Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Includes An HD Version Of Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment

By Spencer . May 1, 2014 . 1:42am

swordart Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is the second Sword Art Online game from Bandai Namco games. We missed out on the PSP title, Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, but it will be localized for the West.

 

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a two game in one downloadable package in North America. In addition to the PlayStation Vita game, Bandai Namco bundled an HD version of the PSP game Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment. That’s an awesome surprise for fans of the series.

 

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is slated for release in summer 2014 as a downloadable PlayStation Vita game.



  • David García Abril

    Damn it, Namco Bandai!

    I bought that game in my last trip to Japan. So it was all for nothing?!

    Oh, wait… No plans for Europe yet. Everything’s good then. For now… :D

    All jokes aside, this is great news. It’s clear they are very confident with this game.

    Let’s just hope the haters don’t spoil it…

  • Firarosa

    I’m picking up a Vita sometime in the next couple of weeks particularly for this, and the upcoming Tales games.

    I haven’t been hearing much on it, but are the SAO games (particularly Hollow Fragment) going to be dubbed in English? I know that a lot of people prefer the Japanese voices, and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the japanese voices, but I much prefer the English… I’ll be picking up this game regardless, but I imagine I’d get annoyed pretty quickly not being able to understand anything without reading subtitles, in a video game.

    • Sav

      better run, how dare you not like to hear a language you don’t understand?

      i much prefer dubs aswell, especially with anime, looking at the bottom of the screen and trying to normally view the whole screen is annoying.

      • landlock

        I prefer dubs as well but after watching so much anime as it airs and live action movies it’s become second nature to be able to do both a once without a problem.

        Honestly I don’t think this’ll be dubbed.

        • Renaldi Saputra

          maybe it will be muted

          • MXC

            Wasn’t there actually a game like that? A game had JPN voice and got removed without a dub replacement?

          • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

            Having been a big fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh games, I can say yes: The Tag Force games originally featured voice acting from the Japanese cast that would fit the 3D model animations of all of the characters, but it was instead muted in the English versions of them, most likely due to contract problems.

          • nonscpo

            Oh you had to bring up the Tag Force games, I was so looking foward for TagForce6, then there we no localization announcements, and then eBay prices were in the $100-$150 category for the jap version :(

          • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

            Yeah, that was painful. I was pretty much all set to import the game once I realized it wasn’t coming (I know enough about the cards to look them up if able to), but, ow. Very ow.

          • landlock

            Wild Arms: Alter Code F on the PS2 by AGETEC was one that comes to mind straight away.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            yeah, I had seen some

        • Andhros

          Watching anime subbed and playing games subbed are 2 different things for me. I will generally watch a subbed episode twice to make sure I caught everything. That is harder to do in game.

          I hope they use English voices to show their faith in the brand.

          • RickyMack

            Yeah, playing Gundam Muso/Dynasty Warriors Gundam; is rather cumbersome with the japanese voice cast. I mean, the game is still easy, but it’s not like you know what the hell they’re saying because you’re too busy playing the game. But then again, if the dubbing was horrible, I’d rather not listen to it even if I can understand it. Except in Chaos Wars case, man that was hilariously horrible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAtC1SzWSXg

          • Strawberry Starlet

            I will always love how horrible this dub is. The best part in the whole game, was when Anastasia shows up for a quick line. Instead of being a little girl, it was some deep voiced Russian impersonation.

          • landlock

            Unless it’s a cutscene most of the time you need to press the button to advance the text in games however.

          • Andhros

            Actually both cutscenes and action scenes give me grief. Visual Novel style games don’t have an issue since the faces may change, but it is just a minor detail. However, in games like Persona 4 several non-cutscenes have the characters move around and interact.

            I watch the text the first time so I have a rough idea what is being said when I watch it again to catch all the action. otherwise the scene just does not mesh well for me.

          • Firekitty

            Huh, I don’t usually have that sort of problem unless I’m very tired…perhaps you ought to get your vision checked; the inability to or difficulty of tracking multiple objects at once could actually be a medical condition.

            Either way, in your case I could totally understand a preference for dubs.

      • Firekitty

        Ya’know, I’ve never actually seen anyone attacked for preferring dubs…The opposing view, on the other hand….

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      I actually prefer the original Japanese when it comes to these games, however, I completely understand the desire to just play the game and listen instead of having to read. Maybe if this game does well and the series continues with games we will get dubs for future titles down the road.

  • AlphaSixNine

    A little confused… Unless Play Asia lies in their description. I thought Hollow Fragment IS a slightly-modified Infinity Moment + Hollow Fragment content. Is this what BamCo is talking about? The HD version of Infinity Moment? The one that’s IN this Vita game already?

