A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Accel World vs. Sword Art Online is a downloadable action/role-playing game (RPG) available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The game brings together characters from the popular Accel World and Sword Art Online franchises in a brand-new crossover adventure. Players team up with characters and fight off hordes of strange creatures and monsters using a variety of weapons and magical skills. The action is relatively constant, but the violence lacks any blood or gore. Some of the characters in the game are occasionally presented in provocative ways, and the dialogue includes some suggestive themes and light profanity.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Virtual worlds collide in ACCEL WORLD VS. SWORD ART ONLINE, but will either survive the experience? Strange events begin to unfold in the virtual massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) world of Alfheim Online when a dark tower suddenly appears in the game and players are given a dire warning to leave immediately. A mysterious new avatar known only as "Personna Babel" shows up to set a sinister plan in motion, merging this virtual world with another: the augmented reality Brain Burst MMO. Now it's up to the heroes from both worlds to work together, using their unique skills and abilities to try to save their respective realities from complete annihilation.
Is it any good?
While merging two popular franchises should be an excellent experience, the result is a convoluted, nonsensical mess of a game experience. Dealing with fandom can be tricky. You need to stay true to the source material the fans love, but not alienate newcomers in the process. Oh, and then you have to actually make the whole thing fun. Accel World vs. Sword Art Online seemed to stop after the first third of that formula. For fans of the two popular franchises, the story is a dream come true. It makes perfect sense that these two stories set in virtual reality could cross over for an epic adventure. All the key players are here, with their distinct personalities, traits, and abilities firmly intact. Even from a gameplay aspect, playing characters from one series feels completely different from playing characters from the other. While hard-core fans will love this, it's unfortunately about the only thing the game seems to get right.
The game starts to fall apart right at the start. Unless you're already intimately familiar with what's happened in the Sword Art Online and Accel World novels and anime, things simply don't make a lot of sense. It's like walking into a theater halfway through the movie or starting a new book somewhere in the middle. You spend so much time trying to sort out what came before that you just can't get invested in what's happening in the present. It doesn't help that the game's controls are a sluggish and convoluted mess. Targeting is abysmal, characters move like they're fighting in molasses, and some of the avatars simply feel useless in battle. When out in the main game world, enemies surround you from every direction, including up. The problem with this is that only the Sword Art Online characters have the ability to fly. In fact, the controls vary substantially based on which franchise the character comes from. It feels like two separate games crammed together and fighting against each other for some sense of identity, and ultimately neither ends up being inviting to new players or even much fun to play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. What are some ways to work together with others to accomplish common goals? What are some positive ways to help build a strong and effective team?
Talk about virtual technology. How does virtual reality gaming today compare to the VR worlds presented in Sword Art Online and Accel World? What are some of the differences in the ways people act in the virtual world versus the real world?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: July 7, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Partial Nudity, Language, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: June 21, 2020
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