Welcome to another game review post. I wanted to honestly do a light novel post but I am still working on what I am currently reading so I wasn’t prepared for that at all.
Today I will be going over the PS4 game Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization which is a direct sequel to the game I finished a little over a year and a half ago Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.
As is generally the rule of thumb for me when I do a blog post I tend to wait until I am a fair ways into the game or completely finished with it before doing a blog post. Thus why I have had this game for a good while now but haven’t posted anything over it yet. I am not finished yet but I made some good headway into it I believe.
Hollow Realization takes place either directly after Hollow Fragment or shortly after Lost Song, I am not entirely sure which. As such we have a large returning cast including the main SAO crew with Kirito, Asuna, Lisbeth, and the rest as well as the ones who were introduced solely from the games such as Strea and Philia. Add on new additions seen only in this game and we have quite the cast.
Assuming one has played Hollow Fragment they will more or less be able to jump right into Hollow Realization without too much effort. There are some slight differences, especially in combat, that depending on your opinion of such changes could be bad or good. On one hand I feel like combat is more fluid and dynamic but on the other in HF it was much easier to have all of your abilities for whatever weapon you were using ready for use.
The ability to play as your own unique character is great until you realize it is more or less just a skin as the story still revolves solely around the assumption that you are Kirito. You will appear as Kirito in the art where he is warranted for being there and everything you say in the conversations will be assumed as if they were said by Kirito (even going as far as having his voice if you forget to turn that off) just with your characters name attached.
The story is slightly less dark as you are no longer playing the death game yourself and are just enjoying this new game as it was meant to be. Though there are issues that you deal with as well as some story related mishaps and assholes to get through. But overall it is just as if you were playing a game (imagine that!).
Where in the last game(s) you start at a significantly higher level and go even higher this time around the crew is beta testing a new game (which has a surprisingly high amount of players I feel) and so you start from level one and work from there. I currently am in my thirties level wise and from everything I have seen it appears to go into the fifties so far with some of the newer released content perhaps diving further.
So as a sort of TL;DR/Wrapping Up of the post here are pretty much the highlights of the game from me:
- Combat is more fluid and dynamic but equally restricting for me. While the way to use skills is fun the fact it limits you down on how many skills you can have “equipped” means you have to pick and choose for fights (if you care that much).
- Asuna is still fucking crap.
- Being able to run around with my own unique character is fun. Having them sound/act like Kirito was less so.
- Sinon is still best girl though lack of having a ranged weapon like the other games was kind of a loss.
- I feel like a lot of the conversations got cherry picked for translation. A surprising amount of mistakes can be seen and that is even with me skipping 90% of the conversations after awhile.
- Silica might just be the lewdest of all the girls. Some of her conversations prove this. At worst she is fighting Lisbeth for lewdest.
- Clothing/Armor designs are so amazing in this game. It kind of shows to me that assuming they WANTED to try to make an actual MMO/Game/Etc on the level of stuff like WoW or Witcher or whatever, you know the big titles, they could make it look really freaking amazing.
In the end I would give Hollow Realization a slightly better score than its predecessor landing it at a pretty solid 8 out of 10.