Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Review

7 minutes read

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization on PS4

There’s just something about Aincrad, the setting of Sword Art Online that trapped players inside of a cruel game turning virtual deaths into the genuine article, that keeps fans coming back for more. While in the first season of your anime, Kirito and his awesome newfound friends fought their way throughout the game and arrived alive but forever haunted by the events that transpired as digital realm. But a seed was provided if it was all said and done, and from that seed sprouted more games, free of the trap that started the franchise however utilized for nefarious activities. Knowing this, there is certainly still something alluring regarding it, and also for Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, someone will quickly consider the game back in its roots.

Welcome to Sword Art: Origins, the most recent game made with that same seed unlocked by Kirito and the friends. Rather then a completely new game, though, the developers took Aincrad, that 100 floor tower of challenge and doom, and turned it in to a wide open expanse named Ainground. As it doesn’t have the identical imposing appearance as a torture tower floating in the sky, it gives you just as much, and up of your challenge.

Exactly why a personal game was created utilizing the same appearance as the game that took many lives is unknown. What on earth is known is Seven (who fans will remember from Lost Song, the prior Sword Art Online RPG) is supporting the action, which is the only belief that all the characters have returned to an extremely nightmarish location. It’s still unclear who’s behind everything and things only grow more puzzling whenever you meet a nameless NPC who doesn’t go through same patterns and coding as everything else in the technology race. That NPC is Premiere, an AI whose memory has been wiped and figuring out her origin, together with her purpose will reveal the answers to all the questions that this characters and also you, the gamer, may have as you explore the prettiest Sword Art Online game to this point.

Anime-based games normally fare well as long as character designs match what fans know. But Hollow Realization goes further by offering the top enemy designs we’ve seen thus far while in the series along with tons of customization sources of much of your character. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over the kit of this party members cover anything from random NPCs you can befriend to fan-favorites like Sinon and Asuna. You can unlock a distinctive set of armor by replacing the same with relationship status with each from the major characters (meaning characters that can be purchased in the anime and previous games).

That friendship system actually ties within the strategy component to Hollow Realization fairly well. During combat, you’ll be able to give compliments for your of your respective chosen party members that can improve your friendship with these and earn you temporary perks while out exploring, for instance a shot of SP (used to trigger abilities) and faster refresh rates on certain actions. However, you don’t scarcely get these temporary perks. When a friend performs an action, it will eventually belong to one among their traits which include Shy, Smart, Cold, Fiery, and Spirited. These include related to how that character acts and often will dictate what moves that character will learn and exactly how they perform in battle. Simply spamming compliments offers you temporary advantages but they can certainly cost in the long run.

A great number of the combat in Hollow Realization is like that, actually. Every fight may be won easily for those who don’t mind spamming certain actions, but which will end up being costly when you progress. There’s the rest of a focus on managing your teammates while fighting and working along with them as opposed to just leading the charge. You’ll usually see that enemies are a lot easier more prone to certain attacks should you combo these for another character, and have someone flank. It’s a method of maintaining the not at all hard combat scheme that Sword Art Flash games have employed and adding an added layer of challenge on top of it. Although, it isn’t without its issues.

Ally AI is less than great, possibly at times it really is downright horrible. The only method make them perform within a certain technique to apply the compliment system mentioned above, however which takes hours upon hours of play before it commences to matter. You could freeze certain skills you’d like to have the crooks to use (thankfully) without having to stress about a compliment making them change what you require, nevertheless they still don’t do things well. It forces a consistent need to micromanage during difficult encounters while you instruct them when to dodge then instruct them ought to heal themselves. No matter that you bring, sometimes they don’t possess battlefield awareness once you’re up against above two enemies.

It’s unfortunate, really, because controlling your own character in Hollow Realization is like a good improvement above the game’s predecessors. Yes, you can still find loads of menus and several icons on screen you will probably have to control, however it features a much smoother transition between fights and you’ve got the cabability to dance across the battlefield fairly effortlessly. Despite the issue of flight that any of us got a chance to knowledge of Lost Song – because of it transpiring in ALfheim Online (ALO) as an alternative to Sword Art Online – Irrrve never felt limited. I could dash in, do my damage, then dart away before a significant attack wiped me out. Skilled players could stand toe-to-toe against enemies well beyond their level, and that’s an indication of great action RPG. It’s only that helping your allies be completely useless on occasion should make it difficult to form meaningful strategies in a very game that tend to demands them.

Another issue I have while using game is that often, just as in the previous games, you’re always Kirito, the leading character within the anime. Fans haven’t been qualified to place themselves into this beautiful, deadly universe. Sure, it is possible to customize your character how ever that suits you – naming them, choosing their gender, changing their voice, and also equipping different armor – but in the story, you’ll always hear Kirito’s voice, and everybody will consult you as him regardless of the you choose. It ruins the immersion considerably, satisfying solely those players who should want to be Kirito.

When you mix again?having to become the star within the anime of what is supposed to be a mock MMO with the undeniable fact that we’re just as before exploring only Sword Art Online, it begins to?weigh the sport down. We had a certain amount of salvation in Lost Song as a consequence of ALO’s fairy world, but consider Gun Gale Online? The post-apocalyptic shooter MMO who had a substantially darker presentation and truly introduced the world to Sinon who quickly became probably the most characters inside series. To your game titles, she’s had been given an alternative origin additionally we are able to use her, nonetheless it could be great to look around the world she actually began.

Don’t misunderstand me, Hollow Realization is?not even close to a terrible game. AI issues aside, this is actually the best its felt to manipulate your avatar since initially game, and things are very pretty, similar to the stylized anime the action is reliant from. I merely couldn’t help but believe that I’d been here before, and that’s originating from a fan within the series.

It’s great to view what steps the games have fallen in terms of managing those damn menus, presenting an experience that is true for the source material, and figuring out how to take the combat system making it fun and fluid. But also in the completed, it feels a little too safe. Yes, small children it’s called Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, but that doesn’t mean we should should adhere to the first world that series introduced us to. If you’re keen on the series in the slightest, you will find enjoyment. But once the dust settles, you’ll also get wanting some thing.


Score: 3.5/5 – Fair


  • Gameplay has improved with each and every new entry.
  • Visuals are in keeping with the anime.
  • Plenty of customization to your avatar.
  • Story may be a treat for fans.


  • We’re back in Sword Art Online, once again.
  • Ally AI might be a nightmare.
  • Too safe.
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