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Home > NEWSBlade and Soul has seen some significant balanced improvements

Blade and Soul has seen some significant balanced improvements

Blade & Soul has been out in Korea since 2012, but eager MMO fans in the West have been left wondering if or when publisher NCSoft would decide to bring the game to their shores. Wonder no longer: NCsoft has announced today that Blade & Soul will come to North America and Europe this winter. Setting itself apart from most massively multiplayer games, Blade & Soul is based around martial arts, specifically drawing from the "wushu" style of Chinese kung fu stories. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but with a bunch of friends online.

I actually fell in love with the story of Blade & Soul Online, I really enjoyed the awesome cutscenes it had. There are a bunch of likeable characters that I have met through the story. As for the story, it seemed a bit cliche and linear at first because of the whole revenge thing going on. Once I reached the second and third chapters of the game, the story evolved into something bigger. I don't want to spoil it much, but the plot line becomes a lot more complicated; a lot of the characters betrayed me which made me feel like I couldn't trust anyone.

Most of Blade & Soul's classes have a traditional martial-arts bent to them, ranging from the bare-handed Kung Fu Masters to the swift and deadly Blade Dancers. Players will have to master intricate solo and group combination attacks to whittle down their enemies, while nimbly avoiding incoming attacks. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Blade & Soul is blessedly free of modern anime's most common clichés. There is no high school setting. No teenage heroes. No endless will-they-won't-they romance..

The anime actually started pretty straight forward. Alka is asked to help a small village from the Palam Empire that is trying to take their home. The leader doesn't want to sell but they know Palam won't take no for an answer. At first I thought that Alka would soon settle into the village. Every episode would focus on Palam trying to take the land but to no avail while Alka tries to have some growth being around simple people. It's a fairly easy plot to follow and you can still incorporate a few things from the game as the show progresses.

Unfortunately, the first episode ends with the village massacred and the land, that Alka was supposed to protect, burned to the ground. OK, so this anime isn't going to do things straight forwardly which is bad news for anyone who knows how Gonzo operate. It holds up well in moments of high action and blood spewing from all directions but when the action subsides and the exposition is in full swing, it lacks clarity and overall quality.

There's one moment where Jin Hazuki, the gun nut of the series, has expandable lips which go from small to HUGE in two cuts. Did she have collagen implants in between takes? I dunno! On the whole, it's alright but nothing to write home about. What I mean by this is, the story ends in the twelfth episode. But there are 13 episodes in all. So what does the episode that is technically the finale of the show but not really give us? Well it is a comedy and fan service-filled episode that has no bearing on the plot whatsoever, mainly because the plot already wrapped up.

This was a filler episode and more like what you would expect from an OVA episode included with in the home release or something. It serves no real purpose and shouldn't have been included in the show's main run. Mainly because it prolongs the suffering of anyone crazy enough to watch the entire show.

Blade & Soul has seen some significant balance updates, patches, and content additions since its Korean release in 2012. With all the content currently available for the game in Korea, the Western version of the game is based on the latest Korean skill/balance changes, keeping the gameplay as up-to-date as possible. The North American and European versions will closely resemble the Korean version of Blade & Soul, but the folks at NCsoft stressed that despite the similarities, the localized version of the game is its own build specifically catered to Western audiences, and not reliant on what has or has not been done in other regions.

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