Blade & Soul Review

Approximately a week into playing, and having played every day for a few hours, I’ve generated a decent enough idea of how I feel about Blade & Soul. So, here is my brief review of Blade & Soul.

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Blade & Souls Classes & Races | Source: Bladeandsoul.com/en/media 
  1. Characters [Class, Race, Creation, and Other]

As of now, I have three characters: a force master Yun, a summoner Lyn, and an assassin Jin. I absolutely love all three of my characters. I loved making them, I love the classes, and I love playing them. The character creator in B&S is amazing and I love all of the customization options. They also make it very easy to see your character in different lights, settings, and even a size comparison to other character races.

The character creator is easily described as in-depth. (Although I think Black Desert Online, upon release, will out-do the B&S character creator.)

My biggest gripe when it comes to characters is the fact that you only start with 2 character slots. With so many class choices, and all of them ridiculously fun, I can’t help but be a little bit upset at the small amount of slots. Now, I’ve played a lot of MMOs and I feel like this is the most restrictive game I’ve ever played when it comes to character slots.

2. Combos & Battles

This has to be the primary reason that I love this game. It plays different than your typical MMO and is very combo based. Of the three classes I’ve tried, my favorites are the ones that have tricky combos and interesting mechanics.

Sure, who doesn’t love occasionally wrecking everything you come across as the summoner? But there is an undeniable appeal to the hard work in a drawn-out battle that requires some skill in mechanics.

Honestly, I’m not even into PvP but I can see why Blade & Soul has a huge e-sports PvP scene in Korea. Battling is plainly just fun.

3. The Story

Jiwan: The Righteous Blade | Source: bladeandsoul.com/en/media

When I first started playing, I never expected to be so invested in the story. The story is amazing and it’s a shame some players skip right over it.

Yes, the story (and game for that matter), are very VERY anime but even if you aren’t a huge anime fan the story is great. No spoilers- but there are moments that tugged at my heart strings and moments that motivated me to anger in response to some characters. I haven’t come close to finishing the story yet, but I look forward to continuing to follow the story.

Of course, all that said, the story does not give reason for there to be many copies of yourself running around in the world. In fact, it is almost better suited for a single-player game as your character plays a role of the archetypal “chosen one.” But, despite this very obvious short-coming, I still feel that the story enriches the experience of Blade and Soul.

4. Cash Services and Shop

Now, I know that cash services and shops are necessary for games to continue being hosted and developed and taken care of, but I’m a little bit salty about the cash services. In general, they aren’t terrible. Things appear to be mostly reasonably prices and the items in there are fair.

However, I don’t feel like they were prepared for launch. I had bought coins and never received them and I was far from the only person. Aside from that, I still don’t think there should be only two character slots.

But overall, those are my only real gripes with the cash shop.

Have you played Blade & Soul? What are your thoughts on the game?

 

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Why Video Games Aren’t Childish

According to a study done by Pixwoo, a gaming social network, the average gamer is approximately 30-35 years old. (**More stats are cited here on the average gamer, if you’re interested.) Interesting, since the stereotype is either an obnoxious 12 year old kid or a grown man living in his mother’s basement, but the survey shows that both of these are far from that.

Statistics aside, I remember seeing a post on facebook a while back accusing gamers of “not growing up” and becoming a man (or woman). This accusation bothered me. What about gaming makes so many people think it’s childish? Can’t we game and have a perfectly normal life? Is gaming just a hobby? Are hobbies childish, then? Is anything that we get immersed in, enjoy, do in our free time, etc. childish?

I think it’s seen as childish partly because of the stereotype associated with gaming: having no life. The reality is so much different but for some reason people associate gaming with people who can’t socialize, work, or survive on their own. If we look at the actually picture of a gamer the situation is so much different.

Myself as an example, I’d an full time college honors student taking anywhere from 16-18 CH a semester, I work 10-15 hours a week, I’ve been active in clubs, I volunteer, and do a slew of other activities. On top of all of that, I also game at least once a day for several hours a day, if I can. I don’t think that doing so knocks me down a few maturity levels and automatically makes me a childish person. As I said in a previous blog post, I game because I love all the different aspects of it: the story, world, community, character building, etc. etc.

Maybe it’s the addictive quality of video games that makes it something people perceive as childish? We picture gamers who can’t, don’t want to, or won’t get up and pursue real life interests just because they’re gaming. Which, I also think is a common misconception. You can argue the addictive quality of video games (WebMD has an article that points to it here, but they also state that 80% (approx.) of people can game just fine). However, I think that less people are “addicted” than everyone seems to assume. As for the children and adults that are addicted, however, I think there’s arguably a lot more to the situation than statistics let on. But that’s my opinion.

Overall, I think video games are a modern hobby/past time that just happens to have a lot of  negative connotations. I think people need to push past their stereotypes of gamers and understand that there’s more to it than just hitting and killing things.

I’m not childish, less educated, or less than anyone for spending my time gaming in the same way that not all jocks are stupid and not all people who knit are old ladies. I think those who judge gamers need to push past their stereotypes, preconceived notions, and judgments and recognize gaming as something a mature, responsible person can do and not be considered a child for doing it.

**This article gives a small critique of the study.