By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Blood and Jade is a new browser-based MMORPG set in the popular Warring States period in China. The game is brought to us by R2 Games, who have also brought us games such as Lunaria Story, Crystal Saga and Wartune. The game has many fun features, such as an interesting mount system, the ability to call forth epic Goddesses to help you in battle, and the chance to campaign against other players for leadership of the Empire or other Official titles. Because the game is browser-based there is no required download and when that is combined with the great auto-pathing, this makes for a great game to play on the side while doing other things. All-in-all, Blood and Jade has almost all the fixings to be a great casual or hardcore experience, depending on your preferred play-style.
There's honestly not much here. Character creation is simple and you don't really get much, if any, choice. Once you get out of character creation and are in the actual game, there still isn't much choice. You'll be going for the best stuff, which is the same stuff everyone else will be going for, so in the end you end up becoming a clone of the hundreds of other players. I wish there had been more uniqueness and actual customization available.
The artwork used in Blood and Jade is superb. Overall graphics quality is very nice for a 2D game, too. Obviously, if I were to compare it to a modern 3D game, the graphics wouldn't be able to stand up. However, as a 2D game compared to other 2D games, I've got to say I was quite pleased. The world art in particular was very well done and was pleasing to the eye, something I can't say about most 2D MMOs I've played.
Blood and Jade is primarily played with the mouse. However, similar to other point-and-click games, you will be using a variety of keyboard commands as well. This includes the 1-0 keys to activate different special abilities. The UI wasn't amazing, but I didn't notice any problems with it. I expected some laggy-ness considering the game was browser-based, but I was pleased to find that everything worked smoothly and I couldn't notice any major issues where the controls were concerned.
The community in Blood and Jade is pretty common in these types of games. It seems to be made up of teenagers and a few immature adults. Nothing is really wrong with that as long as you're fine with drama, insults, and a complete lack of mature conversation. Trolling was rampant, and asking a question would get you insulted. Can't say I found any positives to this community, unfortunately.
Blood and Jade has a lot of interesting features – there's the empire system where players can compete for the seat of Emperor or other neat titles, marriage, a mount evolution system, and more. Unfortunately, due to being bombarded constantly with the “pay to win” aspect, all these features don't get a chance to shine. You're even specifically told that using the cash shop will give you a “power up.” Heck, you can even pay to have your quests completed for you. This made it very difficult for me to enjoy the game.
The game has your typical point-and-click combat and quest grinding that you'll find in other MMORPGs. There really isn't much to set it apart from the competition. It does have some fluff systems, such as marriage, to make it more appealing. The auto-battle features are very capable of fighting for you, so there really isn't much input required of the player. When combined with the auto-pathing feature, you have to wonder if there's a point to even playing the game. Of course, this laid back play style, combined with the “pay to win” features, make the game appealing to those that don't have much time for gaming, but do have some extra cash to spend on a game.
Despite what I said above, I have to admit I found the game strangely addicting. It was interesting to sit back and watch my character complete my quests for me, putting in a bit of input here and there. Leveling up my skills or unlocking zodiacs and taking care of my Blessed Tree (which gives you access to nice items, exp and other rewards) all combined to be a collection of activities that kept me coming back for more. As I type up this review, I am watching my character complete daily quests for me so that I can get more Mount Pills and further evolve my pet. I suppose the developers have done a great job of coming up with “carrots” to put in front of my face and entice me to continue playing.
Blood and Jade appears like it has a lot going for it. Great artwork, interesting systems to make the game more fun, flashy combat with epic armors and weapons. And I will say I found the game addicting, as I wanted to see how far my character could get, what new form my mount would take, what goddesses I could unlock... The things to do and see seem to go on and on. Unfortunately, I felt like the obvious “pay to win” aspect combined with the auto-pathing and battle features basically made the game irrelevant. I am sure the built-in botting and the convenience of being able to buy your way to success will attract some people, but for me I wasn't able to stay hooked for too long.
Features: 3/5 – Lots of nice features that are ruined by the cash shop and auto-battle features.
Customization: 2/5 – Not really anything to customize.
Graphics: 4/5 – Very nice for a 2D game.
Controls: 4/5 – Worked well.
Community: 2/5 – There's people playing, but they're not the best sort of people.
Overall: 3/5 – Lots of neat and interesting features that were unfortunately brought down by the cash shop and “pay to win” aspect.