Black Knight – Milena is a third-person action-RPG about Milena’s quest for recognition, and how it becomes one for defeating the ultimate evil.


At-a-glance


(Adult) Content?
No.

Censorship?
Not applicable.

Hours of Gameplay?
Six or seven hours.

Modding Support?
No.

Patch Available?
No, not necessary.



Foreword

This is one of those games I purchased thinking that it was going to contain sexual-content. . . it didn’t. Oops.

Gameplay

Spam attacks, kill this or that, and go on fetch-quests until reaching the end of your journey. At your disposal are basic and magic attacks, the latter of which I nearly never used. As magic provides automated, high-damage, homing attacks, I felt it a no-brainer to forget the sword exists. As you gain experience, you can upgrade your defensive or offensive abilities, further augmenting them with craftable items. Many enemies drop materials, which can be combined to create the best gear in the game (free of charge!) There is a main questline to follow, in addition to many sidequests to provide income and player “rank-ups”. Though the quests are samey, I strongly recommend that you do them — as enemies become increasingly spongy, you’ll need every level-up you can get.

Now I’m going to complain about the gameplay!

I completed every quest up until the final boss battle, and I spent some time grinding for experience and materials to craft new gear with. Despite my efforts, I only managed to craft a few items, hardly improving my character by the last boss. Many items that are required to craft gear isn’t available until very late in the game, often rendering them unnecessary or underleveled. By the time I was able to craft the highest-end magic gear, my character’s magic agility was so high she was able to regenerate lost magic faster than she could use it. Making the problem worse is the limited inventory space, which makes it impossible to collect all materials in the game at once.

Crafting requirements need to get nerfed, and inventory space expanded!

There are handful of battles that include one or more allies, friendly NPCs that fight side-by-side with you. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. I love, love fighting beside allies in my action-RPGs, and this is a mechanic I deeply appreciate. What’s really cool is how boss fights remain challenging, despite having an invincible killing machine by your side; anytime you gain an ally, the boss will have a “freeze” attack, encasing your friend in an icey prison which must be broken to return them to battle. In addition, many bosses have homing attacks or minions, allowing them to engage to multiple units (even if you’re cheesing them from a distance with ranged attacks). Allies could probably be better-balanced by giving them a limited health pool (perhaps allowing the player to “revive them”), but I think they are fine just way their are.

Honestly, I just wanted to applaud the developers for including AI friends to battle with — it was awesome.

Story

In a nutshell. . .

Milena is a member of an elite task force known as the “Black Knights”, a rival organization to the Paladins. Her journey begins with her complete arrogance, taking on “quests” well beyond her skill level to prove herself. Little does she know, her world will be turned upside down as she become entangled in a plot to revive the legendary Quatro, a malevolent being eager to smite humankind. She can’t fight him alone, and among her allies are her own mistress, a runaway gladiator, and a lone paladin. Will you be able to defeat Quatro, or doom Milena to life in chains (or worse?)

. . . out of the shell (with spoilers!)

Milena is a Black Knight, one of “the strongest jobs in existence”. Bent on ranking-up from within her guild, she decides to repulse an invasion led by the Orc Lord on her own (without getting anyone’s help.) She gets her ass handed to her, and is bailed out by Master Celia before he and his comrades turn her into a “meat thing”.

Dammit Celia, you couldn’t wait five minutes?

She scolds Milena for her recklessness, and offers to guide her through the quests she needs to rank-up. Milena burns through every quest at the guild, convincing Celia to allow her to rematch the Orc Lord. Milena swiftly defeats him and returns to the guild as a “C rank” Knight. Her next quest takes her to the Borapiz Swamp, where she must investigate what is causing the water to become toxic.

She finds diddly squat and is asked to report to Guild Master Warren.

He suggests that she revisit the swamp at night — his hunch is fruitful when Milena finds the culprit behind the Borapiz poisoning. Before she is able to fight him, the Forest King flees north to the Temple of Wood and dispatches a giant octopus to keep her distracted. Melina reports back to Guild Master Warren.

I sure wish we could have seen a nice poison tentacle scene!

The Guild Master denies Melina’s request to pursue the Forest King, on the grounds she’d get ripped to shreds by the high-level monsters contained within the Temple. Ignoring his wishes, she decides to go anyways (violating rule five of the Black Knights, not taking on quests she wasn’t assigned.)

Though she defeats the Forest King, she is jailed three days for her crime.

Once she’s out of jail, she’s given a quest to defeat the Troll Overlord. She does so, also saving his hostage named Stella. She pleads that Melina join her as she rescues her gladiator buddies, who were also abducted by trolls. Despite doing so being considered an “unauthorized quest”, Melina decides to join her cause (and faces the consequences later.) The Guild Master is furious with her actions.

Apparently, by helping the gladiators, she risked war between the Knights and the kingdom of Ronkod.

