- Summary: Based on the light novel, manga and anime, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment captures the characters and storyline of the SAO universe – a series of virtual-reality worlds set in the near future. Players enter the VR worlds of SAO and discover that the creator of the game has locked theBased on the light novel, manga and anime, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment captures the characters and storyline of the SAO universe – a series of virtual-reality worlds set in the near future. Players enter the VR worlds of SAO and discover that the creator of the game has locked the players inside these worlds. To escape these worlds, players must explore and defeat the enemies contained within. Continuing to fight is key inside the VR world – if you die in the fantasy world, your character will die in real life. [Namco Bandai]… Expand
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Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment - PC Official Trailer
Sep 16, 2015This review is going to be a bit different. In short... this game is not everyone's cup of tea. Please select the most appropriate reviewThis review is going to be a bit different. In short... this game is not everyone's cup of tea. Please select the most appropriate review based on how much of a SAO fan you are.
TL;DR: Only SAO fans will enjoy this game, but the enjoyment is absolutely immense if you are a huge fan.
1. SAO Uberfan (10/10)
If for whatever reason you are an uberfan of the SAO series. Watched all the anime multiple times, read all the LNs up to Aliciazation, read all the side stories, supporting materials, etc. and think of all the what-ifs. And on top of that if you always have fond memories of the Aincrad arc and can't wait for Progressive series to be animated? The short answer is simply that this game is an absolute must-play for you. You will end up having an absolute blast over hundreds of hours simply because this is more of that stuff you wanted to smoke.
2. SAO General Fan (8/10)
If you watched the anime, or perhaps read a few LNs, and consider SAO one of the more enjoyable series out there, you should still be able to reap some fun from this game, especially considering its value. You will find Aincrad a fascinating place, and certainly appreciate all the opportunities to see how the good ol' Aincrad characters can develop in an alternative timeline. However, you may end up finding the grind and gameplay somewhat dreary, so don't expect the game to break any new grounds for your experience.
3. JRPG fan watched anime (6/10)
If you enjoy JRPGs in general and have at least watched the original SAO anime series or read the first few LNs, then this game is still a fair option on PS4. Let's be frank, there aren't that many exclusives out there at the moment. There are some interesting gameplay mechanics, but SAO is probably what you'd expect in a fairly traditional JRPG with a fair bit of grind, somewhat typical storyline, and generic environments. Nothing will stand out to you at the start, but you may end up appreciating the series if you find the characters, setting or story interesting.
4. JRPG fan (4/10)
If you are not familiar with the original series at all, this game will confuse the hell out of you. It will just be a bunch of random characters talking about random topics you don't understand, and the story itself may seem non-sensual to you. Coupled with the fact that the gameplay, graphics, performance, etc. are not stellar, it's highly unlikely that you will like this game.
5. Not a fan of JRPG (1/10)
If you don't even like JRPG and also never heard of SAO, then this game is not for you. Even for an entry title into the JRPG genre this game is not your best bet. Perhaps you can still give it a try if someone gifts it to you. Maybe you'll start liking anime or something.… Expand
Aug 10, 2015This game is not for everyone. BUT if you like Sword Art Online, Character dialogue, .Hack games, and Anime dating simulators then this gameThis game is not for everyone. BUT if you like Sword Art Online, Character dialogue, .Hack games, and Anime dating simulators then this game will be your 10/10. It is essentially two vita games combined into one, so it has a LOT of content with aggressively mediocre visuals. Treat it like the most beautiful PS2 game ever created and you won't have a problem with the graphics and you might score some simulated nostalgia points in the process.… Expand
Aug 10, 2015I passed on the Vita version when I learned about this version. (Pre-purchased Lost Song and got this for free. I couldn't let this offerI passed on the Vita version when I learned about this version. (Pre-purchased Lost Song and got this for free. I couldn't let this offer slide). But it wasn't just for the offer. This version has improved visuals, extra content, and most importantly, a better translation that the infamous Vita translation. It plays very much like an MMORPG, very similar to FF XIV, and while the main story is a single-player experience, it is worth noting that the PS4 version includes an online multiplayer mode. One of the game's biggest drawbacks is the amount of useless dialogue it includes. As a fan of the anime myself, it was pretty interesting to read various character interactions, but eventually, it does get a bit tedious. That aside though, the game offers a solid combat system, tons of sidequests, and a very lengthy campaign that is sure to keep any SAO fan playing for 100+ hours.… Expand
Nov 23, 2016Sword Art Online Hollow Realization is an action Japanese Role Playing Game from Bandai Namco. The Sword Art Online games are quicklySword Art Online Hollow Realization is an action Japanese Role Playing Game from Bandai Namco. The Sword Art Online games are quickly becoming serialized and almost annual like the Tales of series or Call of Duty. Before playing Hollow Realization I may have considered this a bad thing, but my mind has been changed. The game is based in the Sword Art Online universe – a popular anime and manga – created by Reki Kawahara. What makes Hollow Realization special is how Kawahara created an original story for the game instead of the game relying on previously-released storylines.
What impressed me the most with Hollow Realization is the amount of improvements that have been made from the previous iterations. The graphics are improved, especially in town and in the character design. It’s still a little muddy when the action is hot and heavy, but compared to Lost Song or Hollow Fragment, it’s a vast improvement. The combat has also been overhauled. They have gone from a heavy dose of button mashing to a style that resembles an actual MMO, which is great because the premise of SAO is that the characters are playing an MMO. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but I can appreciate the effort to make it better.
