One Controller Port Podcast: Episode 41 – Lots of Sword Art Online

This week I talk about Sword Art Online and some of the video games surrounding it, as well as the gap in English language Japanese news coverage of video games.

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Five Good and Bad Feelings About Games in 2017

I, alone, will likely never play enough games released in one year to do any sort of Game of the Year list. I’m spread pretty thin across a variety of generations. Nothing I have to say about 2017 is all encompassing.

However, I do have a mix of thoughts from throughout the year that might be nice to sort of bundle into a weird list thing.

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Love Ruins Everyday Life in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

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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.

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When Worlds Collide in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

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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.

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