    From Play-Asia

    “Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment’s story will be separated into two chapters – the first chapter is a slightly modified version of the previous game, Infinity Moment, while the second is the brand new ‘Hollow Area’ chapter. The Hollow Area will reportedly include a brand new story involving the notorious player-killing guild “Laughing Coffin” and of course the new playable character Philia!”

    http://www.play-asia.com/sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-chinese-english-paOS-13-49-en-70-7jlr.html

    • VWinds

      Correct. This isn’t a new thing for the ‘US Version’ in any way. The game has always been remake of the original game + sequel/expansion pack with new story and content.

      It’s the exact same thing in how Soul Sacrifice Delta has the sequel story, but includes the entire original game inside of it. Or for another example, how White Knight Chronicles 2 included the entire first game’s story with completely updated gameplay mechanics.

      News sites reporting on this are just confused and spreading slight misinformation. Not sure where this news started, but it should be clarified/corrected.

      • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

        Sounds like Bandai Namco is taking hints from Capcom…..

      • ThatGuy3190_7

        If that’s the case, then wouldn’t it had been better to report the Hollow Fragment as an enhanced version of Infinity Moment rather than 2 games in 1?

      • MrTyrant

        Ooooh yeah with those examples I understand everything. Damn I was confused for something so silly.

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      We need to get clarification of this then. Every site so far has announced it as 2 separate games, not just the one included inside the Hollow Fragment game. I have heard that it is possible they included the game for game save bonuses however, I have never played the original so I do not know.

    • Lynx

      Probably a case like Danganronpa where they split them in 2.

      • nonscpo

        Last I check DR1&2 were actually two separate games to begin with, the only reason they were bundled toghether is that everyone In Japan already had s chance to pick upas a PSP game.

    • RickyMack

      Yes I was surprised this was being cast as news,I thought it was apparent from the play-asia description the game was an Infinity Moment HD GotY edition.

  • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

    Better late than never, eh? This is just one of many that we want localised or at least released in our own local areas. I’m happy for those of you in the US, but until I hear “for Europe/Australia”, I won’t truly be happy. Whelp, here’s hoping…

  • Nas

    Hoping that Namco announces it for Europe and surprises everyone with a retail version.

    • http://hanzoadam.tumblr.com/ Hanzoadam

      I’m hoping too

      • John Diamond

        I absolutely dislike the vasst majority of the anime. will the game play well though?

        • decus

          Yeah, in terms of the parts of the anime it’ll be most like…I guess the last 4 or so episodes of the aincrad arc? It was an LN before it was an anime and a web novel before it was an LN. The meat of the content is in volume 1, which was the tail end of the aincrad stuff in the anime and the first episode I guess. Anything beyond that, with the harems and such, was actually from volume 2 or even volume 8. As a general rule, if it was interesting it was probably volume 8 stuff (murder mystery), if it was boring/harem it was volume 2. The game will be volume 1/8 vibes with optional relationship stuff (volume 2).

          In terms of gameplay it’s decent, but not groundbreaking. I never really got that annoyed by anything, which for a licensed game RPG is a rare thing. EDIT: To clarify, I’m talking about the psp game, infinity moment, which as I understand it is the meat of this release anyway.

        • Zoozbuh

          I believe Infinity Moment (first game on PSP) is more like a visual novel and follows plot from the anime, whereas Hollow Fragment is supposedly more focused on MMO/RPG-style gameplay. So I think you’d be getting the best of both worlds.
          I didn’t really like the anime, lost interest in under 10 eps… So I’m in a similar sort of situation. Considering it though!

    • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

      Well, didn’t Bandai Namco release the One Piece games (including the upcoming Unlimited World Red) as “digital only” in the US and gave Europe retail copies? If so, then there’s a good chance.

      • David García Abril

        “Sword Art Online” is nowhere near the popularity of “One Piece” in Europe. As a matter of fact, it’s still unknown in most European countries, apart from very niche audiences. :(

        • http://people.ign.com/rob1610 rob1610

          Anime in general isn’t that popular. It’s true that SAO doesn’t compare to something as big as One Piece, but in the world of anime, SAO is one of the biggest anime to come out of 2012.

          • David García Abril

            Still, SAO didn’t catch up as much in European otaku circles as in American otaku.

            But who knows, I definitely didn’t expect them to release the game in the US, so maybe I’ll be wrong about this too.

            I hope so, at least.

          • [S]unjay

            SAO caught up in the Caribbean otaku circles.

      • Aristides

        Same goes for DBZ battle of Z and Shin Dynasty Warriors Gundam. I can’t help but wonder if they’re just stalling the Europe ver just so people won’t import. They should seriously just release US physical copies and be done with it lol.

    • artemisthemp

      I would happy enough for just a Digital only copy but, yes a Psychical would be prefer.

