Short version: If you're a fan of Sword Art Online...play Integral Factor instead...This game has stiff combat
like Integral Factor (or IF for short) but IF's combat is given a pass since it's an MMO. Graphics isn't too far
off either. This game screams unfinished and rushed for anniversary. If you have interest with this game, I suggest just keep logging in daily, get the launch rewards, after that wait for 1 year. By then, maaaybe the game will be finally smooth......I doubt it....Tales of Crestoria.....
Now, on to the Positives/Pros and Negatives/Cons.
+ Graphics is actually pretty good. Could be better, but it's good. Each characters are expressive, that is, their expression is very visible, even more expressive than Genshin. Still, King's Raid has better 3D Model and is more expressive as well. Ok let me make this short, in terms of Overall Character Models ranking: Honkai Impact > Kings Raid > Genshin >= Punishing Gray Raven > Tower of Fantasy > Other 3D Mobile Games (including SAO VS)
I'm open to discussions on that one (the model ranking)
+ Amazing 2D Arts, they never had any trouble with that
+ Infinite Reroll, chance to get multiple SSR
+ Excelent launch day celebration login rewards. So even if you don't plan to play it NOW, just keep logging in daily and pray the game will get better later
+/- There's a home character, can "interact" with you, can be changed. Budget home character. Far outclassed by Honkai Impact. Outclassed by Blue Archive (even if Blue Archive doesn't have 3D, only live2D).
+/- Fixed Camera. Can't rotate around. I'm still ok with this, the camera angle ... works ... I still tend to instinctively try to move around my viewpoint ....
+/- Story not as engaging as Integral Factor, or even the original SAO. What's the best SAO story? Why, SAO abridged by KARF (Kirito is Always Right Foundation of course ~ Followed by Integral Factor. I'm serious.
--- EXTREME LOW FPS. In combat, the game runs fine. But outside combat, the fps is just so low. It lags a lot.
Summoning takes 5-10 sec PER SUMMON SCREEN. So if you pull 10, that's around 30-60 sec PER SUMMON. Like why?? This is the first time I've encountered a terrible summoning session. Even the "skip" button takes 2-5 seconds to process...why?? And no, it's not that it's downloading resources for new characters/abilities. I got duplicates and it still take that long.
-- Loading, loading, loading. Too many loads. Somehow worse than Tales of Crestoria and Digimon Re Arise, famous as Loading Simulator.
- No Download All function. You know there's a prompt to download files upon starting the game for the first
time right? That's not all the files downloaded. The game downloads additional files when needed. And that happens frequently. Like Integral Factor. Be advised, play on Wi-Fi.
- Heats up the phone quickly. Genshin? Honkai? Tower of Fantasy? Epic Seven? Those games can heat up your phone, and makes sense, there's a lot going on there. This game? You VS 3 Goblins and no massive effects gives your phone high stress, burning it. Clearly not optimized yet
- Mediocore...actually, BAD launch summon. Not only was the summon/scout function not ready during launch, but once it's ready...it's just the standard scout with Kirito and Asuna having a higher drop rate? Like, really? No unique ones that's outside the standard scout (which will then be added to standard later)? No Alicization characters? Progressive? Integral Factor? ....why??
- Gets boring fast
So, to summarize, the game has an interesting concept. As with most Bandai Namco mobile game, the concept is there. It's the execution that's always the problem. If you like what you see and like what you played, and it runs smooth (who knows what kind of extreme high tech phone that can run this game smoothly) then good for you, have fun. BUT, if you like what you see and like what you played BUT runs poorly, then I strongly suggest just logging in
to get the launch rewards, then wait for 1 year. Again, it looks really clear this game wasn't meant to be released this year. It's name is SAO Variant Showdown, SAO VS. VS, Versus. It's clear they want it to be mainly for PVP. And it does look interesting. Think about it, a quick 3-5 minute action rpg combat, 1vs1 or 2vs2. It's a great concept. And I believe they can do it. Sadly, they look like they were rushed. The higher ups or advisors probably saw there's little to no major releases on November-December, so they pushed it. Will the decision work? I doubt it, but who am I to know?
I still strongly suggest Integral Factor over this at the moment. If you're wondering if whether SAO has any good game at all, yes they do. Memory Defrag was extremely amazing. Fun and engaging combat, super smooth experience, doesn't heat up the phone, co-op play, and more. Unleash Blading was fun back then, but it's closing. Integral Factor's main strength is the story, it's simply amazing and the presentation is amazing as well.
Ok, that's all from me, thanks for reading.