ARE YOU A FAN OF THE Sword Art Online anime? I know that there are a lot of mixed reactions. For the most part, based on what I’ve read and watched from some anime reviewers, Sword Art Online is typically reviled, I guess?
I ENJOYED THE SHOW. I had a lot of fun with it. Aside from the ending and that crap fairy arc in Alfheim Online, I did like the Aincrad storyline. I’ve also only watched the first few episodes of Gun Gale Online, but so far it’s shaping up to be entertaining, too. That being said, I’ve always been interested in trying one of the video games.
WHEN WE FIRST picked up the PS4, one of the games we were excited to grab was Sword Art Online: Lost Song. It had a lot of promise. But, after playing the first hour or so, and dealing with the horrendous combat, I have to say that I was sorely disappointed. I hate that game. It sucks. Aside from the costumes, I could not stand the flow of combat, and Kirito’s run cycle was just f***ing bad. I regret ever buying it.
WHEN I SAW THE DEMO for Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet in the PSN store, I was skeptical at first. I mean, Lost Song was a freaking train wreck, so I wasn’t expecting too much from this demo. But I figured it was worth a try, you know?
What I Liked
CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION is pretty good. It was something that I wasn’t expecting to be a part of the game. I appreciate that you can make your own character! Lost Song had you taking on the role of Kirito, and I thought this game was going to follow the same formula. It’s a welcome inclusion, and I also like that you can change your character’s look anytime during the game (save for your gender and name)!
COMBAT IS FUN and engaging. So much better than Lost Song! Also, aside from the standard run and gun, the game gives you an Assist Mode, where anything within the square window on-screen is automatically locked-on and fired upon! It’s cheap, but I suck at shooting games in general, so this added feature makes the game more interesting, and fun, to me.
UPGRADING WEAPONS AND CHARACTERS gives you a lot of freedom. You can choose from various classes, like Destroyer which focuses on damage, Engineer which focuses on status effects, Support which is essentially healing, or Assault which focuses on blade-based damage. You’re given the freedom to build your created character in any way that you want, with a nice list of guns to choose from.
THE LENGTH OF THE DEMO is freaking perfect. Perfect, in the fact that it isn’t a specific, locked-off section of the game, or like those god awful “timed demos” that only allow you to play for a certain amount of time before you’re locked out and need to purchase the full game (I hate that crap). Fatal Bullet lets you experience the first maybe hour or so of the game, with all it’s perks and story elements, allowing you to invest your time and emotion into the game. And I need to say, I am very invested!
What I Disliked
THE BULLET SOUNDS EFFECTS are weak. From an auditory standpoint, I wish that the games used some girthy sound effects. Something with a bit more substance and impact? Some resonance.
THE MAP IS HARD TO READ. A lot of the landmasses, especially the boundary points in the land (where you aren’t supposed to travel) are really hazy and vague, so it’s easy to wander about, thinking you can go in one direction, only to be faced with a cliff wall that doesn’t show up on the map, at all. At least on the overworld areas. Also, you have to go into the main menu to see the full map, which is just ridiculous.
COMPANION AI IS A BIT SHALLOW and leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe it isn’t something that can be done in the demo (but is available in the full release of the game) but I wish that you could issue commands to each character, individually, instead of as a unit. As it stands, you can only tell the group to heal, gather around you, do what they want, among a few other commands, and it’s up to the A.I. to decide if they want to. Or not. There were moments where telling one character to heal, another to attack, and another character stay back and act as a decoy, would have been ideal!
I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED by the depth and quality that Fatal Bullet presented. The demo was a lot longer than I thought it would be. The ability to play through a nice portion of the main story allowed me to get invested and want more. I plan to pick up the full game, soon! And if you want a Sword Art Online game, Fatal Bullet is well worth the look! Even if you just try out the demo. Keep in mind it takes place inside the Gun Gale Online VRMMO, so it’s more guns and shooting… than swords and sorcery. So yeah, take that as you will.
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