Accel World VS Sword Art Online Review – Extracted Pure Average
Platforms: PS Vita, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release: 7th July 2017
Price: 39.99 (PS Vita) / 59.99 (PS4)
As a lover of good, unique animes, naturally I came across the praised Sword Art Online, one of the most popular and praised animes to date. However, after I endured all 48 episodes of this completely generic, uninspired, lengthy mess, I definetly lost quite a bit of hope in the modern anime community. So, on my search for an actual good “gaming” anime, if you can call them like that, I stumbled upon Accel World. Maybe I was still shocked by SAO but I could actually enjoy the super generic, cliché-y Accel World far more. Honestly, I wouldn´t consider any of them a “good” anime, yet the presence of Accel World and SAO in the same game, made me curious about Bandai Namco´s little hidden game-series about SAO. Can it still be a good, enjoyable game, even though I can´t be perceived by the sole presence of beloved characters like Kirito?
Accel World VS Sword Art Online´s story is far from being original, presenting us a scenario in which the Accel World main cast gets teleported into the Sword Art Online world of Alfheim through time travel. Despite its name, these two worlds don´t fight against each other but quickly join forces against another generic evil. Eventually, they defeat the evil and eventually everything will be happy again and everybody´s glad they met etc. Surely, I didn´t expect much in the first place but at least the game´s name made me believe I could fight against the other world and experience a more interesting plot solely focusing around the already well-known cast.
Yet, nothing about the story is anything else than an average good vs evil tale, lacking any kind of surprises, great dialogues or memorable moments. Accel World VS Sword Art Online had the potential to be more, hell, it would have been easier than creating an uninteresting villain. Additionally it doesn´t add anything new to the characters or the world as well, giving me no reason to be interested in the story, if it wouldn´t feature Accel World/SAO characters and lore. Since I´m not particularly interested in these worlds I couldn´t get anything out of the story except some cool moments scattered in this 1/2 lengthy play sessions long story.
On top of that, Accel World VS Sword Art Online can´t even lead you to the quests, that tell this story. Most of the time I got simply lost in the world, due to the lack of any quest markers, similar to a lot of situations in Tales of Zestiria. However, there we actually got useful information to find the right place, here, we have to guess or search way too often. The mediocre graphics, dragged down by abysmal ground textures on PS4 and overall undetailed environments do their part in letting everything look the same. Ignoring the character art style nothing really shines through unique design and looks simply bad to decent, even for a Vita port.
Although I found it very neat to fly over the world, able to land or start anywhere and anytime I want. Not only is it fast enough to provide a functioning travel mechanic but also a great feeling feature overall. Combined with the abitlity to fight in the air, similar to Dragon Ball´s verticality I guess, it´s the only working unique thing about Accel World VS Sword Art Online. Unfortunately, Accel World characters are mostly not able to make use of it, letting them solely rely on super high jumps, that just don´t feel the same and are not even half as controllable as flying, chopping a huge part away.
During the campaign, the biggest part of our time will be spent on fighting all kinds of mobs of the SAO Alfheim world. While there are combos, dashes, blocks, special attacks and pretty much everything else, no element really adds anything new or offers something unseen. Again, the combat as well is pure average. Of course it´s fun, responsive and the flight moves enables some cool moves, yet no matter how fun it may be, any Senran Kagura-style game or pretty much anything can offer an either better or as good experience. Without the ability to fly I really wouldn´t know any feature that would set the gameplay apart from other open world action RPGs. Like in every other game you explore generic dungeon, fight repeating enemies and develop your character. Accel World VS Sword Art Online never surprised me in any way whatsoever.
To sum up, Accel World VS Sword Art Online isn´t a particularly bad game, to be honest, just an uninspired, totally average one. Beginning with the potential wasted on the story, preferring a generic good/evil one over an actual fight between those worlds to the below average, lacking graphics. Particularly the gameplay reflects these flaws, offering a truly generic little action combat, outmatched by far too many games like Senran Kagura.
Without the SAO and Accel World skins I wouldn´t see a reason to buy it, too generic, too flawed, too bland are the mechanics presented too us. Truly a game, only buyable by true fans of the series who want to play as their heroes but nothing more, nothing less, than a generic, exchangeable experience.
[A Review Code was provided by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment]