owsf2000: (Default)
No surprise, this weekend's game night was again SAO.

I've gotten use to the battle system enough at this point, although I'm still clumsy and slow to update my skill palette (basically the skills you set up for fast execution) I'm not entirely sure how to get skill points yet but I guess I can look into the tutorials again.

For the main world, I only advanced a little bit - going up to floor 78. I've found the boss so I can go after it any time I want but I decided to go leveling up characters by adventuring into the Hollow Fragment.

They like to pass off "Hey if you don't want to you can just ignore the hollow fragment. It's totally unrelated to the main story." but really if you want efficient leveling or equipment - you're going there. And that was the bulk of my exploration this week. I'd pick random characters to group with and then I'd head in there to level them up. Main character or not, if they'd group with me I'd bring them in to get their level up to about 90-95.

I noticed one of the main characters only had level 60 so I brought them in to the hollowed fragment. Keeping in mind my character is level 110, I quickly got them up to level 95 or so within a couple hours. During all that time I only got maybe 2 levels myself.

I believe I mentioned this game is also part "dating sim" in that you can build relationships with the other characters. I noticed this also extends to the side characters that aren't really intended to have any real effect on the story. Of course, they don't have anything special done up for them - admittedly it would have meant a hell of a lot of work to add anime animations for every (n)pc in the game outside of those who were main characters in the anime/manga, but still.

Note that the "dating sim" side of the game is fairly weak and bland. I'm assuming it has an effect on the final ending you receive like in other games where they try to do things like this but I won't know that until I get to the top of the tower I suppose.

Oh, I also had my first sword forged in the game this week. When I realized the extra components you could toss into the forging process for extra stat boosts weren't limited to just one at a time I essentially handed over every ingredient that qualified. :D

The resulting sword is stronger than anything I've found or enhanced myself so far and while I tossed a lot of ingredients in, it wasn't anything near the maximum possible. Going to have to raise some cash and resources to get another sword crafted this week I think since my character is primarily a dual-sword user.
owsf2000: (Default)
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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