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[personal profile] owsf2000
Yeah, I should stop mulling over what game I might play on gamenight. It'll save how many times I change it. Still not started on Utawarerumono - seems like I'll probably be waiting until I have both halves of the game before I start at this rate.

So this weekend I started on SAO: Hollow Fragment. From what I know of the manga continuity, this game breaks from it. It takes place in the upper levels of Aincrad that the players never actually go to in the manga. It also adds in a "Hollow Fragment" world that you can travel to. To completely burst continuity they basically teleport in a couple characters that are in later storylines after the life-or-death game in Aincrad. I'm assuming I'm typing that name correctly. Basically a 100 floor world and the players had to go to the top and beat the last boss to be able to log out. Dying in the game resulted in death in RL. (By the VR headgear players were using nuking their brain with intense microwaves.)

Anyway, yeah, it takes place in the upper layers. I'm only about to reach the second floor boss (floor 77) myself so I can't say too much about the storyline for the game.

The battle system seems a bit similar to the earlier .hack game series, although you're rarely locked into a room/bubble until you defeat an enemy. It also doesn't have 1st person view like the first .hack series did. Unfortunately. I use to enjoy running around in first person mode in the first series...

It took a while to grasp the battle system, and even now I know I'm not using it all that great. Only died once though. (Luckily no microwaving going on here. :P)

In addition to the main combat and relatively limited exploration (Areas have been pretty linear so far but again I'm at the beginning of the game.) there's a quest system where completing some quests unlock tips for fighting the floor boss and a relationship system with the other party members. You can help train them during combat to adjust their AI and apparently to learn new skills and carry on conversations while running around the hub town.

While I'm liking the game so far (I tend to like Sword Art Online overall anyhow) I'm glad I got this game on sale back in the golden week sale.

I'm likely going to keep playing this for a few weeks so I'll type up more later after I get a bit more use to the system and see more of the story. I've yet to go back to the hollow fragment realm for instance.
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