judge. The Whipper is rather unique from the typical MMORPG class archetypes and if anything, would be labeled as an off-tank. They can take a beating and unleash a barrage of AoE focused melee to mid-range strikes that offer one of the best counters to team’s turtling around a Medic’s AoE heals. Their damage is rather unpredictable and can be used to lull opponent’s into a false sense of security prior to blowing them apart as they realize far too late that you’ve already woven a deceitful web around them. Though coordinating your assault with a Defender or Shadow Walker seems ideal for ensuring your dance of death captures a kill.
Ranged DPS –
Punisher - My weapon is made of more material than my outfit and it shows
So are you one of those guys (or girls!) that did a double take when you first visited Vegas and saw the ads of hot bikini girls flaunting assault rifles? The Punisher has you covered. She isn’t ideal for 1 on 1 confrontations as she’s middle of the road in durability and lacks in sustained damage, but with a coordinated team at her back, the Punisher is a serious threat in any battle. These maidens of artillery can and will litter the field with a glorious rain of death that will wrack up more total damage than any other class out there, especially against foes with poor combat formations or those who choose to fight in narrow corridors.
Sentinel - I'm 18... really!
So you’re that guy that has figurines of Anime girls decorating their desk at work? Have your favorite Moe Line-Up on your desktop’s wallpaper rotation? Never fear, Aeria Games has your back and offers one of the most entertaining classes on the roster to fit your taste. This tiny but mighty class compensates for her diminutive size with devastating ranged spike damage. Just make sure your friends keep that nasty ogre of a woman, the Defender, off your back, as her sword will split you in two if she can catch you off-guard for a minute. Positioning and battlefield awareness are necessary to the Sentinel and I imagine this being the class that will have many noobs and a few godly masters forcing you to second guess your approach against one never knowing which you might be facing.
While the classes each fill a role in the overdone MMORPG Holy Trinity, Scarlet Blade seems to offer enough solo skills to help players get by when a party isn’t readily available. In our limited time testing the various roles in group PvP, there didn’t seem to be many imbalances between classes. Though be aware that this was based on characters at level 39 and there may be more noticeable imbalances earlier in the game when characters haven’t acquired their full kit of skills, particularly for support characters that must choose whether to learn their support or damage skills first.
Medics could usually hold off a single Defender on their own and dish out nasty support damage if left alone so they were useful most of the time. If anything they just didn’t have enough options to keep players actively participating at all times.
Defenders offered enough utility and more than enough survivability (especially with proper timing of potions) to make up for lacking the raw damage of the Shadow Walker and Whipper.
The Whipper’s AoE attacks were large enough to not punish them too badly for not spiking as hard as the Shadow Walker. The Shadow Walkers also exploded like glass when unable to make clean escapes.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to face a Sentinel to see just how harsh their spike damage hits but the Punisher hit with enough force that I can only imagine how nasty those little pipsqueaks will be. The Punisher makes kiting a pipe dream for low hp foes and are vital for both softening targets prior to full engagement with poke damage as well as procuring kills on those targets that usually get away on a wing and a prayer.
Anyone familiar with my Early Access write-ups know I don’t like talking about a title until I’ve clearly laid out how the classes function in detail. With that out of the way I’ll be jumping into the rest of the features and ambiance of the first mature rated MMORPG I’ve personally reviewed.
Don’t miss part 2 when I go over customization, factions, gear and fashion, and of course stats!