Sword art online: Hollow Realization

9/10 – “An adventure in a beautiful world with a vast supply of things to do and see.”  

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is an action RPG that picks up after the events of Sword Art Online: Lost Song. Unlike Lost Song, Hollow Realization plays like more like Hollow Fragment and Re: Hollow fragment.

It inherits the skill and weapon Lvl systems from Hollow Fragment while going for a more in depth MMO feel to the game, it does this by giving you a full customization system for your character and free reign of your starting weapon and you can swap weapon type at any time after the tutorial. Your weapons all have unique sword skills and other unique skills on its skill tree.

These skills can be used in combat with most weapons,  some skills that require a specific weapon can’t though. Combat flows quickly and isn’t just about your level and equipment, it’s mostly about your skill and the skills you have. While a lvl70 with good equipment and buffs could solo an HNM enemy doing so on higher difficulty would likely be impossible.

HNMs (Hyper named monsters) reappear from Hollow Fragment to act as super bosses that can be tackled in single and multiplayer. They can range in power from manageable to you’re going to die. While these are hard the can they can be managed. Unlike bosses, they are balanced to be tackled at end game.
The difficulty is not balanced well throughout the story, it mostly stems from bosses and enemies that are poorly placed. Bosses all have a gimmick for how to beat them easier, the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th are the ones that are the most cause for the unbalanced difficulty as they expect you to have the utmost preparation or have skills capable of breaking their extreme health and defence.
The story is definitely an improvement over lost song and is more fleshed out than both prior games.  Unfortunately, the story is rather bland even though it is an improvement, you play as a custom character, you’re still Kirito for all intense and purposes. Your explore the beta of Sword Art: Origin (SA:O) going from the region following a story about a glitched NPC called premier, the MMO itself has no actual story so Kirito had to find one...

The game has lots of content to keep players going for over 100 hours. The game even encourages that via a trophy for playing a 100hours before beating the final boss. Even more, content gets added for free like the sacrament dungeons which get you some of the best equipment available. There’s going to be more content added for free and 3 story DLCs included in the season pass.

If you’re looking for an action RPG that will give you plenty of content for its price this is definitely worth buying. The game lacks in online but you can play offline multiplayer with a handful of NPCs you hand select. This is a definite pick up for anyone who’s even remotely interested in RPGs and MMOs.