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Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment – Death By Localization

By Thomas . September 10, 2014 . 5:31pm

 

Sword Art Online started out as a light novel series, and as it grew in popularity it lead to manga adaptions and a popular TV anime adaption two years back. Eventually, the series got itself some videogames along the way, and so here we are today with Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment. For those who have not read the novel, or seen the anime, a brief run down of the plot will be needed.

 

The game does an okay job at explaining the basics, but I felt it really leaves you hanging on the finer points—especially in terms of the characters, and how they all relate. The gist of SAO is that a popular Virtual Reality MMORPG turns out to be a “death game” in a style reminiscent of .hack. There is no way to log out and leave the virtual world, and if someone in the real world were to remove your headgear, it would fry your brain. Dying in the game has the same effect, too. Death in SAO means death in real life. The only way to get back to reality is to clear all 100 Floors of the game.

 

The anime prematurely ends the game however at floor 75 when a certain event unfolds, but Hollow Fragment instead changes the plot to make it so after said event on floor 75, a glitch occurs, leaving everyone stranded on Floor 76, still in the game, with no choice but to keep climbing to Floor 100. It also introduces a new area to the game world: Aincrad: The Hollow Area, that which holds its own mysteries. It’s your job to get from Floor 76 to Floor 100, and also explore and investigate the Hollow Area to get to the bottom of this mysterious glitch, and find your way back to reality.

 

Hollow Fragment really tries to emulate what it would feel like to be in a virtual world, and to its credit the game does a good job. Making the combat function like an MMO even though it is mostly a single player game was pretty clever, since story-wise this is a virtual reality MMORPG. The combat takes some getting used to—the awfully translated instructions certainly were no help—but after playing around and experimenting, I managed to wrap my head around the combat system.

 

Hollow Fragment honestly ended up reminding me a bit of my time when I wrote about Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on Siliconera. The combat is a little different, with some other gauges to worry about, but the basic premise is similar, mapped hotkeys play a big role, and that same “feel” is perfectly replicated. After acquiring an understanding of the combat I was ready to clear my first dungeon, and quite enjoyed myself as I explored the lands, crushing foes in my path.  Traversing through a valley, fighting the Lizardmen who live in a cave, climbing out of the cave to find a giant floating building, it all really felt like an MMO.

 

What’s interesting is, once you locate the boss of the dungeon, you actually leave and hold a meeting in town, just like the characters did in the anime. Together, all the members of the guild construct a plan, and with a large group of fellow players, you all raid the boss room at once. Boss raids were intense, and honestly kept me on my toes the whole time. This was a big step up from most of the ordinary monster encounter in game. I found myself worrying over the many players fighting alongside me, and trying to keep them all alive. Seeing that huge HP gauge that the boss had, and how long it took to deplete was disheartening. I started to worry if I could really get us all through this in time. It was quite a rush. Once it was all over, and I defeated the boss and got everyone through alive, I felt really fulfilled.

 

There is also something of an affection system in the game between you and your many partners. Raising their affection will net you mostly superficial but cute bonuses like being able to hold their hand, carrying them like a bride on her wedding day, laying down in bed together, and the only non-superficial benefit: getting permission to change their equipment—though you can make them dress in a lot of fetish outfits like school swimsuits, and wedding dresses, I suppose. It’s a really simple system, and depends how you reply to the characters in “Date Conversations”. You can ether reply passionately, or with a more neutral tone, getting the right kind of reply for the questions asked will raise their affection (or as the game calls it, their “enjoy”).

 

If you’re expecting a visual novel-like experience, however, you will be disappointed. These chats range from small talk to totally random gibberish, and don’t add anything to the characters. It ends up just taking luck, and learning the patterns since a lot of the gibberish is repeated. You honestly just go around yelling “Indeed!” over and over again at the girls. If you’re looking for a deeper romance game, this might disappoint. There are however different endings depending on each girl, so my feelings may change, but as of now, I feel even Harvest Moon was more romantic than this. These romance bits in Hollow Fragment seem like just cute little distractions to me, and not much else.

 

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment can be a fun game, but has two major flaws, the first being that like many other licensed games it is best enjoyed by those already familiar with the source material. Those who have yet to see the anime will probably not get as much out of the game. The game also completely spoils a big twist that the first story arc had. However, those who have been fans should really enjoy seeing their favorite characters again. Not to mention I think many will appreciate the return to Aincrad with a new story.

 

The second major flaw is that the game’s translation is just plain bad, and this will more than likely ruin the entire experience for some people. I’m sure by now plenty of people have seen the “penetration” screenshots as they’ve made the rounds. The awkward use of words is only the tip of the iceberg here. Bad grammar is a common occurrence, including instances like confusing “its” and “it’s” as well as basic pronouns, typos like “Barst” instead of “Burst”. Beyond that, the writing is extremely stale and uninteresting. It just dredges on and on, and is in dire need of an editor to make it sound more interesting.

 

The worst part, though, is that it isn’t even really in the “so bad it’s good” territory. It’s just boring, and comes off like half-assed Google Translate English. I thought it would provide a cheap laugh, at the very least, but besides a few instances, it honestly doesn’t. The whole translation just brings the enjoyment of the game way down. In 2014, from a major company like Bandai Namco, this is just unacceptable. Being a digital-only release with a half-assed translation only sends the message that Bandai Namco had zero faith in their product.

 

Food for Thought:

 

1. Before I took on this assignment I knew nothing about Sword Art Online. To prepare for the review I made myself sit through all 25 episodes of the first season. If you want my opinion of the show, all I can really say is that it was okay. Oh, and that people really weren’t exaggerating when they said the second half wasn’t as good as the first half.

 

2. A Japanese-style button layout is still used even though I was playing the American version. That means O is to confirm, and X is to cancel.

 

3. There’s some free DLC for the game that will expire by November 18. A free major update is also scheduled to come out on September 23, which will raise the level cap, and add new equipment and quest. Whether or not it fixes the awful translation is yet to be seen, but probably unlikely.

 

4. In the game you play as Kirito, but you can change your name to whatever you wish, as well as your physical features. This is mostly for the sake of the multiplayer mode, and while I had fun customizing Kirito into my own character, it did feel weird to be “Zero_Des” and look nothing like Kirito, but still be called Kirito by the cast.

