Accel World vs Sword Art Online Deluxe Edition is the long-awaited crossover between two popular anime series. Although the two anime series have never officially crossed over before now, it has been generally accepted by fans of both series that they exist within the same universe, only separated by time. This game takes much of that speculation away and merges the two together at last. Accel World has had two video games in the past, but they never made it outside of Japan so I can’t compare this game to those. Sword Art Online, by contrast, has had multiple games released, and most of those have made it to Western audiences. If you, like me, only have experience with Sword Art Online games you’ll be happy to know that Accel World vs Sword Art Online draws heavily on systems put into place by previous Sword Art Online games.
The first thing to know about this game is that it is essentially a port of a PlayStation Vita game. Although there was a PlayStation 4 release for the title as well, all indicators suggest that the Vita version was the lead product, and both the PS4 and PC releases are just upscaled from that. As such the graphics in the game look severely dated and bland by modern standards, but that’s nothing new for this series. The upshot to this is that the game runs well on just about any PC you can get your hands on, even if your screen gets overloaded by enemies (which will happen frequently). This also, unfortunately, impacts the interface, which was clearly designed for a controller. Further the controller mapping to PC isn’t the most intuitive. This means that it can be cumbersome using your special skills in combat, and it makes things needlessly complex. On the other hand, simply mashing your quick attack will get you through most non-boss encounters without difficulty.
Accel World vs Sword Art Online has two popular anime series to draw from, and as such the roster in this game is pretty expansive. Players will have no problem fielding a team of their favorite characters, although Accel World fans will take a little longer to get there since the early game focuses heavily on the Sword Art Online half of the crossover. The roster is so large, in fact, that you will quickly end up with a large disparity between characters you are actively using and characters that you have benched. Since you can only have three players in a party at a time this compounds fast. That’s not a big deal if you only are attached to two or three characters across the roster, but I would bet that most people playing this game will be fans of one or both shows, and thus have more than three characters they want to use. All the characters do have a variety of ways they can be customized to suit a player’s style, so it is rarely a problem of not having characters to fit whatever roles are needed, which helps alleviate some of the problems.
The core gameplay of Accel World vs Sword Art Online follows a fairly straight-forward action-RPG style similar to the Dynasty Warrior games, with flying and aerial combat tossed in to mix things up. As I noted above most combat in the game can be handled just by button mashing, but options do exist for players who want to dive into them. Characters gain weapon skills and magic powers simply by using those skills while in combat, which is an efficient system. Like your roster the number of skills you learn can be overwhelming, especially since you can only use a handful at a time and the controller interface isn’t intuitive at all. At its core, this is an RPG, which results in loot being spread all over the place, and plenty of side missions to keep you occupied.
Accel World vs Sword Art Online Deluxe Edition Review Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for a light action-RPG and are a fan of either Accel World or Sword Art Online then you will find plenty to enjoy here. I put around 20 hours into the game and still had a lot to do still, although I’m pretty sure I’m not too far from the end (it has faked me out at least once before). The graphics are rudimentary and simple, but they get the point across. Enemies are fairly well varied (especially the bosses), and although there aren’t that many zones to explore they are larger than they first appear thanks to you having the ability to fly in most areas.
Fans of either series, and definitely fans of both, should pick this game up for the mash-up alone. That said, keep in mind that this really is aimed at fans of the animes, and while this is a solid action-RPG there are better games in the genre you may want to play first. If you do decide you want to try it out and are coming in blind I would highly recommend reading a primer before jumping in. I had to read one on Accel World shortly after I started playing to learn more about what was going on in that half of the narrative. At $50 Accel World vs Sword Art Online Deluxe Edition is a bit pricey for a PlayStation Vita port, but you’ll get a lot of gameplay time for your money. Still, I’d recommend it only for fans of either anime at that price.
Accel World VS Sword Art Online Deluxe Edition on PC
- Fans of either anime will enjoy the story.
- Combat is simple and fun.
- Lots of customization to make the game fit your play-style.
- Massive roster spanning both animes.
- Graphics are bland and dated.
- Controls for special moves are cumbersome.
- Knowledge of both the animes is required to fully enjoy.