Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Image
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69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 81 Ratings

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  • Summary: An action RPG written under the supervision of Sword Art Online creator Reki Kawahara! Kirito receives a single mysterious message — a cryptic “I’m back to Aincrad” — and is drawn once again into a familiar world in which he was once trapped.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Nov 23, 2016
    85
    Sword Art Online Hollow Realization is an almost perfect imitation of an MMO. The game feels like one, but is more JRPG than MMO. There is tons of stuff to do in a massive world. And it is lots of fun for fans, but also for newcomers to the franchise.
  2. Oct 23, 2017
    79
    Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a good JRPG. It's made with diligence, dedicated to anime fans from which it's drawn, but also suitable for simple lovers of the genre.
  3. Nov 29, 2016
    75
    An MMO without social obligations is a nice concept in and of itself. The story's decent and the gameplay amusing. Mediocre graphics put a bit of a damper on things though.
  4. Nov 14, 2016
    70
    It’s great to see how far the games have come in terms of managing all those damn menus, presenting an experience that is true to the source material, and figuring out how to take the combat system and make it fun and fluid. But in the end, it feels a bit too safe.
  5. Nov 22, 2016
    70
    Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization does not depart from the fluctuating quality of its predecessors, with a pleasant story, though designed specifically for fans of the original work, accompanied by a complex and layered gameplay, which, however, has unclear mechanics to challenge even the most experienced of players.
  6. Nov 16, 2016
    67
    A lot of effort was clearly put into Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, because almost every aspect of its gameplay has an underlying set of properties and nuances to come to grips with. While I usually love that kind of complexity, here it rarely felt meaningful or even coherent. Paired with a story that lacks the stakes and urgency of the source material, it leaves Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization feeling pretty tepid aside from its enjoyable combat.
  7. Nov 28, 2016
    50
    Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a game that places too much of its emphasis on its dating sim mechanics rather than a polished RPG experience. Dodgy armor designs mar the progression that the weapons add to the game, and a rather stale storyline does not give enough motivation to want to progress through the game.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 6 out of 18
  1. Nov 10, 2016
    10
    I love this game! I'm a weeb but that shouldn't taking away this game being great the characters and waifus are amazing you'll get addicted toI love this game! I'm a weeb but that shouldn't taking away this game being great the characters and waifus are amazing you'll get addicted to the skill system Expand
  2. Nov 16, 2016
    10
    Well, its SAO time. I dont understand all these hate for SAO but im presonally a SAO fan. Well SAO might not be a suitable game for every oneWell, its SAO time. I dont understand all these hate for SAO but im presonally a SAO fan. Well SAO might not be a suitable game for every one but to me its one of the few japanese RPG that had interesting gameplay and stories. Its a 10 for me Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2017
    9
    The rating I gave it is for hardcore SAO fans. If you love the series, you will love this game. If you haven't watched it, or are impartial toThe rating I gave it is for hardcore SAO fans. If you love the series, you will love this game. If you haven't watched it, or are impartial to the show, you likely won't be a fan of it. For me, I'm a hardcore SAO fan, so I bought a PS4 just to play this game, and I've loved every minute of it.

    The pros and cons vary at some points. My biggest con, is that being friendly enough with characters like Klein and Agil is painstakingly painful. You have to just spam the O button enough times, before you can change their basic gear.
    The second biggest con, is that you have to walk around to every food stand, with every female character, engage in some kind of "romantic" dialogue just to get their trust up high enough to give them better gear. If you want to max out everyone, enjoy the grind. By the way, it's not enjoyable. Pick your waifu.

    Aside from the biggest cons, I still can't put the controller down. The game basically runs as SAO. Use your skills, and you unlock better skills. You use enough skills of one skill tree enough (or maybe it's just one skill repeatedly, I'm not 100% certain), you can unlock another chain of sword skills for that weapon.

    There's additional levels of difficulty as well. I thought using a two handed sword, and no potions was the best way to win. It doesn't work like that on higher difficulties. You need to use potions, learn to chain sword skills, get great equipment, etc. The normal difficulty is easy if you ask me.

    Contrary to what other people have said, the AI does not suck. Normal = easy. Both the opponent and allied AI change. Again, a bit grindy, but you have the opportunity to change your allies behavior by choosing what traits you like, which ones you don't like, and giving them the big ol' thumbs up when they do what you like in battle. Silica used to stand around like a dunce. Now she's always restoring the HP of the tank, and throwing in a sword skill when she can. Why? Because I threw my likes and thumbs up on support skills. Balance out the behavior of your party members, and you'll have a solid party. Just highlight their tendencies, see what the description says, and dislike the ones you don't want, and support the ones you want. The enemy AI gets far more aggressive once you get past "normal".

    Like I said at the top, if you're an SAO nut, you'll love it. If you're on the fence, maybe wait a bit for prices to drop before trying it. Also, the devs did add free additional content, which is very nice.

    9/10 if you're a fan
    4-5/10 if you're not, and like some grindy MMO-ish gameplay.
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  4. Jan 12, 2017
    8
    I've played every SAO game that I know of to be released here in America. Is this game worth your time? Is it good for veterans? What aboutI've played every SAO game that I know of to be released here in America. Is this game worth your time? Is it good for veterans? What about fans? What about the newcomers? Stay for awhile, I'll be the one to answer those questions best I can.