As Melina spends a week in jail, Warren is confronted by another member of the guild — the one and only Paladin among their ranks. He calls BS on his reason for jailing Melina, and stalks him as he meets with Celia. Celia agrees to locate a “fire crystal”, an extremely dangerous quest, in exchange that Warren frees Melina from jail. The paladin realizes that Warren is jailing Melina as a “bargaining chip” to get Celia to do his bidding.

Melina is released, and after reaching “B rank” she asks Warren where Celia has gone.

Warren instructs Melina to back up Celia on her mission, which takes her to the Temple of Fire. They rendezvous over the corpse of the stage boss, where Celia attempts to destroy the Fire Crystal. She is interrupted by Warren himself, whom tries to take the crystal by force (without explaining himself). Celia and Melina fend him off, only to be arrested for trespassing by Ronkod troopers.

When they arrive at the Ronkod jail, they are bailed out the next day by the aforementioned Paladin.

He reveals that his name is Crawford, and he is an auditor for the Paladin’s Guild. He claims that since the demise of a world-rending demon, “Quatro”, he has been investigating an evil presence within the ranks of the Black Knights. The recent events reveal Warren to be the source of that evil. Crawford explains that they must collect the other crystals before Warren does something really bad. They return to the guild, and Celia assumes command of the Black Knights. She sends Melina to the Freezia Snowfield.

Freezia. . . Snowfield. Don’t quit your day job writers!

She follows the White Reaper to the Temple of Ice, and just before defeating him he freezes Melina’s arms and legs, leaving her to freeze to death as he does. . . what ever he does. Luckily, Stella comes to the rescue, advanced thawing potion in hand. They join forces once more, reuniting at the Freezia Snowfield to even the odds with the Reaper.

They claim his ice crystal, and Melina returns Celia and Crawford.

Once a paladin proving ground, the Crawford explains that the last crystal is located in the Temple of Wind. He transport Melina to the temple, where she defeats the Harpy Queen that awaits her. When she goes back home, everyone is dead, dieing, or abducted as a slave to Warren’s will. He left a note demanding that Melina give him the last crystal he needs, or else he’ll kill Celia.

Hot as Celia is, I’m not sure if she’s worth reviving the scourge of the world and the extinction of mankind. . .

Regardless, Melina does as he says, meeting him at the designating gladiatorial arena. He reveals his evil plan: by collecting the elemental crystals, he plans to revives the demon lord Quatro, offering his own body as a vessel. Quatro had spared him many years ago, and he considers himself indebted to the demon.

Melina gives him the crystal (and in true villain fashion, he tricks her by forcing Celia to kill her!)

A fight ensues, and Celia regains her senses before anyone gets too hurt. Melina pursues Warren through a nearby teleporter, taking her atop a very cinematic arena. Though he shares the same body, Warren is no more — Quatro has been revived with the help of the crystals.

Quatro has taken his prize, and with he plans on exacting vengeance upon the world that killed him once before!

Melina fights tooth and nail, an inexperienced “B rank” Knight against the world’s end (albeit in a lowly human vessel.) Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Melina collapses from exhaustion, but her story doesn’t end yet. No, Celia, Stella and the Crawford come to the rescue, and the four allies join forces to smite Quatro once and for all!

When he is finally destroyed, everything pretty much goes back to normal, and it’s the end.

Wombat Womarks!

During the last boss fight, you are joined by three allies. It would have been interesting if they had limited health pools, forcing the player to try to relieve aggression from them to keep them alive, or allowing the fight to become ever-dramatic as they fall one-by-one. Allowing Quatro to be able to defeat the player’s allies would reinforce the threat he represents, considering Celia and Crawford’s combat prowess. As Celia was injured before the fight, it would make sense for her to have impaired movement or attacks — on that topic, it would be interesting to see the cast in a “crippled” state, perhaps utterly worn-out, much like the main character during the final conclusion.

Visuals

The titlescreen looks good, and the user-interface is serviceable. Interestingly, there are no adjustable user-preferences from the titlescreen. Stupidly, there is no way adjust audio anywhere in the game (forcing me to whip out my trusty Windows Volume Mixer.) I recognize many of the in-game assets and the user-interface from at least two other action-RPGs I have played, but Black Knight – Milena possesses a higher level of polish. I wouldn’t be surprised if most, if not all of the assets are premade; if they are, this is using premade assets done right. The game looks great, and the use of hand-drawn images make Black Knight – Milena feel like an original experience.

The Goods

There are eight static CGs, each showing the protagonist in distress (either by agonizing death or BDSM). They are reserved for the “game over” screens, making defeat not as bad (as long as you don’t lose more than once in each stage.) The artwork is good, though I was disappointed by the lack of variant CGs and sexual content.

Verdict

I definitely recommend this game! However, I’d consider waiting for a light sale. Black Knight – Milena is a little rough around the edges, and if you’re already familiar with the engine it’s based upon it’s easy to exploit the game. Though I’ve played games that play nearly identical, this is a competent, somewhat polished game. I had a lot of fun (most of the time), and I deeply enjoy indie action-RPGs (even with all of their flaws). I had hoped this game would have featured sexual content (or at least nudity), but I still enjoyed my stay.