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Home > NEWSBlade and Soul offers quite an intense training mode during the mandatory PVE section

Blade and Soul offers quite an intense training mode during the mandatory PVE section

The series opens with Alka on the run from masked pursuers, all of whom wield heavy artillery. It seems as if her life’s end is near, when she lands before a fountain in the courtyard of a ruined structure and those chasing her box Alka in. As they open fire, though, Alka retaliates, and tears each in a bloody dance that leaves nary a survivor. Bit by bit, the story begins to unfold in the world: Alka is a murderer. She’s wanted for the killing of her master, and her capture will yield great rewards, dead or alive.

The biggest issue with B&S anime is the production value and quality that was put into it (when compared to game.) The animation team that NCSoft Japan decided to hire for B&S anime’s creation was “Gonzo”, a group of Japanese animators for hire that have worked on several popular animes including Hell sing and Afro Samurai. While their animation work on previous titles such as the ones mentioned have been fairly decent, the animation and visual quality they present in B&S anime does almost nothing to capture the spirit and essence of the game, except with some forced fan service shots of T&A from time to time.

For anyone that’s a fan of Hyung-Tae Kim’s art style will be disappointed to know that it barely attempts to recreate the rich detail and exaggerated character proportions that he’s well known for, and instead, Gonzo went with art design that’s plain and straightforward. It probably doesn’t help that Blade & Soul's Western release is plagued by poor voice acting and rough translations. Honestly, given the audience this game seems to be reaching, I think it might have been better for NCSoft just to leave the Korean voice acting in place, because it’s much, much stronger.


I’m really glad I have VIP (paid) access. The game makes sure I appreciate this by showing how many people are waiting in the non-VIP queue during busy hours as I breeze on by. It kind of makes me feel like a dick. The item system is needlessly convoluted, filling my inventory with locked that require keys to open, and not a lot of stuff so far has been better than the four upgradable pieces of equipment my character already has.

Because the game shines with combat, the game focuses on you killing and killing and killing and killing and killing… OD like to have a more robust crafting system, but I applauded Blade and Soul for focusing on their strengths. You quickly reach max level and find yourself a bit burnt out on killing a bit dumb AI. Yeah the mobs have different tricks, but it doesn’t carry greatly from level 1 to max level. The raid bosses just feel like hit point sponges. After about 10 min on a boss your hand gets tired of the constant movement and much needed combos required to survive the battle.

Unlike many MMORPG’s you can’t just jump right into a PVP world, instead you have to start in the PVE world and later on you can move to PVP, by doing this the game offers quite an intense training mode during the mandatory PVE section, to a level that I have not seen on any other MMORPG’s. It takes it time to ensure you know how to use all the features and how to best battle with your chosen avatar while you are going through the training missions the story starts to unfold and your true purpose becomes apparent.

As it is, both the single-player and group dungeons amount to little more than short jaunts to forgettable thugs. Even the crafting lacks imagination, as it requires little more than placing an order and waiting for a bit. It also tends to lack the lively conversations (and bickering) of a good MMO's chat channel, though it's not through any fault of the players.