Accel World VS. Sword Art Online – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PS4, PS Vita
Tested on: PS4

Accel World VS. Sword Art Online – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Impression of a MMORPG, Story, massive cast of characters
Bad: Controls, No proper tutorials, Poorly marked quests, Lip syncing, Dated visuals
User Score
5.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Even with the hype around Sword Art Online slowly coming to an end, it seems Namco Bandai still isn’t planning on stopping to squeeze out a new game every year to keep the series alive. Nonetheless, most games have scored quite well in the past, and for the most part, the franchise is a decent one. It seems however that all good things must come to an end with the latest release, which clearly is a dip in quality. Nonetheless, we were quite eager to see many familiar faces, along with a hefty amount of new ones.

Accel World VS Sword Art Online

Story

It’s yet another fun day for the players of Alfheim online, the game that is now on Kirito and Asuna’s daily schedule, to unite with their friends from SAO, and those they met afterwards. They were also lucky to bring along the AI from SAO, which they raised as their own digital child. Nonetheless, when all of a sudden a message is spread along the server that everyone has to log off, due to maintenance, and those who fail to do so, may see their progress wiped, Kirito decides to ignore said order, as it feels like something is going on. After looking around for a bit, nothing truly suspicious is found, until Yui, the AI mentioned above, goes somewhere suspicious, where she is locked up by a figure called Persona Vabel, a presence unknown to the game, but one of very evil intent. When even more strange figures appear, claiming to be from another game entirely, things turn out even more strange, when they claim to be from the future, thus traveling back in time, inside a game.

The story slowly evolves the further you progress, and even though you have a basic idea of what is going on at the start, things remain rather unclear for the biggest part of the game, which is a two-way street, as it keeps a certain suspense intact, but also a feeling that you simply don’t know what the hell is going on. As this game combines two universes, namely SAO and Accel World, it’s fun for fans of either series, or both, to see their characters mingle with those of the other series. For Accel World fans this is probably a fun trip down memory lane, as the series received a lot less attention than SAO, and it has already ended several years ago. SAO fans will find more of the same, albeit with a time travel paradox thrown into the mix.

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Graphics

Even though it’s clear that this game was developed for the PS Vita, the PS4 version we tried was a bit lacking in the graphical department. The overall areas, monsters and characters certainly have their charms, but they are somewhat rough around the edges, even for a PS Vita point of view. Nonetheless, you’ll be treated to a fair amount of diversity when it comes to the overall cast, the environments and the monsters that dwell in them. It never gets spectacular, but it’s simply a lot less impressive than the visuals of the previous game.

The biggest concern are the dialogues, which are done in a visual novel-like way, albeit where the characters move their mouths during said dialogues. While it’s fun to see some movement, the lip syncing is done in a fashion where every character is either gasping for air, or is trying to represent a goldfish as every character does the same movement over and over.

Sound

The music in Accel World VS. Sword Art Online is rather upbeat and catchy and it certainly gets you in the proper fighting and exploring mood. It never gets truly epic, but it certainly suffices as a soundtrack for a game such as this. Nonetheless, the voice acting steals the show, as the dialogues are all accompanied by voice acting, together with the random skits some of your characters have from time to time, to lighten to mood, to warn you for something and so on. Overall the sound design of this game was handled with care and it shows in the finished product.

Accel World VS Sword Art Online 2

Gameplay

Accel World VS. Sword Art Online is an RPG that tries to mimic an online MMORPG, albeit dwindled down to a single player experience (safe for the Multiplayer mode you can unlock later on). For the most part you’ll be exploring the world of Alfheim Online, which is slowly merging with another universe from the future, in order to find your friends, slay heaps of monsters, acquire new gear and ultimately defeat the one that locked up Yui and is currently changing this online world.

Depending on what difficulty you choose, grinding will either be more present than when you play on a low difficulty setting. Nonetheless, when flying around the world of Alfheim Online, you’ll come across many foes, which will give you a sufficient amount of materials, new items and experience. You’ll notice that leveling up is done quite rapidly, that the characters are controlled easily in terms of combat, and that you have a gigantic cast of characters to choose from. Keep in mind that you can only bring three characters with you at all times. It would have been nice to have a slightly bigger party, given the fact you can choose out of a heap of characters both from the SAO and Accel World universes. Each of said characters has their own skill set, which levels by killing more and more enemies.

Solving quests is either done by following the story, and thus completing the main quests, or by selecting some of the side-quests, which mainly involve killing monsters, collecting items and so on. These quests are handy to collect some extra cash to purchase new gear and to craft, the latter being rather expensive.

Accel World VS Sword Art Online 3

The downside to all of the above is that you dive into the game with no explanation at all. You’ll get a small tutorial for movement and combat at the beginning, and that’s about it. If you want to learn other items, you’ll have to access the database and see if there are any tips there. These tips are often only a line or two of text, which hardly help you any further. This makes the whole crafting and equipment process tedious and hard to get accustomed to. Other than that, it’s the controls and poorly marked quests that are a nuisance, for example the flight controls are atrocious and more than once you’ll be flying around aimlessly, simply because the game hardly gives you any information on what to do. All of these things combined make for a rather messy whole, which gets frustrating for those who are used to games with properly marked quests, decent tutorials and of course proper controls.

Conclusion

Accel World VS. Sword Art Online is a reasonable Sword Art Online experience in terms of story and sound design, the graphical department and the gameplay mechanics are however somewhat lacking and bring down the entire experience. If you’re fond of the SAO universe (or the Accel World one), and you want to explore a new thread in the grand scheme of things, this game will still please you, but compared to some of the other games in the series, this one feels like a step back.

Accel World VS Sword Art Online 4

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Accel World VS. Sword Art Online - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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