Top Critic Average
I went into playing Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment with caution as to how the game could possibly recapture the essence of the source material, but it does that admirably – even with something as small as the inability to actually "quit the game", which is something that'll stick with me for a long time, just like the series itself.
Outside of the shoddy camera and twitchy control, the rest of the game's pacing, design, and over-indulged sense of immersion steer it down paths only the biggest of fans might enjoy.
Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment could afford to be a little more welcoming to newcomers with its opening hours, but get through the initial confusion and you'll find a charming RPG that boasts an enjoyable battle system. Meanwhile, a solid supporting cast prop up a middling story, and some great dungeon crawling moments will keep you coming back for more. Despite several unnecessarily daft design choices, jumping into the shoes of Kirito can be a lot of fun, and for the game's budget price, it's easy to recommend to anyone who's up for a spot of anime adventure.
For fans of the Sword Art Online series, getting Re: Hollow Fragment is a no-brainer. Aquria did well with Hollow Fragment as it provides an experience almost identical to the series. It should, at least, hold enthusiasts long enough for Artdink's upcoming Sword Art Online: Lost Song.
Sword Art Online: Re: Hollow Fragment is a better game than its Vita predecessor. The team has included the DLC content, improved the quality of the graphics and listened to fan feedback and taken notable strides towards bettering the game's translation. The game itself isn't an especially memorable one, but for fans of the anime, this version at least does them justice.
Although there are points where the grind becomes dull and seems to be quite endless, the highpoints of the combat, the great fan-service-filled story, and the amount of content, paired with the new translation and low price point make this a worthy purchase for any fan of SWORD ART ONLINE. Following on from Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment, the next release on the calendar to watch out for is the next Sword Art title, Lost Song. For now, though, keeping on enjoying this treat.
All in all Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment definitely could've used more polish. If you can look past its flaws though, there is a reasonably addictive RPG here with a fun combat system and entertaining relationship structure.
I was glad to see that SAO:HF was able to put forth a more earnest effort with its improved translation and gameplay tweaks but when it's all said and done, it's still not a particularly good game.
I have a love-hate relationship with Sword Art Online, and yet despite its faults I find it difficult to stop consuming. It's a light but fun franchise, which is the best way I can describe Hollow Fragment. If you're already a fan of the show, dungeon crawling and perfecting damage numbers, it's easy to forgive the game's sins for its vast, addicting content. If not, the moderately high asking price may be worth a pause.
Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment falls into the same pitfall that most Anime to game adaptions do in that fans are sure to get a great kick out of it but it'll leave everyone else scratching their heads. Add on top of that that it's a rather disappointing port and the translations aren't handled very well. Give it enough time and you'll find a fun RPG experience with some fantastic combat mechanics. If you want more you can't say anything bad about the amount of content thrown at it either. Great for the fans, not so good for everyone else.
However, despite the major frame-rate drops and the repetitive quests and gameplay, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is fairly entertaining, thanks to a fast-paced combat system and a large amount of weapons and skills to pick from. If you haven't already tried it on the PS Vita, the PS4 version might be worth your time, especially since it is literally half the price of the Vita version. But, if you do already own in on the Vita, I think it would be wise to pass on this new version.
Sword Art Online - Re: Hollow Fragment is definitely for the fans, especially since it makes no real effort to ease newcomers into the world. At least it has a better translation for fans to enjoy, and the combat remains solid, especially around bosses. Nothing else was added to this version, but the game remains absolutely packed with content, and that's before you factor in online play, which has a decent community going for it. While outsiders may want to wait and see if the sequel serves as a better entry point, fans who skipped the Vita version will enjoy this iteration, despite the flaws.
This alternate timeline in the Sword Art Online universe is reserved for only the most hardcore of fans. Poor frame rates in the social hub, curious customised character restrictions, and a lack of true narrative focus will get to players over time thanks to repetitive content. A true lack of visual improvements makes the Vita-to-PS4 transition ultimately appear underwhelming, but those desperate for more adventures with Kirito no doubt enjoy running around the colourful world of Aincrad – so long as they employ patience while getting to grips with the combat system.
While Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is an enjoyable budget release that offers hours of anime adventuring, it's tainted by inexplicable performance issues that simply shouldn't have made it to the PS4 edition of the game. If you can look past them, and enjoy anime-flavoured RPG's with an interesting setting, then SAO Re: Hollow Fragment may just be for you, though fans of the TV series will certainly get the most fun out of it.
A game largely ingrained in its source material, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment features a strong combat system and a ton of content at a bargain price, but the perplexing character creator and other flaws may ruin it for those that are not already fans of the franchise.
Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is entirely average, which is frustrating because there are elements of greatness sprinkled throughout its somewhat mess of a product. For those who obsess over anything and everything Sword Art Online-related, there's plenty to like here.
I have only the slightest clue as to what is happening. I mean I watched and extremely enjoyed the SAO anime series but only part of this is making any sense to me what so ever.