Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment
Top Critic Average
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's a ton of content to be found in Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment, but unfortunately, its portable roots hold it back.
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.
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.
Re: Hollow Fragment is an appropriate title for yet another shallow licensed game.