Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Image
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a Role Playing Game based on the novel, manga and anime, Sword Art Online, and reflects the charming characters and breathtaking environments from the virtual reality world called Aincrad. In a simulated Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing GameSword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a Role Playing Game based on the novel, manga and anime, Sword Art Online, and reflects the charming characters and breathtaking environments from the virtual reality world called Aincrad. In a simulated Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game setting, players find that they are captured within the game and must explore and defeat enemies until they reach the highest floors of Aincrad to beat the game and free themselves from the fantasy world. Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Aug 22, 2014
    88
    Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment transcends its license to become a truly engrossing portable role-playing game. Unfortunately, this lengthy adventure is far from perfect, with problems ranging from bad translation to simplistic missions. But none of that gets in the way of one of the most ambitious anime games ever constructed.
  2. Aug 26, 2014
    80
    A great combat system alongside an abysmal translation make this one very mileage-may-vary.
  3. Aug 19, 2014
    75
    This is a big, ambitious game, and like any big, ambitious game, there's some stuff that goes wrong, but a lot more that goes right. And with all that right stuff…well, that's what makes the game so worth playing.
  4. May 23, 2014
    70
    The combat feels slick, the design mirrors the anime really well and there's enough content to keep you going for weeks. Just know that the experience starts to drag after the exciting opening levels.
  5. Aug 20, 2014
    70
    If you’re a fan of Sword Art Online then this is a must buy, with it’s alternate reality separating it from the series.
  6. Sep 9, 2014
    60
    It’s unclear whether or not I would’ve enjoyed this title much more if I were an avid fan of the series, but since I can only speak from my perspective alone, I will say that it was a difficult one to enjoy with a myriad of rough spots that were impossible to ignore.
  7. Aug 19, 2014
    30
    Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment isn’t just a bad game. With its awful story, tedious combat, and inexcusable translation, it’s an out and out insult to anyone who might buy it – fans of the series especially.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. Aug 21, 2014
    10
    Sword Art Online is, in many ways, a MMO for one person: You. If you come in expecting a traditional JRPG experience, you may getSword Art Online is, in many ways, a MMO for one person: You. If you come in expecting a traditional JRPG experience, you may get disappointed. Story, combat system, crafting, and "what you do" is heavily MMO-based. For some people, like me, that is a massive plus, because it gives you the open virtual world experience of a real MMO without the tedium and annoyance of having to deal with other players. It's great for a dose of escapism.

    SAO very much feels like an online game (including your interactions with other characters). So if that's your thing, look no further and dive right in. Ex-WoW players, for example, who suffer from withdrawal symptoms, will find a cure here. Also folks who dig the .hack games will have a ball with SAO. You can grind as much as you want, without anyone stealing your spawn spots. :) Note, also, that the combat is largely melee-based (hence the name), though there are healing spells. But if you want to play a mage or an archer, you won't get your fix here. There are numerous types of blades, though, and skills (also passive ones), so it's not just 1H swords and little else. Far from it.

    Now, gamers who look for a deep, meaningful story with a narrow, linear design, SAO is probably not an ideal candidate. It has fantastic combat, but again, it's MMO-styled, with "hotkeys" and all that jazz. Watching the anime show that the game is based on (it spins off at around episode 14) is optional. It enhances the experience insofar that you meet "old friends"; but the game does introduce the player to everything that's necessary to know. Don't worry about being unable to get into the world of SAO without having watched the show. You'll be fine. (As someone who doesn't typically watch anime, I'll say that I really enjoyed the show, too.)

    Finally, it is a large, long game that will keep you entertained for many hours. There's post game content too, and in September '14 there will be a free expansion/DLC that adds even more content and additional zones. SAO will keep you busy for a long time -- if you like the MMO-style.
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  2. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    awesomesauce... insert the good parts others have already said, yatta yatta, ditto and all that. love the game.awesomesauce... insert the good parts others have already said, yatta yatta, ditto and all that. love the game. ................................................ Expand
  3. Aug 19, 2014
    10
    If you're a fan of the series this is a fantastic game, comes with a HD remake of the first game previously only released in Japan, so you areIf you're a fan of the series this is a fantastic game, comes with a HD remake of the first game previously only released in Japan, so you are getting 2 games in one! Expand
  4. Sep 5, 2014
    9
    If you enjoy the anime you should have no problem with this game. I was really hesitant to buy this because I read so many complaints aboutIf you enjoy the anime you should have no problem with this game. I was really hesitant to buy this because I read so many complaints about the translation. I had only seen a few episodes of the series and with each episode I was pulled closer to buying the game. I don't find the dialog to be as bad as people let on. There are typos here and there and some grammar issues. But if you look at this as being a simulation of a MMO guess what? Those games when dealing with other players are full of bad grammar.

    The combat system is unique and takes some getting used to. The tutorials are important. The game guide is important. Again, in a real MMO there is a level of complexity that takes time to master. The story and characters are great. The emotions are well animated and the underlying Japanese dialog adds feeling to the game.

    The dating sim is a bit strange. The chat bubbles come across as nonsensical but it is a minor part of the game and it is easy to pick up on response patterns to get through it. I don't think this part of the game was intended to be actual dialog but more like thoughts or emotions coming across.

    Overall the game is fun to play and hard to put down. It does play more like an MMO at times and I enjoy that aspect. I find myself getting the same level of enjoyment as I did with Persona 4 Golden.
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  5. Aug 22, 2014
    8
    Solid game with a horrible translation and an utterly useless tutorial. The game has a rough start thanks to it literally being akin toSolid game with a horrible translation and an utterly useless tutorial. The game has a rough start thanks to it literally being akin to starting off a game 3/4 of the way in. You already have a high level and a decent selection of skills (although the glitch in the game that caused everyone to get to the 76th Floor wiped out a fair bit of them and made it so your weapons are only so powerful). If you spam the O butten then the combat will be slow, but when you dig through the skill system you'll find a large variety of attacks that will have you chopping through enemies rather quickly and make bosses less of a "grind until easy" fight and more of something that can be completed with proper coordination.

    The game does a great job of putting you in the shoes of a player that has progressed 3/4 of the way through a game. You start out at level 100 and surrounded by lvl 75 enemies on floor 76 or level 85 enemies in the first hollow section. Other characters will vary. Asuna and Klein are just a few levels short of Kirito whereas other characters that weren't part of the Assault Team are far lower and you'll need to party with them and help them improve their levels if you want to bring them along in parties. You'll be overleveled for the first few floors thanks to how much excess leveling the Assault Team characters did to help ensure survival, but it won't take long for the game to catch up to you.

    Yes, it's rather fanservice-filled if you decide to do the dating element (required for the platinum trophy and advised for gearing reasons), but it doesn't take away from the core game. I would honestly give this game a 10/10 if it wasn't for the poor translation in the Aincrad sections and I hadn't had to look online to learn how to speed up and smooth out what seemed like horribly slow and clunky combat.
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  6. Aug 23, 2014
    6
    A weak entry in my Vita's colorful library. It suffers from inexcusable "Engrish" translations that range from confusing to cringe-inducing,A weak entry in my Vita's colorful library. It suffers from inexcusable "Engrish" translations that range from confusing to cringe-inducing, and uncomfortable story sequences spawning from the game's attempt to incorporate "dating sim" / harem elements centered around the "married" main character. I find myself unqualified to determine if this is made better or worse by how fans will be used to this.

    That said, it is a solid dungeon crawler experience. It is possible to carry through the game avoiding optional challenges, the complexities of combat, and its upgrade systems... However those that find themselves spamming "O" will miss out on a semi-thrilling experience that comes from conquering high-level optional enemies through reaction-based inputs, well-thought-out set-ups, and a varied playstyle.

    The story sequences CAN be genuinely appealing to a broad audience when they avoid the harem/fanservicey pitfalls that ostracize any but the most accustomed players. Unfortunately this is only roughly 50% of the time.

    This score would easily jump 3 points with a translation that was a little more true to the story's script. Seriously. Did we hire a Japanese major undergrad and give him Google Translate and tell him to have at it, with no context for the story, characters, or sensitivity to tonal variation?

    That last point would be there if they could only change the story to make me feel a little more comfortable sharing it with anyone that isn't a die-hard SAO fan, with a high toleration for Japanese media's infamous harem and fanservice techniques.

    Once again, aside from that, it's decent. Anyone that has played games like 358/2 Days will feel at home with the graphics and (to a degree) combat.
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  7. Aug 21, 2015
    0
    Cory in the house for the DS is much better
    SAO is very overrated
    Cory in the house is the alltime best anime and if you dont agree you can
    Cory in the house for the DS is much better
    SAO is very overrated
    Cory in the house is the alltime best anime and if you dont agree you can check your presidential privilege you cis scum
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See all 28 User Reviews