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Release Date: November 8th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

Overview -

'Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization' is the third game based off the popular light novel and anime series 'Sword Art Online' to release in North America. Unlike its predecessor 'Lost Song,' which was an action game, 'Hollow Realization' plays more like 2015's 'Re: Hollow Fragment.' The role-playing game allows players to control series' protagonist Kirito as he explores a new virtual reality game called Sword Art: Origin.

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Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
November 8th, 2016

Video Review


The biggest area where 'Hollow Realization' improves upon previous 'Sword Art Online' titles is in the visual department. That's not to say that it looks fantastic, though, as 'Re: Hollow Fragment' is one of the ugliest games on the system due to it being a port of a PSP game. The latest offering looks much better as the fantasy world is filled with bright colors, interesting looking monsters, and better looking environments. Issues are still present, such as the game's janky camera that will often clip through mountains and leave the player staring at a blank screen (such as above), but at least 'Hollow Realization' looks like it was designed with a high definition console in mind.

Audio Review


'Hollow Realization' features an energetic soundtrack that makes battles feel more suspenseful, and complements the constant sound of strikes being landed during combat. That said, none of the music stayed in my head after the game was turned off and the battle theme isn't ingrained in my memory like it often is for standout RPGs. The only real disappointment is the lack of English voice-over, but the game does have the voice actors from the Japanese anime present. That means fans will hear familiar voices such as Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kirito, and it's well acted.

Final Thoughts

While 'Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization' is definitely a step up from its predecessors, it's still too rough around the edges to really appeal to anyone other than fans of the anime. It fails to take advantage of the unique premise, and an unpolished localization makes the game overly confusing in spots. Hopefully 'Sword Art Online' will get a great game adaptation, but that still hasn't happened yet.