Reki Kawahara is the mastermind behind the widely popular Sword Art Online series of light novels, manga and anime. He is also the man responsible for the less notable Accel World series. While Accel World is a very good series, there’s no argument that people talk about Sword Art Online a lot more than they do Accel World. Judging by the title of this game, you would be led to believe that you could take characters from one franchise and have them battle against the other, but that is far from the case.
Game Name: Accel World vs Sword Art Online
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PlayStation Vita
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Price: $59.99 (Playstation 4), $39.99 (PS Vita)
Accel World vs Sword Art Online tells the story of the kidnapping of Yui, the adopted in-game daughter of Kirito and Asuna, by the mysterious Witch of Twlight. Meanwhile, a black cloud opens up in the Accelerated World leading Silver Crow and Kuroyukihime through it, transporting them into the world of Alfheim Online. Together, they must unravel the mystery of the connection between worlds as well as the reason behind the kidnapping of Yui.
The story is pretty straight-forward with the appeal being placed on the game’s exploration of both franchise universes as well as the cast of characters you get to interact with. In the beginning, you are treated to a host of Sword Art Online characters and only two characters from Accel World, creating a pretty hefty imbalance; however, as the game continues on, the rosters from both worlds fills up more and more and that imbalance goes away.
The combat system is where the game shines, to an extent. While the combat is really in-depth, you find yourself just button mashing in the beginning, although boss battles do require the usage of skills and combos to take down. The game’s action is more akin to a hack and slash RPG as you are free to move and attack at will at anything that moves on the screen. Enemies are very abundant when they spawn meaning you will have plenty of polygons to wreck in order to gain experience and brain burst points.
You do have the ability to block incoming attacks and while tougher enemies allow you to make great use of this mechanic, early enemies are hardly worth the effort. You can also perform Sword Art Online’s Switch mechanic to bring in another one of your party members for some extra damage. Once you switch, you will gain control of that character until you switch again (you can also swap who you control out of combat as well.)
The only grievance I have with the combat system is the aerial combat. You can use your wings to take flight (Silver Crow and Kuroyukihime can also fly) and battle enemies in the air; however, unless you use the lock on targeting system, it is incredibly difficult to move from target to target. You have limited movement controls at first, but you can switch to free range flight and have complete control, but the controls are very sensitive and the camera doesn’t do the best job of keeping things neat and orderly. In fact, in free range flight, I spent more time head diving Kirito into the ground than I did up in the air. The best bet is to just activate your wings, use a lock on target and attack enemies that way.
Everybody has skills they can learn as well as special abilities. One thing I did notice is that Bandai Namco must really love Kirito’s Starburst Stream ability because everyone in my party kept spamming it. I think I’ve heard the characters yell Starburst Stream about as many times as I heard “Counter” shouted out in a match of BlazBlue.
The floating city of Ryze serves as your base. You can visit Agil’s Dicey Cafe for information, there’s a job board in which you can partake on side quests and shops in which you can buy items, synthesize gear, identify rare items and much, much more. The city also has a battle arena where you can fight other players as well as an option to play the game in multiplayer mode once it is unlocked. Multiplayer mode unlocks fairly early in the story so you don’t have to wait too long in order to try it out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the battle arena as it was completely empty whenever I attempted to enter it.
The artwork of the game wasn’t all too impressive. The game world looked pretty dated and looked more like a Playstation 3 title than something that’s current gen. The 3D character models also looked weird with Kirito being akin to a thin black line with a head attached. I know Kirito is a small-framed individual, but that was a little excessive on Bandai’s part. The 2D artwork during the visual novel-style storytelling moments was spot on and represented each character perfectly. The Japanese voice acting was also spot on and authentic, giving you the ability to instantly recognize each of the characters.
All in all, Accel World vs Sword Art Online is a decent hack and slash RPG. It offers plenty of customization and areas to explore. The fact that they didn’t have Kirito stealing the show is a welcoming feature. The ability to command any of the numerous characters you have access to allows you to play your favorite at, virtually, any time that you desire to do so. The story is a bit generic and the time travel aspect of it is a little cliche.
The title of the game is very misleading because you don’t battle the characters from the other world unless it’s a one-time thing that usually ends with “Sorry! I misunderstood things!” It would have been better represented had the title been “Accel World x Sword Art Online.” There are 48 chapters of the story to go through so it will keep you busy for a decent amount of time. With many side quests and dungeons to explore, it only adds onto the main story’s content. I like how the Sword Art Online and the Accel World characters retain their world’s systems and feel unique. At the same time, they each earn their counterpart’s experience system as well.
Accel World vs Sword Art Online is not a bad game, but it’s not a great game, either. It’s simply average.
Review Disclosure Statement: Accel World vs Sword Art Online was provided to us by Bandai Namco for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Accel World vs Sword Art Online
Accel World vs Sword Art Online is a hack and slash RPG with a lot of customization, but the game is hurt by its generic good vs evil story and complicated aerial combat systems.