Role-playing games usually lead the main characters as far away from the starting town as possible. They explore distant regions and visit new villages while rarely looking back. That being said, it isn’t too uncommon for a game to have a home base or main area players come back to. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment isn’t too far from the latter structure with a central city the characters return to after each expedition. However, I’ve never seen a game bring forward the day-to-day aspects of living as much as Hollow Fragment.
From the 38 hours I’ve played of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, it seems like the definition of an average game. The battles are simple, the structure is repetitive, the zones lack compelling designs and excessive enemy placement can slow your progress to a crawl. Yet no single element of Hollow Fragment keeps it from being enjoyable. The one thing that might have stopped me from continuing is that every female character has magnetized breasts that latch onto to the protagonist in cutscenes. Still, outside of the lazy design and fan service, SAO has a unique taste because it’s essentially two games crammed into one.
I can’t help but wonder what thoughts run through your mind when presented with the promotional image for Blue Port J: Summer Sky Prelude, shown above. I’m preconditioned to be a bit suspicious of a Japanese games featuring young girls. It also doesn’t help that the developer, FoxEye, seems to have a sexual fascination with drowning.
No, please don’t leave! There’s a lot to Blue Port J outside of young girls in skimpy swimsuits.
A bit of a forewarning, I didn’t play any post game or online content for this game as an update error corrupted my game file.
A good chunk of the Vita’s Japanese library is made up of cooperative monster hunting games. Freedom Wars is yet another take on the formula popularized by Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. However, the game stands out thanks to its player movement, variety in mission structure and focus on story and characters.
Fast-paced movement in a side-scroller is something I’ve never felt comfortable with. Sonic the Hedgehog comes to mind as the game expects a level of precision at high speeds, which can only be obtained through memorization. For someone with the time and dedication to learn each stage, that’s fine. However, I often just want to go through a game and experience it once. So as exhilarating as speed can be, it often leads to frustration. I find it difficult to read and react to what’s coming up ahead when limited to a side-perspective.
Mega Man Legends is the series first foray into the 3D space. The title came out in a fascinating time as many developers were trying to get their bearings in a 3D world. Mega Man Legends fails in some areas, but also impresses with its ambitious design and variety of gameplay elements that go well beyond what the series’ past formula.
You can find the video after the jump.
Final Fantasy IX, the last Final Fantasy for me to sink my teeth into, for now. It’s the final release in Final Fantasy series on the original PlayStation, but encompasses everything the series had been to that point.
Unfortunately, while the game is available on PlayStation Network, it has yet to be updated to HD, leaving it definitely one of the most pixely 3D Final Fantasys.
Video after the jump.