Feature Play: Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

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Sword Art Online is easily one of the most popular manga and and anime in years and it seems to have gotten an endless supply of spin offs. One in particular that we’ve continued to look at is the video game series. For some countries this would be the fourth game from them. The first one while a trudge was still fun in that it took on the root cause of the story and gave you a reason to push forward.

The second game saw the character in the series having a little competitive fun in Aincrad. And now they’ve come back to their home server.

But this time there isn’t any permadeath lingering over them.

One of the things that easy to tell right off the bat is that Bandai Namco has been listening to the fans. Hollow Realization is easily the most streamlined experience of the three games.

Now you get something that is somewhat similar to that of a modern MMO like Final Fantasy 14, even with little added novelties like the chat window.

The game is full of characters for you to get to know and you’ll be bombarded with a lot of different conversations that you can follow. This isn’t a surprise for fans of the two other games because they were already full of voices.

And it’ll be a delight for fans to be able to see the characters relax and to play casually with one another.

Combat feels fluid but once again Bandai Namco doesn’t do a good job of explaining how the experience works as a whole. It was somewhat annoying to have to stop the game and go hunt for guides, especially if you’re like us and tend to plan ahead.

The good news is that if you’re not big on learning all the little details, there is indeed a community of gamers out there who are totally figuring it out for you.

One of things that can’t be ignored is the lack of stakes. As we mentioned earlier there is a no permadeath lingering over their heads so the experience could feel a bit less dramatic and therefore not give you as much of a drive to play forward to figure out what’s going to happen next.

It is more of a character driven experience. And if you’re playing the game in the first place isn’t that what you came for?