 

5. Sorry Hollow Fragment; Vietnamese Pokémon still holds its crown as King of “so bad it’s good” English.


Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Shippoyasha

    Perhaps they didn’t touch up on the translation for the Asian physical release? Because it has the English translations and yeah, it’s filled to the brim with spelling and syntax mistakes. Still very easy to enjoy the game, but it does result in a lot of awkward dialogue. Makes me wonder if they didn’t work on the translations beyond the Asian release.

    I think the romance could have afforded to be more involving in the core plot as well. They were more like ‘romance bromides’ in how you get a small event and it doesn’t really influence the core plot.

    I still think this is a very ambitious and fulfilling game for an anime tie-in though. I think for an average SAO fan, this game is a guaranteed purchase.

    The game could potentially be good at wooing in SAO newbies, though it really is in a weird place plot-wise because the events of the first season lead directly to this game. So it’s really recommended that people catch up on the first season (the story leading up to the end of the Aincrad arc, which is episode 14) first.

    “second half wasn’t as good as the first half.”

    I suppose so, but it really was a lovely world though. The anime did the visuals more than its fair justice. Too bad they didn’t build it up with the same kind of urgency as the Aincrad arc. But it’s all still worth following to catch up on SAO.

    • Xerain

      They took the translation from the Asian version, and made minor touch ups. Mainly story scenes and stuff that could get them in trouble, like someone calling Kirito “Some black guy” because he dresses primarily in black.

      As seen here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-gzsvDcLfs

  • ZetaSiren

    Thank you for confirming how bad the translation was. I was so lost for the first hour. I was like why are there so many menus. What does this do. What does that do. I just got frustrated so much by the crappy localization I haven’t touched it since I tried it for 30 minutes. In my opinion I regret buying it ahaha ^.^’

  • Spirit Macardi

    Leave it to Namco to mess up even a bare-bones localization.

    When I heard that it would be subtitle-only I was already uninterested, since Bryce Papenbrook and the others’ performances were what kept me invested in the anime itself. So at least now I know I didn’t miss anything worthwhile.

  • Limbless

    I had heard the translation had been changed since the Asian version and that it wasn’t completely terrible anymore… but I guess not.

    • Istillduno

      Certain things have improved…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGr6iraiQ-Q&t=16m20s

      In the western version it’s the man in black or something equally less accidently racist.

      • Franggio Hogland

        Gadget Girl Kylie!!

        Yepp…the translation isn’t as bad now…

  • lolcatz6657

    DO NOT buy this game. The translation is fine for the first few minutes, but after you get out of the tutorial zone, you are literally on your own as it is so confusing as to where you have to go. They should at least allow a refund considering how utterly pathetic it is.

    • Joshua David Taylor

      Ummm… they totally DO tell you where to go…. They tell you to go Agil’s shop, check your mails on your friend list. They Always tell you where to go…. Nothing pathetic about it the game is actually very high quality for an anime-based game…. I’m on the second floor so obviously the fact that you can’t figure it out means you’re doing something wrong…. they seriously tell you where to go all the time. You just have to check your mails on your friend list.

    • James Reilly

      What…? Ignoring the part how the “plot” is only one part of this game (you know..there is also ton of gameplay too this isn’t a VN) they don’t just abandon you to the wild. They tell you exactly where you need to go after the tutorial fight and you can use your map/talk to partner/check events/check guild/etc if you somehow screwed up in going the right way.

    • Eric Xin

      That is because once you finish the tutorial, they gave you a trophy then you can’t refund anymore.

  • The main thing that would sell me on the game is the Engrish, I’ve seen a boss gameplay and it looks like it would get repetitive, But people on GFAQs said it gets better, And the battle system can be somewhat compared to Xenoblade, I was already thinking of getting the game but on sale, Not paying $55 ish(EU PSN) for it

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    http://i.imgur.com/Amr4UDH.jpg

    Destiny, Shovel Knight, Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age Inquisition, Bravely Default and nearly every game from this year can screw itself. It’s basically a Zero Wing RPG, in all it’s hilarious awfullness. GOTY

    • makubexnas

      “kirito must be busy with the penetration…”GOTY

      • ishyg

        I remember the original game on the PSP has an item named “condom”. Can anyone confirm if that’s real?

  • subsamuel01

    Really wanted to try this out guess i’ll just pass.

    • Shippoyasha

      If you really wanted to try it, go ahead and get it. It’s a fantastic game despite its faults.

      • Pyrofrost

        I’m looking at getting this game myself, but I’ve never seen a single ep of the anime :(

        • Shippoyasha

          Well, you need to go upward to episode 14 and you’ll be caught up.

          • Pyrofrost

            So I don’t even need to watch the full first season? That’s cool, though if I watch it that far I may just keep going xD

          • Guest

            No he’s saying you ONLY watch the first season.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        If the translation is messed up what’s the point?If I won’t use machine translations to get through a visual novel why I would I be ok with this?

        • James Reilly

          The game is still readable despite some hilarious grammar errors. BTW this game is more of an action jrpg game then a VN so 80% of the time your gonna be fighting stuff then reading the plot.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            But I like the plot and it I’m not anal about grammar but I feel miffed if it isn’t polished especially since it was namco.

        • Shippoyasha

          It’s still easy to understand the game and enjoy it despite the translation issues. I do agree they need to work on it though.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      No penetrations for you then.

    • Pyrofrost

      If you really wanted to try it out, why are you passing on it?

      Genuine question, because it’s not like Zero came out and said the game was ass or something.

      I mean yeah, the title says death by localization, but you might still find the game good. I mean, look at Arc Rise Fantasia. That localization was shit, but the game itself was one of the best JRPGs of the 7th gen.

  • DesmaX

    “Did I blush?”
    “Indeed”

    Master of romance

    • Crimrui

      Yeah, if only it was that easy IRL. XD

    • Guest

      Indeed.

  • AlphaSixNine

    One point though… aside from the games Affection system, there are events for each heroine which is pretty much the VN part of the game. This is separate from the affection system since they don’t really affect each other. Getting all the events for each heroine give you the chance to choose her ending later on at the end.

    I was really disappointed they didn’t take the time to professionally fix the translation from the Asia release. I was so ready to give up my 150+ hrs of gameplay from the Asia release and double-dip for a good, professional localization but alas BamCo messed this one up.

    The game is really good and I loved it despite the horrible translation from the Asia release. It took a bit of time to just ignore the bad translation, but once I got used to fixing it up with my head I was enjoying the game thoroughly.

  • criperro

    I have it and I love it! It is a very LONG game, just to mention there is a trophy for ending the game after 100 hours of gameplay.

