Show of hands, who’s ready to head back into Aincrad? Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is out today, so here’s hoping the answer is yes. This is an action RPG that lets people fight their way through Aincrad and a Hollow Area as Kirito and tons of other major and minor characters from the series. It’s also a chance for PS4 owners to see why people with Vitas were excited about the game.
I was one of those "early" players. I don’t want to brag, but I reached Aincrad’s 100th floor. Which means I’m ready to help you with a few tips to make your first encounters with Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment a little more pleasant.
Pay attention to every tutorial.
They go by quickly. You’ll regret it if you don’t read each one, because you can miss out on combat bonuses or falter when it comes to completing missions otherwise. Sure, the digital instruction manual is there to back you up, but it’s easiest to learn by doing. Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment won’t hold your hand, so savor the teaching moments.
Use your Sword Skills.
Want to be a better sword fighter? Use your sword. It’s the only way you’ll learn more skills to use in the game. Trust me, you’ll need those extra abilities later on. Some provide bonuses like area attacks and improved accuracy, in addition to increased damage output. You especially want to use weapon skills enough to get special attacks that will do something like offer a temporary boost to attack or cause the enemy to bleed, because that will help you stand strong against mobs. The one-handed sword’s Horizontal skill is great, since it’s incredible accurate and hits multiple enemies, and the scimitar’s Legion Destroyer is a great Ultimate Skill that makes whatever foe it hits bleed.
Dodging is important.
There are three different kinds of dodges. It’s fine to rely on the regular dash triggered by pressing X. It’ll help you avoid attacks and explore areas faster. But don’t forget to learn how to do sidesteps and backsteps by pressing X and one of the directional buttons at the same time. No sense running wildly around the battlefield. Step up your game. The bonuses are worth it. Backsteps will completely lower your risk, while increasing the Burst Gauge by one and boosting attack. Sidesteps will recover the Burst Gauge, while also lowering risk and raising your chances of landing a critical hit. Get into random battles against minor mooks in the field, so these moves will become second nature when facing scarier foes.
Running isn’t always the answer. Learn how to take an attack too. Time a parry right, and you’ll be rewarded three times over. SP will be recovered, you’ll block the attack and you’ll reflect damage back at your opponent. If you see the opponent about to attack, press triangle. I’d honestly recommend taking one hit first, so you can see what the attack pattern looks like for a particular foe. As with dodging, the best advice is to keep practicing against lesser foes.
Don’t forget Teleport Crystals.
Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is huge. It’s easy to get caught up exploring Aincrad or the Hollow Area. There’s nothing worse than being nearly wiped out and far from home. Stock up on Teleport Crystals so you can always instantly warp back to safety. The item shop carries them. If you pair up with Asuna, she’ll always have one and “refill” each time you work together.
Take your time.
You can miss some character-related CGs if you don’t explore, look for events, and spend time with characters. (Highlight for Spoiler.)
You can miss events with Strea.
Getting to enjoy extra moments with familiar faces is one of the reasons why you’re probably playing Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment and not Ragnarok Odyssey Ace or Toukiden: Kiwami. If things aren’t happening, send Kirito off to do things by himself. Some events won’t trigger if others are around.
Try for a Drop Rate+ Sword
This one is… okay. Listen. Most of you aren’t going to get this far in Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment. Getting a sword with an increased drop rate is tedious and difficult work. But, if you’re planning on 100% mastering the game, you’re going to need one. You want to go to the Corridor of the Oppressed in the Void Area. There’s a crystal behind a door near the entrance. If you give it 50 ores of any kind, you can fight a Phi Dragon that’s in the 180-level range. (You’ll probably want to be over level 150 before facing him, to be safe.) Win, and you might get a drop rate+ sword. You won’t definitely get the weapon from the fight, though, and if you do it might not even have a rate of over 25. I only recommend undertaking this personal challenge if you have a lot of free time, really plan on doing a lot of crafting, and don’t mind resetting and rebattling the same foe repeatedly.
I think you’re all ready to do this. Odds are, you’ll come up with your own little tips and tricks as you play. Please, come back and share them once you do!