If you’ve been anywhere near the world of anime in the past few years, you’ve probably at least heard of the virtual reality MMORPG anime, Sword Art Online. Following a protagonist who gets trapped in a VMMORPG (Virtual Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that kills the players in real life when their health hits zero.
SAO gained praise and attention from both anime and gaming fans alike when it blasted onto the scene in 2012. Originating from light novels and manga, then graduating to anime and movies, the imaginative world of SAO has spawned several video games.
The newest installment, SAO: Lost Song, coming to the US this November.
The Big Differences
Anime to Game
As fans of the show, and even the previous games, boot up Lost Song they will immediately notice something quite wrong with the story line. That’s because Lost Song follows an entirely new plot!
Drawing from aspects of both Aincrad and Alfheim, the game begins a new continuity arc with new characters and a brand new antagonist. Not to worry, though, fans will still feel lots of nostalgia as they progress through the story and mingle with the cast of lovable characters. Though they will notice many hallmark features changed or taken away for the new plot.
Fans of the previous games should be certifiably ecstatic about Lost Song, as it will feature an open world where players can fly, just like in Alfheim. There are plenty of boss battles that take place during the game, and players can team up with each other to take on bigger and tougher versions via multiplayer mode.
Along with featuring wings and the ability to fly through the open world, players can finally choose someone other than Kirito to take command of. According to the game’s official site, there are at least 8 other playable characters with more unlockable in game and through DLCs. Adding extra characters is a huge addition to the game, as it adds more fighting styles than just the hack-and-slash of Kirito. With the added characters, you now have a plethora of magic and ranged skills to choose from, as well as variations on the standard sword attacks.
The game will also deviate from its turn-based style of combat to a more action-oriented setting, resembling Kingdom Hearts instead of Final Fantasy. As you progress through the game, you take up to two other characters with you into the field, and your skills and attributes level up with repeated use. So, the more you beat deranged monsters into the ground, the stronger you become!
Why You Should Be Excited
SAO: Lost Song is a game for the fans, first and foremost. Though it deviates from the original story line of the anime in some crazy ways, it stays true to many of the characters and their interactions with each other. In fact, that seems to be the highlight of the game.
As players dive into each character and fulfill their quests, they bring more of the anime to life in rewarding relationships and scenes that feel straight from the show. The events and quests surrounding each character show more about their personalities and build upon them more than the show ever could. Along with heavily upgraded graphics, an impressive open world environment, and new gameplay mechanics, SAO: Lost Song looks to make up for any flack generated by its predecessors.