  • psycho_bandaid

    I really can’t get into SAO, as much as I like to support these sort of games in the West. The story is full of plot holes, and I suspect the plot (as well as the world-building) played second fiddle to coming up with new girls to fawn over the main character.

    Maybe this game will be different. I’ll watch some let’s plays after it comes out or something.

    • kaotron

      I like to support most localized jrpg games too but I have the exact same problem with SAO. I’m not that big on anime games but If anything, SAO was just a generic harem story in disguise with an overpowered protagonist and other pretty lame characters.

      • RickyMack

        I see it more as a shounen than a harem story. Yeah all the female characters drop their panties at Kirito for being a “nice guy,” but the plot seemed more centered at Kirito being an OP gary-stu (programming advanced VR modules in high school? come one) than how the females vie for his affection.

        • kaotron

          yeah, I’ve spoken with some fans of the anime and they seriously deny that kirito is a self-insert gary-stu. The plot is full of holes and is super contrived for kirito’s convenience.

          When I first saw SAO I was expected an anime about him being stuck in an mmo, what we got was an OP power fantasy..

          • RickyMack

            I’m a fan of the series and he’s certainly a Gary Stu. A Gary Stu, originally from Mary Sue, is a character that exhibits unprecedented skill in nearly everything. It originally began from a parody star trek story about a Lt. Mary Sue who was the youngest cadet to graduate from Star Fleet and had ludicrous skill and knowledge in from everything from zoology, to arm-wrestling, and karate. So the trope isn’t necessarily about wish fulfillment, or a proxying of the author, but more so an extremely unbelievable character. I honestly find SAO entertaining, but yeah Kirito is not believable as a person in the slightest.

          • kaotron

            yeah, I really liked the first few setup episodes of sao but after that it slowly went downhill and by the second half it jumped the shark. If anything, sao was entertaining but it has a huge fanbase(because of the lightnovels it was bases on the anime was already popular before it even aired) that believe it’s the best thing since slice bread.

            I know some other fans who really love the books but hate how the anime was adapted, so I read some of the books and tbh it felt like poorly written fanfiction.

          • RickyMack

            considering how they actually started as a chapters on the internet, it really is fan fiction that a publisher decided to pick up. but that’s what light novels really are anyway, books aimed at the late teen demographic.

            personally, i like the log horizon books for the MMO setting genre, it seems like the author’s actually played MMOs rather than just as a place to set their story in. but that series isn’t without it’s own problems either. one can argue that Shiroe is also a Gary Stu, but his ability comes from him taking copious amounts of information and then formulating a plan and monopolizing on others lack of preparation. which is a lot more believable than, the nevergear intercepts signals from the brain, and because my brain had the highest reaction rate out of all players i was given an unbelievably overpowered dual wield skill which no one else has.

          • kaotron

            I agree, the main reason I actually liked log horizon over SAO is that it actually seemed like an anime for gamers and it used mmo logic in the battles/story. It’s doesnt matter how good at rpg’s you are or if you are a beta tester, anyone who has ever played any mmo knows that trying to solo play the whole game wont work(especially with permanent death).

            I found it funny how many times kirito said that the rules of SAO were perfectly fair yet they have things like unique skills that only a single(main character) player can have.

          • DyLaN

            Its actually a draft for a competition that never made it. Not exactly fan fiction since fan fiction implies that it based off an existing work.

          • DyLaN

            Like I mentioned somewhere else be4, a lot of the LN readers agreed that the second half is the lowest point of the series.

            And there also the fact that the first LN concluded the Aincrad arc so the author had to pad it out by various side stories (which the anime used it to make the story chronological). Personally, I think the anime is still too early since the author started Progressive which is the rewrite of Aincrad arc starting frm Floor 1.

          • kaotron

            yeah, I really liked the first 2 setup episodes of SAO, even other people who dislike the series usually say they at least liked that part.

            But If you ask me the side stories with silicia/liz should’ve been an OVA.

            I’ve also heard that the progressive rewrite is a better version since it seem like the author learned from some of his writing mistakes.

            I’ve heard there’s going to be a season 2 but I might either skip it or watch it when it’s completed since I know what I gonna expect anyway(kirito in an online FPS game using a sword to block bullets, yeah, that’s not overpowered at all…)

        • Firekitty

          I’d have an easier time accepting it as ‘shounen’ rather than a typical harem series if there were any important male characters ever who didn’t exist to antagonize Kirito…I mean, they spent most of the first episode developing Kirito and Klein’s buddyship, and then you barely ever see the guy again?

          Of course, I stopped watching around the episode he and Asuna get married, so maybe it improves after that.

    • DyLaN

      Some of the plot holes in the anime is due to the anime leaving out some explanation frm the LN and some can be considered as foreshadowing for Alicization (the current arc in the LN).

  • http://truner.beluva.hu/ Truner Razer

    Now if this was a retail deal…

  • Dragard Kaos

    Woah, that’s really nice of them. While I do wish there was a physical version, I’ll still buy this. My poor 8GB memory card. I think it’s time to upgrade.

    • Monterossa

      my 64GB is full already. they need to release a 1TB memory card.

      • Dragard Kaos

        Nice. I’m not a fan of digital downloads, I try buying everything physical if possible, but a higher capacity memory card for people who do like digital would be nice. It’d probably cost a lot though.

      • Daniel blue

        For the bargain price of three gajillion dollars.

      • X_Bacon

        Just trying to imagine the price of that thing made me cry

    • ThrakanAIEU

      I wish Sony would have went with something other than proprietary cards.

  • Splinter

    Really happy to see Bandai Namco’s presence on JRPGs in the west.

  • FTM

    Very cool. Not a fan of the series but the game looks very slick.

  • Feenyx16

    Best news all day!

  • Kornelious

    Wait…Doesn’t this game already have an enhanced version of Infinity Movement? Maybe it’s just a reminder since we never got the first one…But now we do so we’re all caught up with the SAO games! :D (Though I can just sense the download size of the game…..)

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    This will be a day 1 digital purchase for me. I know others want a physical copy (as would I), however, for a first time game release of this anime series in the states (something that many said would NEVER happen), I have to show support.

    • Pyrotek85

      Same here, and we’re getting the first game too which I thought we’d be missing, so I really can’t complain too much.

  • lackofstyle

    But…but…I don’t want….GOD DANG IT

    YOU WIN I buy the game are happy now namco!

  • Skeptika Crediblus

    Wonder when/if they’re going to have a new season of this?

    • Rafael Fracaroli Tolentino
    • http://confitdent.com thedood7

      Oh yeah, there’s a new season. :-D And it’s gonna involve guns. Lots and lots of guns!

    • DyLaN

      Summer 2014 aka July.

      • Skeptika Crediblus

        YAY!

        Also, I’d like this game.

  • http://www.mrtiredmedia.com/ NickyD

    That’s a winning move for me!

  • http://confitdent.com thedood7

    O_O WHOA. The PSP game too? WOWZA. Time to save up!

    Better hope we don’t get sucked into the game though XD

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水樹 (MagatsuMizuki)

    Wow, this was a pleasant surprise

  • Yan Zhao

    THats cool that they are doing this. But I wonder, is it necesarry to play the first game since the 2nd game is clearly better in content?

  • Learii

    how big is the game?????????

  • nonscpo

    Wasn’t it already stated that the two games came together?

    • Anewme…Again

      I think what’s happening is that they will also release the original PSP version in HD.
      Hollow fragment do include Infinity Moment, but it’s probably a modified/enhanced version of Infinity Moment.

      • DyLaN

        I clearly remember in a chinese interview the director said that you can pick IM/HF on the menu screen…. Though I have my doubts.

        • Anewme…Again

          That’s possible, but like i said that version of IM is probably enhanced.
          Like how it was in White Knight Chronicles 2 for example.

          • DyLaN

            Well, the video of the boss battle for Ghastlygaze had the new battle system & UI.

  • I-e-on

    According to bamcos tumblr it actually is an hd infinity moment packaged with hollow frag http://bandainamcous.tumblr.com/post/84442006611/sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-is-due-out-in

    • TheSwordUser

      I don’t know what to think about this.
      While I appreciate that they’re localizing this, I have a feeling that they just…have no fucking clue what they’re localizing at all.

      Hollow Fragment is essentially Infinity Moment + extra campaign and some changes. What’s so difficult to understand about this? Since Japan didn’t get standalone IM for Vita (what would be the point of it?), I imagine it’s just a misunderstanding.

      I hope they’ll make themselves more clear.

      And also announce European release date.

  • [S]unjay

    They seem to be doing everything right with this game.

  • David Ruckman

    >.< I just imported infinity moment two weeks ago.

  • Shaun

    Wait, so does this mean that the Taiwanese version of the game, which is supposedly the same as the Japanese version of the game, would also include the HD version of SAO Infinity Moment as one whole game, exactly like what this article is talking about for the NA version? Or does the Japan/Taiwan/Asia version of the game only contain Hollow Fragment, whereas the NA version will have both Hollow Fragment and Infinity Moment in English?

    And has it been confirmed that the Taiwanese version will be in full English (without English dub)?

  • 永次

    > Gundam Wing
    > Classic

    lolwat.

  • 永次

    Classics are Getter Robo, Voltes V, Daimos, Gundam or Votoms.
    Gundam Wing is a crappy show from 90s who no one cared in his time and only Americans loved.

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