Crossover games are a risky venture. How do the universes mix? How do the characters interact? Is the excuse for these two universes combining flimsy enough to see through? For Accel World vs. Sword Art Online Millennium Twilight, with both universes having the same creator – Reki Kawahara – there are some easy answers.
First, I must admit I was unfamiliar with the Accel World franchise before this game, and in all honesty, I didn’t really need to know. The story starts with a mysterious visitor from the far-flung future appearing and entrapping Kirito’s and Asuna’s beloved AI “child” Yui. Enough for a Sword Art Online game in and of itself, an erosion of the VR game ALO begins and individuals from the Accel World universe begin popping up. Let the crossover begin. After a bit of two groups of protagonists fighting each other, they team up to address this space-time paradox. With the main plot involving an SAO character, and the issues taking place directly in Svart Alfheim, you really don’t need a huge investment in Accel World to play this game. It makes sense since SAO is a larger worldwide franchise. Regardless if that is a benefit or detriment to the game, the story follows a plot line that is mostly going around collecting SAO/AW characters who coincidentally all found each other, separately, in different zones, that are magically sealed off from one another.
When I reviewed Sword Art Online Hollow Realization, I was thrilled that the combat was evolving. It did not feel stale and rote like it did in Lost Song. Unfortunately, the combat system feels more like a rehash of Lost Song’s combat rather than the more evolved forms of Hollow Realization. Any kind of linked strategy is thrown out the window and it quickly devolves into mindless button pushes. The game does provide some latitude in weapons and skills, but ultimately, you’ll fall into your own patterns early and newly discovered characters later in the game quietly just go onto your party’s bench.
Accel World VS Sword Art Online Millennium Twilight Review Final Thoughts:
Overall, Accel World vs Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight feels like a game that missed its window in the world. While the story concept piqued my interest, ultimately I ended up being worn down by the tired combat and elongated system of collecting the cast of characters that felt more filler gameplay than substantive plot. I think there are still SAO stories to be told, but Bandai Namco needs to pressure their development teams to continue evolving the Hollow Realization systems and let the Lost Song/Hollow Fragment formula go.