    It is true the translation is bad but as a fan of the series I’m enjoying the game a lot and looks like the fans reacted a bought this game, just look at August Top Sellers on PSN: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/09/08/playstation-store-augusts-top-sellers/

    Hope Namco brings more games like these and with physical versions and also with a nice translation.

  • Joshua David Taylor

    I gotta say I actually Love this game, Im not that big of a sword art fan, but it does a wonderful Job portraying a story driven MMO. The transkations are bad, yeah, but it just takes getting used to, plus they’re a good laugh evey here and there. But the game does have an overwhelming amount of work to do, making sure your entire friend list is well-leveled and equipped, gathering info on the floor boss which sometimes requires certain side quests and even helping random NPCs level up to make sure your army is strong enough to fight said boss. All in all it is a lot of work, but its fun doing that work. It makes for a very expanded universe.

    • xavier axol

      it would be great if you have any tips to share, i would be more than grateful.

      • Joshua David Taylor

        Do literally all of the side quests, and whenever you see someone in a field with an “!” above their heads, try and talk to them that means they need help with something, make sure you take care of EVERY NPC so you have an easy or at least easier time with bosses. And dont spam skills make sure you save enough SP until your partner says things like “Let’s use sword skills together.” It will do a lot more damage that way.

        • xavier axol

          ok, also let’s say I’m in the beginning of the game ( ten hours in, but still not fought the first boss) and I’m concentrating on getting all the heroines costumes, which so far i have been unsuccessful (i haven’t unlocked not even one). I’m using asuna and giving her commands, at the same time I’m complementing her. when she does say such commands and she’s on level 5 now, but i don’t see any costume. what am i doing wrong?

  • Daniel Rossevelt

    I played Infinity moment and at the time I knew nothing about Japanese, it was crazy difficult, so playing this engrish game was a cake walk in comparison. Oh and also don’t let the bad translation stop you from enjoying this game it is still a fun game. Lastly to anyone who still hasn’t watched the anime just remember stop at episode 14, god knows I wish I did.

    • I’m not really interested in the anime but, If I play the game, It would be before watching the anime, And someone else already told me to stop(Or rather it isn’t as good) at 15 or 14 if I’m going to watch it

  • xavier axol

    does any body know where I can go to look for a walk through gameplay of the game? of all the sites and blogs, none has a complete walk through or tips & hits. I’m having such a great time with the game, but at times I get lost on quest and I also want to unlocked all the heroines costumes. so far I have been unsuccessful and I have try almost everything possible, from giving them specific commands and complimenting them. I’m thinking holding on from playing and just wait for the big patch to fix a couple of thing, I find wrong with the game. but the gameplay is so addictive :)

  • Scarlet_Devil_Slave

    Is the translation the same as the english asia version? If not, is it better or worse. I wonder this because i am interested in purchasing the physical version of the game instead of going digital if both versions are similar or identical.

    • Ninezero

      From what I see here it’s the same except for some minor changes in some scenes.

      • Firekitty

        I can see why…

  • Ninezero

    So the game’s translation is the one from the chinese edition if i’m not mistaken? well, that didn’t stop me to enjoy the game although I’d appreciate if they can correct that for future localizations, i’m not that picky but some people are.

  • Still a worth it purchase, pretty fun from the time i’ve put into it. Need to convince Namco Bandai to keep supporting the Vita anyway.

  • Solid Knight #SouledOut

    Damage control lol

  • Somebodyissilent

    Just wanna point out that this game is subbed not dubbed for anyone thinking this was a bad dub. It was not.

    • Eric Xin

      I wish it was actually dubbed. Making the voice actors/actresses speak those lines would be worthy of the games itself :D

      • Somebodyissilent

        So do I. At least then most of the smaller problems would be fixed by people who speak English.

  • KyoyaHibari

    Haha, as a SAO hater I’m satisfied. ;)

    • British_Otaku

      Wow… There are a number of works I’m not too fond but at least I hope the game improve on the concept or have decent translations.

      I haven’t seen more than two episodes of SAO (got busy while it was airing, didn’t find time for it later) but nothing can be that bad.

  • Anontastic

    The whole translation just brings the enjoyment of the game way down.

    …Eh, I guess that should kinda be expected, sadly. Think of it from their perspective: The vast majority of people who will ever buy this are already big fans of SAO, in which case, they really don’t have to do a good job. The profit increase they would be looking at for doing so would be minor, at best.

    • British_Otaku

      Nah, doing a poor translation can bite them pretty easily. It will mean that there are tons of people who say that the translation sucks or it doesn’t make any sense.

      While, they won’t gain too much from a passable translation, you are simply disappointing those few who didn’t import your game and claim that they regret the purchase not because of the mechanics, but they can’t find joy in the menus, dialogue and navigation (I would have fun with the dialogue, but that’s because I’m mostly indifferent to the series).

      Out of the whole library of Dragon Ball games I’ve played, only one of them (Supersonic Warriors 2) could be said to have a translation this poor, even as an action game it damaged my interest in the tale and battles and my ability to perceive mission objectives (if I would probably have more luck reading Japanese ones at this point). Bamco can and usually do better.

      • Anontastic

        there are tons of people who say that the translation sucks or it doesn’t make any sense.

        In the eyes of Bamco “tons of people” doesn’t even describe this game’s target audience, let alone the realistic potential consumer-base.

        In more harsh terms, my point was that as far as Bamco cares enough to throw thousands of dollars at it, the overwhelming majority of people who are going to buy this game in the west will do so, regardless of what anyone else says. Often before reviews like this even surface.

        • British_Otaku

          Unfortunately yes, a good number of people already bought it before they had a chance to be warned about the poor translation.

          It is damaging their reputation, drawing attention to other poor translations they have done which may affect second week sales for this game at best and how other digital only games do at worst. They should avoid people waiting on a purchase as much as possible through consistent reliable releases.

          The anime DVD/Bluray industry has had occasional releases which were missing features stated on the box, not working at all and so on. They are reported as faulty sometimes days in advance or after it comes out. Each time builds up bitterness towards that company, makes people at the least more patient when it comes down to other releases in that series (the same staff will handle it presumably) and so on.

          Despite SAO getting away with it, other games will have more trouble even on the first week.

  • pokeslob

    I purchased the vietnamese version of the game, with the infamous translation errors. I was unaware that the US/EU version used this same translation?

    • Ric Vazquez

      Wait, WHAT?!

      • pokeslob

        yeah, all the screen shots you’re seeing came from the Vietnamese version released a few months ago. except we got a physical box with ours :)

        • darke

          The NA/EU version apparently has another editing/cleaning up pass, but… err… it didn’t help much.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    The criticism I’ve read about the translation takes me back to the awful localization of the first three Legend of Heroes games. Man, how can they suck so much with as many resources as they have~?

    • rekka_zan

      Apparently, in the localization business there’s a jargon called “Gagharved”, meaning “translated so bad it’s hilarious” just like LoH the Gagharv Trilogy.

      Looks like we can say that SAO:HF, indeed, has been Gagharved :))

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        I wonder if the poor localization is why they even messed the games’ order~.

    • Eric Xin

      Huh? Trail in the sky wasn’t bad at all?

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        Reading comprehension, please. It’s not illegal yet. I said “the first three Legend of Heroes games”. Trails in the Sky is the fourth installment of the LoS franchise to make it to the West and the first to be localized by XSEED. I stand by my statement~.

        • Eric Xin

          Or, maybe not everyone follow the histories of every gaming franchise and know about every title off the top of their head.

          Be more snide, will ya?

  • CirnoTheStrongest

    “Oh, and that people really weren’t exaggerating when they said the second half wasn’t as good as the first half.”
    Personally….the Second Half was significantly better than the first for me.
    Season 2 has been a total wash,

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    The hell kind of shit is this? This is 2014 how are you going half ass translate a game on a console/handheld. That’s the kind of shit you get form doujin games translated by the creators(Bless their hearts)

    • Mr_SP

      Considering how early an English-translated version popped up in Asia… Is that not what happened? Did Japan try to translate a game using local people and failed?

  • Tyler Beale

    BN: How can we get this out in the West without spending money…hmm…..I GOT IT! We’ll just use the text that was already translated for other Asian markets. And we’ll also force players to use the Japanese/Nintendo button format to truly fuck with their minds!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    ….Yet they released that one other game that same day, and they actually worked on it…

    • I actually prefer the JP/Nintendo layout more over the Sony/Xbox/US one
      And what other game?

      • Tyler Beale

        Tales of Xillia 2.

    • darke

      I didn’t realise it has the button layout swapped; it just felt more natural then the usual one. >.>;;

  • Rayhan PromisedGallery

    Gary Stu Online has always been terrible from the very beginning

  • rekka_zan

    > inb4 I hope the comment section won’t become a SAO bashing thread.

    I know that many people don’t like SAO, but seeing how eager they are to point it out in every SAO topic is tiring.

    • darke

      You know, the first comments I read that were bashing SAO itself, rather then the game being bad, are in response to you hoping no-one would bash it.

      It sounds more like people hate it more when people randomly interject that they “hope it doesn’t become a bashing thread”.

      • rekka_zan

        ? Which comments are responding to my comment? I wrote that comment because people were already starting to bash it before. Though what you said about people hate it more could be true.

  • dragoon_slayer12

    I love the show, but the game is horrible for me. The combat is good, but they threw you in the middle of a game expecting you to know how to play. It’s literally like asking someone to Kill the final boss in a game they’ve never played before, and whatever they thought was a tutorial does nothing but confuse you more. The combat is good, but with no way of knowing what to do or to do it right, it’s just super frustrating. As someone who need locks on in any game I play, differentiating regular monsters to mid bosses is a joke. It’s literally a pallet swap with a major increase in stats. Having gained 3 levels to die by a mid boss to lose everything is very frustrating, especially when done over and over again.

    As for the translation, I could (and did) forgive the lack of tutorial for combat, but that translation is so horrible, I wish I bought the game physically so I could return it. It is literally the only game I regret buying for the vita. I think Unit 13 was a waste of my money, but I got 20+ hours of enjoyment out of that before I layed it to rest. I read a lot of comments/blogs praising this game, but I couldn’t, playing felt like a chore, and no game should ever feel like that

    • pokeslob

      I really like this game, I still play while I’m at the University (I have a lot of time between classes) but I will say, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND that feeling of just being thrown in. I don’t understand why you start at such a high level… like I was expecting a power drain or something to happen, where they start you strong and then weaken you after the first boss (Like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)

  • Ric Vazquez

    The game is not bad at all, but the barrage of grammar errors really make it a lot less enjoyable.

  • epy

    I was so disappointed by this. A bad translation GRATES on me. I would have totally picked this up and I’m not even a big SAO fan. Bad move Bamco. Now I have to wait a good ten years for a fan retranslation, and that is only if SAO stays relevant.

  • Tincho Kudos

    Honestly I’m not really interested in SAO, but this game do picked my curiosity. It feels like the hack game I’m so in love, so I might give it a try. Not a full price tough

  • Learii

    anyone know how much this game sold so far?

    • Mike X

      Alas, it was top seller in august. The problem is Bandai did a good translation for the prologue where you meet the new girl. However, once you beat the prologue (A weakened spinal reaper), then everything went to shit.

      Best part? You automatically receive a trophy after killing to Spinal reaper, so no more refund! :D

      Confirmed with Sony :(

      • Learii

        how is went shit? I mean what wrong with the game

        • Mike X

          Basically the translation went to hell.

          For example, the basic attack is called “Burst.” But the in game menu call it “Barst”

          All the girls seem to have a fascination with “penetration” (I think they really meant was “clear the dungeon”)

          Emails are gibberish.

          Transliteration. For example, Nymph became “Plant woman”

          Etc, etc.

          • Learii

            oh I see

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    “Before I took on this assignment I knew nothing about Sword Art Online. To prepare for the review I ‘made myself’ sit through all 25 episodes of the first season.”

    This right here doesn’t bode well with me as we already know that this takes place during the anime (at a crucial point to branch off) so you would have to have an appreciation for the series in the first place to want to play it. Not just simply make yourself sit through it.

    As for bad translations with poor grammar, that’s no excuse, though.

    • Zero_Destiny

      Made myself because of my oath of professionalism! *pats self cynically on the back* ^^;;

      But lol, in all seriousness, that was all I meant by it. I knew I always wanted the same out of the reviewers who would review this kind of licensed stuff back when I was younger.

      Since it came my way, I made sure to be as fair as I could, and sat through the whole show, and spent nights reading stuff off of the SAO wiki, and talking to some fans of SAO on Twitter. ^^;; Nobody made me, I could of just ignored all that footwork if I wanted to, and plopped out a play test as is. But I made myself because I know I always wanted the same back in the day too. (•ˇ‿ˇ•)

      It wasn’t really meant as a crack at the quality of the show. I’m just lazy and usually don’t watch much anime nowadays. lol

  • Nonscpo

    Wow so it was that bad, glad I held off on buying it then. The digital only was a bad enough pill to swallow but bad sub/dub yup this one became a skip.

  • harmonyworld

    The game was bad from the point of letting you only be Kirito and not letting you truly make your own character.

    • Mozendo

      This isn’t anything new with licensed games.

    • I’d be fine without letting the make your own character think(I honestly don’t care about character creations), I’d rather have the ability to play as the other characters

    • Xiil

      Yeah, It would have been great if they made you out to be an original character that took the role of someone helping out Kirito. Like you just happened to be his partner in fights.

  • Raw

    The bad localization of this game brings me nightmares about my time with Atelier Escha… I hope these recent bad localizations are only a transitional step.

  • Xiil

    The level cap increase update does fix some of the translations. specifically the “barst” one atleast.

  • Muckamuck

    It appears that quality checking was to not be involved with the penetrations.

  • Bandai, recently, has released a bunch of games with horrible translations.

    There was Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn where in one particular mission, you’re supposed to protect the Archangel, the main SEED battleship. The text mid-battle was supposed to read PROTECT the Archangel, it ended up being shoot down the Archangel.

    From what I’ve heard of SAO, it’s much worse.

    Kind of makes me scared for Tales of Hearts R, given the snips we’ve seen of it where they get the arte names wrong, where they alter Hisui’s personality a fair bit and just in general, the flow of the dialog.

    I’ll be on the pessimistic side of Bandai Namco digital releases from now on.

    • I hope d3 will handle the locLization of ge2 burst, luke they did for the first game.

    • British_Otaku

      Add Ranko’s Longest Day to your Bandai Namco digital release localisation failures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtmKytL_jgE&t=4m25s

      Subtitles which can’t be turned off at any point, subtitles during visual novel like parts stack onto the original Japanese assets unnaturally and screwed up subtitle timing in ways that bad fansubs wouldn’t.

      All of the games we are discussing are games that I’m glad to see localised, well you will have to look very hard to find something I will mind having localised… It is a shame that they can’t just give us a competent release like other games in their library or other publishers.

  • James Reilly

    Yeah localization during cutscenes got bad at times (Still noticeably better then the asian version), but I didn’t let the “plot” ruin my gameplay experience since I’m about 70+ hours in. My criticisms though…

    – Graphics look awkward on a Vita, but it’s an upgraded PSP game so I’ll just wait for the confirmed sequel to fix that issue. Not a turnoff at all if you enjoyed P4G despite the PS2 era graphics.

    – Romancing your female characters was terribly implement. Could have used more imagination in that part by using character specific side quests with branch dialogue choices to raise the romance level instead of mashing a button for like 10 min.

    – Why no Agil partner when we are getting a character like Argo (yes another dagger character) as a partner in the update? Don’t say because he has to watch the shop because that is BS since you can bring Liz with you who owns her smith shop. An Axe party character that isn’t a generic NPC would have been nice.

    – Hollow Area can be frustrating at times to navigate for quests, but the update helps to an extent.

    – Musical score is surprisingly mediocre/generic when the anime music was often praised for. Although at least the first SAO anime opening (Crossing Fields) plays shortly after arriving to the 76th floor town so at least that was a pleasant surprise.

    Positives though

    + Good bang for your buck type of game with the amount of content at your disposal. Even if you ignore the side quests/skip story it will take awhile to clear Aincrad and deal with the Hollow Fragment stuff. I’m 70 hours in and I’m not done yet and I been keeping at a steady pace rarely ever just grinding. This is without counting the free dlc stuff and the giant patch.

    + Combat is surprisingly deep with the implemented Burst system/ Partner synergy/varied weapons & equipment/ and the amount of skills at your disposal.

    + Really well done simulation of an MMO type game you can tell that much already from the menus and skill level system.

    + The CG cutscenes that sometimes happen look beautiful which makes me wish that the whole game looked like that.

    Game is a 7.5/10 unless you are an SAO fan or want a game that you can kill many hours with you might as well wait for the sale since it’s digital only.

    • Mr_SP

      Well, Argo IS a girl. Do you get any male party members? My impression was no: all of them are girls and have the romance minigames. …Which would be funny to have Agil involved in that, but perhaps a little non-canon.

      • Xiil

        male party members… theres Klein and Kibau.. then theres every male caracter in town

        • Mr_SP

          Okay, then I have NO idea.

  • k.b.a.

    Before I read this article LOG HORIZON

  • هاكو ممممممممم

    now im really confused whether to buy this game or not to…………..

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    i hate SAO but i want to buy this game only because of the bad localization
    LFMAO

    • darke

      I’m actually surprised at how little of the bad English I noticed. Guess I must have understood enough of the Japanese VA in those scenes that I didn’t really need to reference the English dialogue much. >.>;;

      • Stranger On The Road

        English isn’t my first language, so I find it easier -than many others- to read EngRish and understand it :-)

        Although, something like the sentence in the image included in the article will require me to read it twice or more to ‘get it’. And that is only if I already know the context it’s appearing in.

      • Ni ~Algidus~

        the same happens to me. if the original audio is there i just keep playing the game since i can understand japanese. but if the audio is absent I tend to laugh alot and ask “wth is this sentence supposed to mean?”.
        anyway I love engrish and duwang translations since they’re funny to me

      • BrokenSkullZero

        I have a habit of speed reading during dialogue sections, so i also do not notice much issues there. my mind tend to autocorrect the lines I just read.

        The dialogue in gameplay or the quick text bubbles is glaringly noticeable to me..

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      We must do everything to ensure an easier penetration., Asuna.

  • While all the criticisms of the localization are legit, I have to be honest and say I’ll gladly take broken translations of licensed anime games if that’s the only way to get them in English. I just want playable English builds so I can get a gist of the what’s going on and to understand how to play the game.

    • Kumiko Akimoto

      I’m not that desperate to settle.A bad dub, is something I can handle. Bad censorship is something I can handle. But when they fuck up the one thing I can out on I feel miffed.

      • The exact opposite. I play games for the gameplay, so as long as the translation manages to explain how to play and allows me to progress smoothly I’m good. Fuck censorship in any form. That’s something I’ll never support.

    • RagingTiger44

      I won’t. I can’t fully enjoy a story if it’s poorly written. Of all the game genres I play, I expect my RPG’s to have their stories and dialog on point. I’ve seen some screens of this game and quite frankly, it’s disappointing. I wonder if they figured SAO fans would eat this game up? If that was the case, I can see why they wouldn’t even try to make a better localization.

      • That’s kind of ironic since most stories in video games are poorly written, especially RPGs. Fun gameplay, a world worth exploring, great music and pretty art are all more important to me. As long as I can play the game, which this shitty localization will allow me to do, I can live with it. I’m not saying it’s immune from criticism and they should be getting shit for it, but a bad localization isn’t going to stop me from enjoying it. Hell, the this localization is the only reason I have the opportunity to play it.

        • DividedSeraph

          Well you’re in luck. if everyone thinks like you, we’ll never have to deal with good localizations ever again!

          • British_Otaku

            Eventually FUNimation pumped out decent versions of Dragon Ball Z after dozens of voice overs, TV airings, VHS, DVD and Bluray sets with varying cuts and errors.

            I don’t mean to compliment the companies making terrible releases to begin with and the people who ate it up, but someday a good SAO localisation could come thanks to people being vocal about the changes they want but others (or the same people) buying related or similar games.

        • RagingTiger44

          Whether a game’s story is good or bad is purely subjective. However, what I’m talking about is how it is written. How am I suppose to judge how good or bad a story in a game is if it’s looks like it was written by preschooler?

    • Eric Xin

      The thing is, I already have like 200 games on Steam. A dedicated MMO (Guild Wars 2), my PSVITA with 32 gig full of high quality games.

      I am not “glad” for anything. If you want my eyeballs on your game than the other 1999+, then you better deliver a quality product.

      Bandai failed. And I shall remember them for future release. Knowing Tales of Heart R is one of their work deserve a major X on the purchase slot.

  • NTaiyokun

    Bandai Namco’s gone on something of a “Quantity over quality” thing lately, haven’t they?

  • JuVu

    I fear that these same people are responsible for translating Tales of Hearts R, as well. We should all be extremely worried about that particular game, too.

    • Yuki97

      OH SHIT REALLY? THEY BETTER NOT RUIN MY THIRD FAVORITE TALES OF GAME FUCK!

    • Romored

      It’s surely not. The translation of SAO:HF was made by some random South East Asian translators who don’t talk English really well. In the American version they used the same translation without checking it. I know that the European version has a slightly better translation: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=124215812&postcount=1327

      • JuVu

        I really hope it’s not. Still, the translastion that has been shown so far in the three English gameplay videos has been pretty horrible. I don’t know how so inconsistent translating compared to the spoken dialogue happened. Not even counting the KOR METEOR thing.

        • Romored

          That’s not “inconsistency”, it’s “adaptation”. The localization in Hearts R is not “badly written” as in the SAO:HF case, but I guess it was made with dub in mind (probably before it was decided to make Hearts R JP audio only). This allows the translators to have more freedom in writing the sentences by maintaining the original meaning while adding some “flavour” that makes the script more original (even though I think they sometimes exaggerated a little, too).
          SAO:HF is simply badly translated, which is different.

  • Monterossa

    Hollow Fragment sells like hotcakes in the PSN and they’re too scared to make it physical.

    • AlphaSixNine

      I’m hoping this gives them more confidence to localize more games like this. And do f*cking better with translation next time.

      • natchu96

        Come on, Bamco, give us Digimon or something T_T

        THAT has even more episodes of anime behind it, it deserves that much. You’re even giving us Tales games out of the blue >_<

  • I bought the English Hong Kong version as I wanted a physical release.

    Though I felt personally the game fell a bit short but that may be because I had too much hype and high expectations of it.

    I’ve kinda shelved it for now till I’ve done with Dangan Ronpa 2, Bullet girls, Disgaea 4 and then Senran Kagura Shiovi Versus, Then I think I’ll go back to it

  • S- Class Wizard KaRamo

    I have a great plan, ……….
    (Me) Bandai
    (BN) Yes
    (Me) Translate this game
    (BN) OK
    (Me) Make it good
    (BN) No
    (Me) FUCK! well there goes that plan

    (Me) Wait i have another idea buy the game anyway…………. Genius

  • Xорошо 不死鳥 Zikk

    Indeed, the game is great and all but the translation really took all the fun out of everything.

    But I am surprised, assuming that you are playing the western release. Wasn’t there supposed to be a whole new translation? This looks almost the exact same as the Asian release I got. And from what I read in the comments below… only touch-ups? :X

    Goodness Bamco. If GE2:RB you promised to us here in Asia is gonna be the same Imma toss bricks.

  • aizen310

    People are bashing the translation, and I’m just sitting here, thinking that even a somewhat bad translation is better than nothing. I don’t speak japanese, I can understand some stuff, but it’s neglectable, so really… if anything, I’m just grateful this game is localized. As long as I know what the heck is going on, I’m okay.

    • Zeik56

      If it was just a half-assed fan translation you might have a point, but this an official localization by Bandai Namco that they expect you to pay full price for. You should expect more.

      • aizen310

        I should expect more, you are right. I’m just happy that this game reached the US shores, at all.

      • natchu96

        On one hand it really is legitimately half assed and we should expect a better job from Bamco.

        On the other hand it is somewhat of a miracle they’re actually localizing any of the stuff they are localizing this year. I believe they even said they were not going to give us Tales of Hearts R at all, and that actually wound up happening O_O

        Hey, I know laziness when I see it but with the low chances of even getting anything I take what I can get.

  • Naryl

    not going to lie.. the translation is awful. On the other hand everything else is pretty well done, also I appreciated a game that doesn’t give me tutorials for everything.

    For those who don’t read guides and want to play the game: it has 2 plots, the main game one where you have to climb floors and the Hollow Area. The hollow area is an open world that you can explore free, new areas unlock as you advance in the events. If you finish the hollow area plot BEFORE the main game you get something reaaaally nice so I would do that :p.

    In the hollow area there’s also something called implements, they are quests you have to do in the hollow missions (like FFXIV FATE battles), but they unlock powerful bonus to your character to use both in the hollow area and in the main game dungeon. You can unlock new sword skills, equipment, bonus to skills and my favourite: the OSS system (Original Sword Skill), basically you can chain many sword skills, if you complete all the implements for the OSS you can chain as many sword skills as you like and get a reduction on the SP cost of each one.

  • If you guys had played the Asia English version, you would not be complaining anywhere near as much about the translation. THAT translation was bad. Compared to that, the US translation is pretty decent.

    The game is a good game, especially for those into the anime.

    • British_Otaku

      Still an abysmal translation from a release intended for an audience with English as their first language… I’ve gone through a lot of games, very few have any notable typos (Ace Attorney fortunately has the most rememberable one for a bad ending), let alone make it hard to follow basic stuff just from their writing alone.

      • Giordan

        It’s a damn video game, who cares? Did you care with FFVII?

        • British_Otaku

          Haven’t played a single Final Fantasy, but guessing how I would like it now. Yes, I would rather not have typos in mission descriptions, emotional scenes, menus and such.

          Thanks.

          • Giordan

            Then you’ll hate FFVII.

          • British_Otaku

            I’ll probably wait till there is a good/better translation instead at this rate. If I’ll get a poorly translated RPG, it’ll be on a platform that I use frequently (Arc Rise Fantasia on the Wii)…

            Or I’ll get the Japanese version…

          • Anime10121

            FFVII’s translation isnt anything CLOSE to as bad as this game’s, I dont even know why this guy/girl is even trying to infer it is :/

            It may not be a perfect word for word translation of the Japanese version, but it is not a grammatical mess of a game like this seems to be.

          • British_Otaku

            Glad to hear it, I assumed that was the case since I’ve only heard of two RPGs ever with notable poor translation work with a numerous of others taking creative choices which are debatable.

            I would have heard of the “most overrated RPG ever” having a problem over a decade ago if it was the case.

    • Maria Garcia

      What are you talking about?.Both versions use the same translations.They just tweaked it a bit

      • You can tell the Asia version was used as the base but there’s a huge amount of dialogue in the game that is worded and formed tons better than in the Asia release. I own both versions and there’s a world of difference.

  • ishyg

    “typos like “Barst” instead of “Burst”.”

    I suddenly remember my good senpai.

    “First column has meaning are “ parson in charge at one’s company”.” – actual question he asked me. Actually, it’s great that he can at least construct meaningful English. I hardly knew any Nihongo so he must’ve had a bad time explaining me s*** about work.

    Can dialogue scripts be patched?

    • natchu96

      Actually the big content patch goes and fixes the “Barst typo”, amongst other minor script corrections. It did in the Asian English version anyway, can’t imagine they’d overlook that one when NA gets the patch.

      Still totally Engrish of course, but it’s not like it was unreadable in the first place.

      • ishyg

        I’m kind of used to Engrish anyways, as a gaijin with no respectable Nihongo skills. I’m quite grateful though, since I’m lucky enough to be hired with zero Nihongo skills.

        So I’ll get this game, but I’ll do Akiba’s Trip first. Man, these games being spoiled a bit with the technical issues.

  • Prosciutto93

    You’d think they would have had a bigger budget for the translations, I’ve seen Japanese games with no franchise to back them up with better translations.

    • bigstew

      their falling more in line with the business attitude that most Japanese companies take when dealing with the west in that they will take are shit and like it attitude, same with fixng and patching games, they only really care about the motherland and if they make enough of them happy and enough money, then the west is just table scraps

      • ~Mornstar

        Except for that attitude is actually changing as the Japanese see the need to have a presence in the Western Market. Being only in the Japanese market will make them noncompetitive on a world wide scale. I mean take a look at Baba and how he is now handling the Tales franchise, he wants all of his games to come to Western territory. We need more Babas in the Bamco I guess and in the whole Japanese gaming industry.

        Further, Bamco should be ashamed of themselves for this mediocre localization. This falls down to the particular studio who worked on this.

      • Giordan

        Just like any Japanese company.

  • stein11

    – still want to buy this game?
    – Indeed…

  • AndyError

    I’m happy we got the game localized, but couldn’t Bamco just hire some college English major intern as an editor at a low wage? Even that would make the translation worlds better. It seems like there was no editor whatsoever in this game.

  • ivanchu77

    meh, i survived the JRPG translations of the 90´s back then, so this is not really a deal breaker for me

    • Eric Xin

      I am sure you also earned more income and have more options now.

      Heck, old school Crono trigger wasn’t so bad :P

  • Nate

    I don’t care about bad translations. I’m just happy we are getting games like this. I want this game but at the same time I don’t. I don’t like the dating stuff. And the game is too long. I like to complete as many of my games as I can, and 72 hours is very intimidating. I might still get it though, I enjoyed the first season.

  • since I’m not an english native, I don’t mind about the errors at all.
    at least it’s proved that my english isn’t so bad like I thought xD

    since I’m waiting for the update, I’m still on the 76th floor with nearly 30 hours of gameplay and still leveling up the relationship of the girls for the trophies, and getting their other costumes.
    Strangely, don’t think I’m gonna be bored of it so soon!

    And for the people who want to know the series and don’t want to watch the anime, try to get the Light Novel.
    it’s already released in English, it’s cost like 13 bucks, the first volume covers the Aincrad arc so you’re not gonna be spoiled so much by the game and a lot of people says it’s way better than the anime… so it can be another option :D

    • So agree!
      After reading this just went order 3 Novels from SAO. :3

    • British_Otaku

      Can’t stand even occasional typos in games, so a game with this many of them will only prove to be a decent laugh if I buy it on sale and the worst possible translation (if it is bad, it may as well be godawful but funny).

      I’ll take your recommendation on the novels though.

  • Seink

    Had lots of fun with the battle system, but the story part was….. THANKS GOD THERE IS A SKIP BOTTOM!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Meh…..

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    I don’t get argument of not beign a english native speaker at all. I’m not a anative english speaker and bad translation tend to frustrate me alot (except in this case since it’s Duwang quality and Duwang Quality is awesome)

  • Yan Zhao

    This game really had an awful translation with a nearly useless tutorial. The game didnt tell me ANY of the features that arent even obvious. I didnt even comprehend the battle system until a few hours later.

    The game is fun but the localization is just godawful. But I guess I should be grateful this game even made it overseas. And now I know why, Namco put no effort in the localization, and probably didnt cost them that much to do so.

  • Daniel Dominguez

    this game is a solid 7 but for fans of the anime adaptation and novel its a 10. Sony and Nintendo (SE and other companies too) dont understand the power and relationship in other countries (outside the US) between anime-manga-games users/fan. This game by the second day it came out in western shores had 1000 reviews in the psn in my country and the general score was 5 stars. So there you go gaming companies, dont understamite jrpgs or anime based, stop doing FFXIII-return-2, battle royales or stupid stuff just to sell crap and go for the things gamers really want

  • Jeremy Lafferty

    I have been playing SAO HF for a while now, got over 100 hours logged at the moment. I will admit, that while the translation is bad, other than that the game is very solid. It has sucked me in with rather engaging gameplay and the awesome original character (Philia is adorable), and not let go yet.

    • Romancer Ecclesia

      I vouch for this. I’ve had over 120 hours clocked in myself. Reviewers see harem wars, but end game (or most of the time u’ll spend grinding towards) really is all about OSS and the road to >200 million damage.

  • Vallen

    waifu simulator deserved a good translation :( Oh well, back to my marathon of .hack

  • Dystopiq

    Deputh Impactu~

    • lozffvii

      You mean:
      Depussu Inpakuto~
      (*is someone who knows katakana*) :)

      • Dystopiq

        You are correct. My hepburn is terrible.

  • Nerroth

    For my part, I’m on the 92nd floor of Aincrad, and have finished the Hollow Area portion of the story.

    It may seem like a minor issue, but one aspect of the pending update I’m looking forward to is the inclusion of lines showing how the various Hollow Area locations connect to one another:

    http://sao-hf.bngames.net/images/dlc/img_update_13.jpg

    Assuming this is part of the update we’re getting, it would make life much easier in terms of navigating that side of the campaign – or at least it should do for players who get into the game on or after the 23rd in North America (or the 24th in Europe).

    As for the game itself, I’ve found it enjoyable enough so far, though I do find the relationship aspect to be somewhat unfortunate.

    If they wanted to open the other girls up to romance, they should have either had Kirito start off at a lower floor of Aincrad, before he forged a relationship with Asuna, or allowed the option of playing as a whole new character instead.

    One thing I’d like to see in the supposedly-greenlit sequel is a split between a “main story” (featuring Kirito) which would serve as the “Asuna route” by default, and a series of “side stories” (featuring other canon characters and/or one or more new alternate protagonists) which could each highlight a given heroine’s further development.

    I should probably not hold my breath in that regard, however.

  • Kornelious

    Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment may just be one of my FAVORITE Vita games despite it’s flaws

    I am already a big SAO fan so I can appreciate the game’s setting and characters. The combat is really fun, and while it can be a bit repetitive after a while it is still fun! When you think about the combat in MMO’s or similar wannabe MMO’s that limit you to auto-attack, it ca get very dull very fast….But adding the Burst attacks and dashing add a more fun and action-like feel that makes the game less repetitive!

    The romancing is pretty cool, Though already being married to Asuna kinda limits things (Though I haven’t gotten too far so I’m not sure how far it goes) And I can’t help but feel the the chat game is more of a “Male pretending to listen to Female Simulator” giving you just the few generic responses and lines the female say don’t seem to connect so it makes you feel like you are only half listening :P (Unless that is the translations fault)

    The translation……Is no doubt my biggest gripe with the game (That and the auto-saves) You can tell that NB really just wanted to get this game out because the fans wanted it, seeing it being digital-only, being subbed only which sucks because I really liked Bryce as Kirito (Though NB don’t seem to be dubbing a lot of games lately -_-) and it didn’t have any “Cleaning” done to the translation like they said they would…..But I digress, I can understand what they are SUPPOSED to be saying so it gets the job done.

    I really look forward to the update coming in September (And My Vita TV so I can play it on the big screen!) And I’m not even half-way through! Hopefully they can fix the translation…..at least a LITTLE…..and then this game can truly Shine! :D

  • Game is awesome despite the ass-backwards translation.

    ALready 30+ hours and barely ompleted 4 of the ‘remaining’ 24 floors + some hollow content here and there.

    Unlocking costumes is a bitch but if you know MMORPG’s; strangely addicting and yeah… time consuming XD.

    “off-line” MMORPG’s usually don’tdo it for me but this games ‘fakes’ the experience real well. Found a nice farming spot for some currency or COL or whatevery they call it in here, don’t really care since it’s probably not the correct translation anyway XD

    Anyway, this game is a definite 70% “enjoy” bar full, 75-80 for fans of the show. It hits in between for me since I’ve watched the show and while not perfect, I liked what I saw, and this game just continues the adventures in Aincrad well enough for me to bite and not let go.

  • Nerroth

    The North American v1.01 patch update is now available, clocking in at 646MB. According to the update log, it includes the following changes:

    Version 1.01

    Update Content

    – New BOSS added.
    – New maps (Garden/Snow Mountain/Volcano) are added.
    – Level maximum is raised to 250.
    – New Hollow Missions are added.
    – Implement Element Research difficulty is adjusted.
    – New Grand Quests are added.
    – New weapons are added.
    – Complete costumes of Philia and Strea are added.
    – Retrieving the gift given away last time
    – Regardless of weapons and non-stackable items, the storage limitation is raised to 99.
    – Chest number and items allowed are adjusted.
    – Heroine Quests are added, allowing you to participate in Hollow Missions with the heroines.
    – Argo is allowed to join the fight.
    – Concealed Area is extended to 125 floors.
    – Purchase of the DLC School Swimsuit (Navy) in store is allowed.
    – Items able to change on Option Screen are added.
    – Display content, operation, combat system, and partial weapon performance are adjusted.
    – Motion stability is improved.

    No confirmation of PSTV compatibility just yet, however.

    • Nerroth

      The GGO DLC pack is now available in North America, also:

      https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/#!/en-ca/games/addons/sword-art-online-hollow-fragment-ggo-pack/cid=UP0700-PCSE00465_00-B000000000000755

      I had a little more time to go over the post-patch version of the game, and I would definitely recommend anyone who has the game already, or who may be considering trying it out at some point, to install the patch as soon as possible.

      The Hollow Area map is easier to navigate, you can check what weapons and armour your partners are carrying, you have a whole new region of the Hollow Area to explore, and a range of other add-ons and tweaks to settle in with.

      Hard to argue against the price, too. (Well, so long as you have the memory card space available, which may be a factor in and of itself…)

      • Nerroth

        It might take a little longer for European players to get a hold of the update, however:

        • Nerroth

          Looks like it’s up there now:

  • Nerroth

    For what it’s worth at this point in time, Bamco Japan went back and put together a new trailer for the game, which seems to integrate the pre-patch and post-patch material:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TXYjlQyzSz8

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