Let me start by saying that a great deal of new games come across our desk on a regular basis. This company or that company is always trying to find some audience, some new source of income, so the new product will make a dent in the landscape and solidify its place among the hundreds of also rans. When
Areola Aeria games sent over news that they were going to launch a new free title called Scarlet Blade, I didn’t think much of it. Hell, I didn’t even look too far into the title because a new F2P import isn’t exactly at the top of my radar these days.
Then I saw the first trailers. And it really made me pull one of these:
You’re probably thinking that I shouldn’t do the game any service by covering it here at all, but it is a new game and we’re going to at least news the press releases we’re sent and the stories we’re given. Heck, we ran a dev blog for the title not long ago, and that was honestly the first time I’d really seen anything from the title. But, probably foolishly, rather than not publish it I decided to gauge what our community’s response might be to a title like this. I’m not going to fault the folks at Aeria for wanting to make a living in this industry. I know they weren’t the ones who decided to make the thing, but they can’t possibly think we’re not going to draw attention to its assets in a positive light. Can they?
We’ll Cover It...
Don’t get me wrong, we’ll cover the game. We’ll cover it a great deal more than its heroines will cover their bodies. We’ll point at it, gawk at it, and argue over its validity as a form of entertainment. There are probably actually a few of you who might genuinely be interested in it. Hentai isn’t my thing, but that’s not to say it’s not
Rob Lashley’s someone else’s.
But don’t expect us to take it too seriously. Maybe somewhere under all that boobage is a good game. Blake Morse seems to think it might be possible. But as far as I’m concerned, nothing can bring it back from the level of mockery it’s bound to receive from just about everyone for being so overtly and comically sexual in its visual, um... aesthetic.
I mean, you might look at the follow screen, and think: “It’s not so bad.”
But once that dystopian scenery is filled with the game’s protagonists (all female, I might remind you... you can’t be a bro in this valley of the dolls)... well, I’ll just let this shot of the Defender class from the game.
That’s taken from the game’s official wiki. Want to see the description of the class? How it’s presented? It might read a bit like the 1990s Playboys I kept in my closet for... research.
I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and hot showers in enemies' arterial spray. Especially if I'm taking that shower for a reason, like saving the world. I'm kind of an idealist. I don't mind guys who hide behind me as I cleave enemies in two. Gender stereotypes are bull****. It's so 100 years ago.
And really, no matter who you are... My blade is bigger than yours.
Serial Number: 7325901K
Favorite Song: "Invincible" by Pat Benatar
Weapon of Choice: Ridiculously large blades.
I'm Really Good At: wielding swords people say are impractically large
In the end, I just wanted to use my column like I use my weekly rant videos. I had to get this out there, as it’s been bugging me. Hell, this might have been better for a video, because Lord knows the YT thumbnails alone would have gotten people to click and watch. But the bottom line is this:
Scarlet Blade is a disgusting step backwards in the march of women towards acceptance as more than just boothbabes in the gaming world.
Maybe it’ll make the developer and publisher a few bucks. Sex sells and all that. I’m a guy. I love the feminine beauty as much as the next person. But this is just a wee bit too much, even for my teenage self. I would know, I went back in time and asked him. Don’t ask how.
Here’s hoping Scarlet Blade is quickly forgotten as a failed experiment in the “baiting” of lonely MMO masters. (See what I did there? Poor taste, but worth it.)
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.
Read more of Bill's columns: