Warning: Don't read the rest of this article if your boss is over your shoulder. Unless your boss is my boss, in which case it's OK.
The troubling part of the adult MMO is not the inclusion of naked people. Heck, I adore Second Life, and it features more... unique players than most any other gameworld. I can avoid those leather-wearing swingers in Second Life, however. In Scarlet Blade, characters are literally half-naked from the beginning. And as I mentioned earlier, one of the coquettish character models is obviously a child. That's right: One of the character models is intended to be a 12 or 13-year-old child (the others appear to be in their 20s). It's gross, but I wanted to see how far it went. I know, I know... that sounds like a convenient excuse to check out more digital booty, but do you want the scoop in this article or not?
Watch live video from massivelytv on TwitchTV
Here's the weirdest part: If the designers decided to, they could patch the game and allow players to cover up all of the naked people and the game would appear to be just another run-of-the-mill grinder MMO. Heck, I'll go so far as to say that the sci-fantasy is pretty unique; the monster design is kind of cool. There are some nice sights and sounds in the world of Scarlet Blade, and the game even has mechs! Yes, giant robots are yours to control at level 17 even though much of their cool appeal is lost as soon as you notice the placement of holes in the armor that leave key body parts and the associated jiggle-physics open for all to see. The mechs quickly went from "Hey, that's pretty cool!" to "Hey, that looks like Giger designed it!" That isn't a compliment.
The quests are literally so kill-ten-ratsian that I skipped every bit of quest text. I do this in order to test games that seem to be nothing but offer a grind, and almost every time I come to the same conclusion: I can play a game like Scarlet Blade without ever reading a single line of text.
I clicked on the admittedly convenient pop-up quest givers (that saved me a lot of walking) and accepted a quest, took an auto-route to my destination, hit tab to target the monsters, and literally tapped the 1, 2, and 3 keys over and over in no particular pattern and then clicked on the complete button.
Another quest would pop up and I would do the same. And then I would do it again. And again. I literally played this way until I stopped playing to write this article. If you watch the embedded livestream, you can hear the clickity-clickity-click on those three keys.
The real issue with Scarlet Blade is the overwhelming, insistent, incongruous presence of half-naked women and children in a game about questing and fighting. Minus the obvious and incredibly sexist design, it's just illogical and immature to strip all your characters of their clothes and advertise a game as a virtual strip tease. It doesn't make me feel genuinely sexy; it makes me feel like a 12-year-old who just found Mom's new lingerie catalogue. This type of fanservice design is offensively useless. And just to add insult to injury, Aeria recently unveiled the male character models from the foreign version of Scarlet Blade, called Queen's Blade Online. Shocker -- the men appear to be fully clothed.
Next week I am checking out Dino Storm, a cool game that features dinosaurs and cowboys! You can watch me stream the game live on Monday, the 8th of April, at 5:00 p.m. EDT, right here on our livestream channel!
Each week on Rise and Shiny, Beau chooses a different free-to-play, indie, or browser-based game and jumps in head-first. It might be amazing or it might be a dud, but either way, he'll deliver his new-player impressions to you. Drop him an email, comment, or tweet!