Where Hollow Realization comes up short is how everything feels so overwhelming. You can strike up relationships with everyone – literally everyone in the “game.” So, I stop to talk to people and fulfill collections for them and now I’m trying to maintain dozens of relationships outside of the main group of characters, which numbers close to ten itself. Speaking of fulfilling side quests, I’m the type of person that picks up all side quests. At any given time, I was juggling 50 side quests/collections on top of the main story quest. Then there are Event Fragments and smaller fight events that also distract from the main experience. It just becomes too much.
Overall, Sword Art Online Hollow Realization is for the hardcore Japanese Role Playing Game player or fan of the SAO universe. This is especially true for the fans of the series. You really don’t want to miss out on this storyline, as I would consider this now a part of the canon. That said, this is not for the new or casual player. The unfamiliar will get lost in the mammoth systems and non-linear design.… Expand
Jun 11, 2018SAO Re: Hollow Fragment is interesting to say the very least. To say the most would probably take a while. I'll just settle for summarizing mySAO Re: Hollow Fragment is interesting to say the very least. To say the most would probably take a while. I'll just settle for summarizing my thoughts here.
Immediately when starting the game you are presented with the iconic "Link Start!: cinematic so many SAO fans remember from the very first episode. Then you are right into creating your character. No dilly dallying, no menu screen, the game puts you straight in. Nice!
While the character creation is by no means terrible, it's very pointless. In SAO Re: HF you play as Kirito and you will constantly be reminded that you are Kirito because that's what all the characters call you, regardless of gender, too.
So once you made your pointless character (unless you stayed Kirito) you get plopped into an unknown area and meet an unknown orange player. You fight this player, then fight a boss, then talk a bunch. And talk. And talk. And you might talk some more. This game really likes its "cutscenes", which aren't actually cutscenes at all, just a visual novel type conversation. I liked these conversations because I liked talking to the characters as Kirito but I can definitely see where someone who isn't an SAO or visual novel fan would be slightly put off by these scenes. Especially since there a lot of them.
After you talk to this unknown orange player you go on an adventure, finally exploring this new Hollow Area a little. The gameplay isn't anything to die over because it can be very repetitive. However it does have a certain charm to it, as well. You basically just tap a few buttons and watch Kirito and his partner slash away at a monster while that same monster slashes away at you. It's not particularly enjoyable but it has an element many JRPG fans, such as myself, enjoy. The best way to compare the combat is to Final Fantasy XII (12) combat. it's almost autonomous but you can somewhat control the flow depending on what you press.
Slashing away at all these monsters are nice, killing them off one by one, watching the blood and cling of metal in a very narrow forest valley with trees all around. If I'm making the game sound like it looks nice then I'm sorry to off-put you. I think one of my main gripes with the game is that the environments are kind of bland. The game does a nice job of visualizing where you actually are and how you should feel but it fails when it comes to graphics and design, especially of the characters actually in game. The character's CGs and conversation art are nice but their actual 3D models aren't very good looking. (Please note!!! - This game has been ported about three times through different consoles!!!)
So fast forward a little bit to after I met this orange player in the new Hollow Area. I'm back in Aincrad about to fight the 82nd boss. I decided to get off for the night and play again tomorrow. The next day I get on, start the game, let the loading screens go through their routine, about to loa- wait a second. "Link Start!" I hear from my TV. I look up and I'm back at the character creation screen. Yes, my game had started over without any warning or sign. At this point, since I was grinding every single area I could, I was about 50-60 hours in. I couldn't believe all those hours I had spent went to waste.
I looked up to see if I had done something on accident. Nah, it's just a game bug; the game will sometimes just flat out decide to start your game over. Ya know, it just feels like it sometimes.
I was so distraught... I made Kirito again, went through the same stuff I went through when beginning the game, talked to the orange player, traveled a little through the Hollow Area, and finally got back to Aincrad. I was done. I didn't want to play anymore. I had already put so much work in and to just lost it all like that is just heart wrenching.
So... I don't want to say SAO Re: HF is a bad game because it isn't. It's actually a very fun experience so long as you're an SAO fan. The fanservice in this game is very funny and only SAO fans would enjoy it, but in all honestly, unless you're also a hardcore JRPG fan then it's hard to pick the game back up for another go sometimes.
IN CONCLUSION - Pick this game up if you are an SAO fan; you shouldn't be disappointed. It's not a masterpiece by any means but it is fun to talk with all your favorite characters and play through. Just make sure to back your save up, yeah?… Expand
Nov 9, 2015For me, someone who doesnt know the anime/manga series, the beginning hours of that game were complete uninteresting and not quiteFor me, someone who doesnt know the anime/manga series, the beginning hours of that game were complete uninteresting and not quite understandable - the game doesnt explain itself, its characters and systems very well. Quite a shame because the whole universe and the characters themselves are interesting! The gameplay itself is a bit "samey", the graphics are ... well, PS3-like (in the best moments), and the dialogue between the characters in the "novel/dating-sim"-Part of the game are somewhere between funny, annoying and "to be shamed of". - the Action RPG system of the game is quite some fun actually, but theres so much room for improvement that its obviously "just" a cheap Vita Port. Might as well be best played if someone is a Fan of the SOA Universe and maybe by playing the original Vita Version.… Expand
Feb 22, 2020I was a big SAO fan and thought this might be good. The graphics quality is honestly underperformed for a 2015 game. Most of the time I don'tI was a big SAO fan and thought this might be good. The graphics quality is honestly underperformed for a 2015 game. Most of the time I don't mind bad graphics, except this time they charged too much for bad performance. It looks like a bad game version of the good old classic 2004 flyff but in HD and the gameplay is the same. Most of the time after half an hour of fighting and exploring I had to watch static character portraits talking to each other. At the beginning I had enough interest to listen to the long dialogues, which got less and less after some hours and after a while it got a bit annoying listening to SO MANY pointless conversations.
Still waiting for namco to make a good sao game of the first arc.… Expand
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