    Keep in mind that these views are that of someone who has played through the good and bad of every game and beaten every last one I can get my hands on, I can handle these games better than most because I am easily entertained, but you are reading my view on the game so keep that in mind please.

    Is it for everyone?
    Okay so I know that SAO is a touchy subject and I'm quite convinced a lot of hate will come to it for being SAO because that's people right? This game is most definitely for fans, if you hate the series then you've got no reason to play this. If you have a passing interest I recommend it though.

    The Gameplay:
    Okay I'm starting here because this game could piss a few veterans off. This new combat, rocks. It's the best in the series so far, I find myself actually wanting to fight for once rather than run past everyone this time around and it feels like it would be how the real thing would control. This game has a lot of things to do in town and in the battle zones, which is commendable after the lacking quality of Lost Song. The new dating system is better now so you can finally date Yui, you freak. Or Sinon, because Asuna is dumb.
    The new skills system is more entertaining as skills can be fired off repeatedly and are gained at a nice and fair rate, once again far better than Lost Song's skills.

    Graphics:
    The new monster models are amazing, hands down they are amazing, the bosses in particular are ginormous and awe inspiring, you want to tear down these beasts. As for the character models, you don't really get to have that massive Warhammer 40K armor but the weapons get insane looking. As for animation quality, it's uh... well better than Lost Song.

    Soundtrack:
    Forgettable. It works in-game but I'll be damned if I could hum a single track out of context.
    At least the sword clangs and enemy death noises are satisfying.

    Warning section:
    I got the best weapons early game by pure chance, your enjoyment of this game can come down to if you get the Riot Sword and Relfector shield early on or if you get something else. Those two weapons have made the game kind of easy for me, as it is a simple matter of "Oh look, an enemy... DEAD" now. So uh.. if you want to make it hard on yourself, if you get these weapons throw them away like instantaneously.

    Keeping a level head during this review, Hollow Realization has a lot to offer fans and potential fans, but if you hate the series you aren't going to be convinced, save your money and buy God Eater 2 Rage Burst, otherwise, have at this game, you may like it.
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  5. Jan 7, 2018
    7
    What i like of this game is its soul, how characters interact with each other, how they talk but other than that Bandai Namco really needsWhat i like of this game is its soul, how characters interact with each other, how they talk but other than that Bandai Namco really needs to improve how they make their games. This way of storytelling is the same I see on Saint Seiya Soldiers soul and it is not that great, you can do better, maybe you think it is fine because this game is also for portable but believe me, it is not. Because of my love for the franchise I give this a 7 but in reality this game can be a 4. Expand
  6. Dec 4, 2016
    4
    I guess i should preface this by saying i am a bit of a SAO fanboy. Yet that still isnt enough to justify this awful game. The UI and controlsI guess i should preface this by saying i am a bit of a SAO fanboy. Yet that still isnt enough to justify this awful game. The UI and controls got to me right off the bat. There is a reason why i dont play mmos on consoles and that is because those controls just dont work on a controller. Instead of getting a fluid control scheme i got a crappy free to play mmo control scheme that just doesnt work on a controller. Seriously, the little grid palette that you can place skills on kept popping open even without me tapping the touch pad and intefering with what i already had set on my circle button. Combat feels sluggish and not fluid at all like they got lost in that gray area between quasi-mmo and hack and slash combat. And perhaps one od my biggest irks is the overemphasis on the dating sim element and what they hide behind it. You cant change the gear of your party members without raising their affinity level high enough. Really, they hide an integral part of party based rpg combat behind a dating sim game. Ok thatd be fine if the dating sim thing was actually any fun at all. For example, Sinon starts at level 3 for affinity and she was the first one i tried this one. You have to get to level 4 to swap her weapons and level 5 to switch her armor and accesories. I used "fast" method that loops 5 events in your room at the inn in about 8 minute dialougue segements. It was then i endured the most painful 3 hours of my life. Thats right 3 HOURS. 3 god forsaken hours of the same 8 minute dialogue segment in what has to be the one of the most disrespectful minigame ive ever played in my life. Seriously i dont even care for the feminist movement most of the time, but the fact that you can go up to a girl who is in a "normal" mood at level of "friendly", and go straight in to a kiss with no negative consequence at all. You just nod to the rest of her statments and all of a sudden her mood is romantic and that fixed the fact that you seriously overstepped your boundaries and basically sexually harassed your "friend". Keep in mind thats for one person. To be able to change the gear of your entire party you would have to go through almost 10 hours of that awful dating sim, just to swap the gear of your party members. God forbid if you decide to switch up your party members down the road. Ive logged about 20 hours and i have seriously been bored for just about all 20. Still barely have any clue what the hell the main story is about, you just cant justify pacing that slow. I love SAO with all my heart, i really do. But there is no way to justify this awful pile of trash. A game shouldnt bore me 20 hours in, nor should basic mechanics be hiding behind the worlds worst dating sim ever. At least it looks pretty and the skill trees are actually very well thought out. Thats the only thing keeping me from scoring this lower. Expand
  7. Nov 21, 2016
    1
    Really boring games, fell asleep several times, the only thing good about it is the fighting, even with lots of lag trying to jump! SureReally boring games, fell asleep several times, the only thing good about it is the fighting, even with lots of lag trying to jump! Sure glad I didn't pay full price. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews