Anime Vice News

BLADE & SOUL #2 -- Special Review

Seriously? This show's too good to be based on an MMO.

My main objection to shows based on RPG’s - - and those about MMO’s gettin’ real - - is that the chain of inspiration feels inauthentic. The best works of fantasy, by my reckoning, start with real history and real experiences, and then build all the derring-do from that base. Because a tabletop game is already an abstraction of reality, spinning a plot from that is basically just piling an abstraction upon another abstraction. And when that game was already made by… genre enthusiasts who are only basing their ideas off other fantasy shows they’ve watched (over, say, real mythology) then we all have to suffer on a the tail end of a rather insipid game of telephone.

So, having said that… I was quite shocked when you lunatics explained to me that this show is based on a MMO. It seemed like Stereotypical Anime done right. I said that last time. Guess I was half right. It really is one of my least favorite genres... done right.

Again, I think it comes down to infusing all the cool shit with authenticity. Nobody’s rattling off any rules of play. Exposition is delivered by understated body language - - people having fearful reaction to Alka’s mysterious tattoo - -as opposed to some overwhelming, longwinded infodump.

Most importantly, an episode about our heroine wandering into a city full of con artists was clearly written by somebody who’s walked out into the city and learned how to navigate all the scams on every corner. Alka is always presented as this badass killing machine, but the show still takes every opportunity to goof on her. She’s not otherworldly so much as naïve, and my favorite line had to be when the camelback merchant pointed out that she was just asking for a sunburn in her highly-impractical skimpy armor.

All the cool shit and supermoves with curving bullets are great, but it’s these moments of character which make BLADE & SOUL so appealing to me.

Watch "Desire" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Kino88on May 14, 2014 at 1:19 p.m.
I thought the first episode was ok, though nothing about the show Has really surprised me, I am intrigued enough to see more, I did think it was funny how fast one of the big baddies was killed off Right after he was introduced with his scary blue vial, Lol
takashichea moderator is online on May 14, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.

Forgot to say in the last episode, but this show has a lot of expendable male tropes. Pretty much, if it's a pretty female character, you have a 90% chance of survival. This was a good episode to see the supporting cast, Jin Hazuki and Elle Karen.

@Kino88:

He wasn't one of the big baddies. He was a henchmen. The Flower Monks are the big baddies.

  • Jin Valel (Jin Varrel)
  • Yu Lan (Yu Ran)
  • The big guy whom I haven't added to the wiki database yet.
AgentFakkuon May 14, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.

Jin may be hot, but Elle is spicier. Hmm Hmm

waybig1010101 is online on May 14, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.

this show is so far better than what i expected

zaldaron May 14, 2014 at 8:40 p.m.

So which MMO is this based off of?

takashichea moderator is online on May 14, 2014 at 11:36 p.m.

@zaldar said:

So which MMO is this based off of?

Blade & Soul is a Korean MMORPG game.

Blade & Soul features a combination of martial arts inspired combat and Qing Gong in an open-world environment. Players create playable characters that explore around the world by completing quest assigned by various NPCs. The game uses a real-time battle system in the third person camera view and requires players to "combo" a series of attacks, much like those of fighting games. According to NCsoft, the game also features an innovative “Downed” mechanic, allowing players to recover from the brink of death. Players begin with “player-versus environment” (PvE) but may participate in “player-versus-player” (PvP) combat later in the game.

From Wikipedia

takashichea moderator is online on May 15, 2014 at 1 p.m.

@zaldar:

I updated the Franchise's wiki page, so I dig up more info since Wikipedia didn't go in-depth.

Game Play Mechanics

The MMORPG game operates via real-time battle system in a third person view.

Race

Blade & Soul revolves around different races for its gaming world.

  • Gon - A humanoid race that is taller, darker, and more muscular than the Jin.
  • Jin - The humanoid race is smaller compared to their Gon counterparts. Unlike the Gon, they are more balance in stats.
  • Kun - It's an entirely female race.
  • Lyn - It's a race of squirrel-like humanoid who are the smallest of the four races.

Class

  • Blade Master - A class whose emphasis on speed. In addition to sword play, they can also use a variety of weapons.
  • Destroyer - A class that sacrifices mobility and speed for immense stamina and raw, augmented strength. Their main weapons are axes or hammers.
  • Force Master - A class that uses telekinesis.
  • Kung Fu Master - A class that has less mobility and speed compared to Blade Master, but they gain more brute force. Their main weapons are gauntlets.
Marshal Victoryon May 16, 2014 at 1:17 p.m.

The fleshing out of the mmo is all from GONZO. They can do good work or stuff you watch an put your mind in neutral at least.

@zaldar: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/498/Blade-Soul.html they are saying its still in beta. An odds are it will not come to North America this year. Links to pics an vids there to. Since its NcSoft I will not play it. But thats a story for another day.

takashichea moderator is online on May 16, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

The fleshing out of the mmo is all from GONZO. They can do good work or stuff you watch an put your mind in neutral at least.

@zaldar: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/498/Blade-Soul.html they are saying its still in beta. An odds are it will not come to North America this year. Links to pics an vids there to. Since its NcSoft I will not play it. But thats a story for another day.

The game will be available in North America on May 20, 2014.

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