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Svart Alfheim and the Accelerated World have begun to merge. Bandai Namco presents the anime crossover off the year with their release of, Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online.
Bandai Namco has reached an all new height for their Sword Art Online game series with the release of Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online! In the game characters from two of Reki Kawahara’s award winning series’ – Accel World and Sword Art Online – come together on a journey through time to save Yui in a completely original story created for the game by Reki Kawahar. The game offers a unique experience for fans of the anime, manga and previous Sword Art Online games, giving them a new story and setting to experience filled with new awesome characters- you might even have find a new show to watch.
A crossover might sound like a bad idea when it comes to videogames, – crossovers in movies, books and other media have turned out to be horrible – luckily both the anime’s that serve as the source material for the game are kinda similar in it’s overall setting and have a lot in common. They both deal with VR way before VR was a thingy in the West and explore how characters interact within digital spaces. I am familiar with the Sword Art Online franchise – Anime and Games that is – and I’ve liked Bandai Namco’s previous releases of the fracnhise. Accel World is a complete mystery to me and that works as a huge disadvantage in this release. They kinda expect you to know a thing or two about both franchises. However, bot franchises have been previously implied to exist in the same world, with Accel World taking place several decades after Sword Art Online‘s early stages of virtual reality. In this game we kinda get the confirmation that they indeed exist in the same timeline, as the game’s two worlds start to intersect with each other.
You might think that this game would predict a huge fight between the characters of both series, which plays out on an epic scale battle. Unfortunately, both parties decide to work together from the get-go and try to figure out what the hell is going on with their worlds and how they can prevent a full merge of their worlds. It would have been awesome to see the characters from both series battle it out on epic scale, – maybe even turning it into a fighting game – but such behaviour wouldn’t fit Kirito and company. In the midst of the chaos, Yui has gone missing. Kirito must challenge the Seven Kings of pure color from the Accelerated World to gain access to her location. Players from both series come together in a war of the worlds where the strongest Burst Linkers and ALO Players are on a mission to save Yui from the hands of Personna Babel.
Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online at its core is an ARPG set in an MMO world and I must say the combat is put together in a decent enough way to make it feel enjoyable and interesting enough to continue playing the game. The majority of the enemies can be fought without any real challenge, even putting the difficulty level on its maximum isn’t enough to make the game truly challenging. You have acces to your standard attacks and some special abilities like magic and support, each character has their unique attacks and specials. Overall you will be mashing square and sometimes combine it with the triangle button in order to defeat the more simple foes Combining these and putting together a well-orchestrated party is key to your victory. The many bosses the game feature provide a bit more interesting challenge. However, the majority of these bosses can be defeated in the first try. The game’s combat is just interesting enough to keep you in the game and while there’s no real threat the mandatory combat sequences will guide you trough the story – which is the best part of the game.
You can create your own Party of up to three characters, this can be any mix of three characters. However, you will need to combine the powers and leverage strengths as you build your 3 man teams with your favorite characters from both Accel World (Acceleration/Special Techniques) and Sword Art Online (Flight/Magic). Pursuing a perfect build team consisting of the best characters, powers and abilities is an enjoyable activity and I’ve tried at least a few different character builds and teams. Unfortunately, the game’s low difficulty and easy control don’t push you to take advantage of a perfectly build team – you’ll manage to beat the game without putting effort in team building. In the vast open world you are able to fly or hover. While hovering, you’re able to do perform any action just like when you’re walking, but you’re unable to use use any of your skills while flying. The flight controls are not as great as you would like and needs some getting used to, once you’ve mastered flight it’s an absolute joy to fly around the world. However, walking within dungeons is a must and most of the Accel World characters aren’t able to fly at all (with the exception of the series’ protagonist Silver Crow).
The game also offers the mandatory online multiplayer featuring multiple modes supporting up to four players. Unfortunately, there’s nothing interesting to say about this mode. You should at least give it a go, but don’t expect any groundbreaking awesome gameplay here.
Fans and gamers familiar with the source material and/or previous Sword Art Online games should be more than content with this latest entry in the series. While the gameplay suffers from some of the same letdowns as prior Sword Art Online titles, the Reki Kawahara crossover was far more enjoyable than any of the previous SAO games. The game’s story is surprisingly and impressively splendid and offers the enjoyable and fun dialogue you would have expected between the series cast. The well told story kept me on the edge of my couch right up until its fantastic ending.