SWORD ART ONLINE: Hollow Fragment, The Journal -Link Start, Get Rekt-

2014-06-12-131037I’ve decided to post the periodic updates about my impressions of SAOHF gameplay so far. More will comin’ but it depends on my progress throughout the game. That’s what I planned to do. Anyway this is a pretty long post. =P

I bought the game 2 weeks ago. I didn’t play Infinity Moment, making this my first SAO game experience. The game was released as a PS Vita exclusive in Japan on April 23. The English localization will be released this Summer but apparently, a Chinese version with an ‘early’ English release was happened in SEA countries on May 29 so I managed to get a copy of that.

Bo3die-IMAAO482As you can see here, the game case label is printed in Chinese, published by NBGI Taiwan. There’s one in English from NBGI Singapore division but the game shop only sells the Chinese one. Not a big deal because the game itself already has an English option though.

2014-06-14-005940The in-game manual is in English too. I’m impressed with how detailed the manual is, from the character biography to the gameplay guide.

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Right after you boot up the game, the SAO login sequences will happen just like the one from the anime series. Then, it brings you straight to the character creation. No title screen at all.

2014-06-12-152801Actually I didn’t take the screenshot of it. This is where you change the character appearance in the game but the character creation looks similarly like this. This is just another typical feature if you’ve played modern RPGs, mostly monster hunting games. The name will be set permanently so you can’t change it in-game. By the way, I named him Rekt. Anyone messes with him, get rekt!

After the creation, it brings you into a cutscene where Kirito meets Philia, a new character in Hollow Fragment who suddenly for no reason tries to kill him on the spot. Then after some confusions, the gigantic spider creature shows up. That’s where you’ll learn some basics about the battle mechanics. Then, you’ll be able to do the 1st Hollow Mission. The moment I stepped into the place called Hollow Area…

2014-06-13-215717The graphics are pretty good so far. The world is vast that you can explore anywhere in this game. Exploration is my favorite thing in video games. One more thing, the game begins with Kirito leveled up to 100, WTF?? Honestly, this is the first RPG I’ve ever played with a character that has an outrageous level from the beginning.

2014-05-30-165249Well, Philia is right here & this is how the menu looks like. It is self-explanatory with those RPG stuff. I’ll explain about the menus later but as you can see here, everything is in English. Finally, I’m able to understand the mechanics & the plot of the game… or so I thought…

I mentioned that this is an ‘early’ English release & since NBGI Taiwan handles it, I’m assuming the translator is an Asian. Y’know why? Throughout the game, I found some typos, grammar errors & even inappropriate usage of terms. It’s like the translation is too literal. It’s so hard to figure it out at first but once you read it about 2-3 times, you’ll get the hang of it. Here are some of the translation flaws that I found. Did they proofread first before publish it?

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…but regardless, it isn’t a big deal though. Still appreciate their effort though. Translations aside, let’s go back to where we left off. About the Hollow Missions, they’re kinda like sidequests but can be done only at Hollow Area. I’ll explain the details about it in the other posts. Right after I done the HM, if I still remember Kirito & Philia found a teleport point and then use it to transport them into the big spherical thing & that is the control room.

2014-06-11-230734This is where you can teleport to the discovered areas in Hollow Area & Arc Sophia where it’s meant to be the main town of the game.

At this point, the game told me to go back to Arc Sophia. When I arrived there, guess who’s coming?

2014-05-31-124001Asuna & the other fellas were waiting for him. It’s been a while since we saw them in Extra Edition. SAO season 2 is coming though…

Then after a brief reunion, a message pops up asking me if I still can recall Aincrad’s situation.

2014-05-31-023258This is interesting because I found out that Infinity Moment part is also included in this game so no need to play the previous one which is Japanese only. This question is asking you whether you want to view the prologue of the 1st game.

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After the prologue, the exact Crossing Field OP from the anime series was shown, so that’s pretty good at least.

Well, that’s enough about the beginning part. This post is pretty long already LOL. In the next one, I’ll explain briefly about the game synopsis & more about game mechanics. Stay tuned for more info about SAOHF soon!

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