By Patrick Aguda / September 2nd, 2020
Now I’ve been playing Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris since day one, so I’ve played the game when it was version 1.01 all the way to its current iteration of 1.05. This game had many technical issues when it first launched. There was a ridiculous lag when inputting actions, long loading screens, framerate issues, a wonky camera and even a game breaking bug (which has been fixed in the latest update). For example, when I tried to move Kirito forward before, there was maybe a 3-4 second delay between me moving the analog stick and the character actually moving. This would affect my timing with my Sword Skills too, so this type of input lag was unacceptable. In version 1.05, the input lag has been fixed, but I had to point out how bad it was when it first released. The long loading screens are still present in the game, even with the latest patch. They aren’t as long as before, but they’re still noticeable. The loading screens normally are longest when transferring from a map in one empire to another one, or during a transition in locations in a story event. The camera used to be very erratic when I first played the game. It would move around like crazy if I used certain Sword Skills and sometimes would make it very difficult to keep an eye on the enemy. As of version 1.05, the camera is much better and doesn’t go as crazy. However, it still goes slightly erratic when in tight spaces like a tunnel or if you’re fighting by a wall. The framerate in the game is still spotty, even with the latest update. The game tends to lag when running around in the field, when you’re fighting multiple enemies and during some story cutscenes. This issue was much more noticeable in version 1.01, and it has improved in the latest update. However, the framerate is still an issue that still needs to be addressed in the future. The game itself is pretty good, but it is definitely marred by some technical issues.
We now come to one of the big issues with Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, the CUBE shop. The CUBE shop was implemented in version 1.02 / 1.03 of the game, and is a gacha shop. You utilize a CUBE ticket to obtain a random item from a pre-determined line-up. These items range from clothing dyes to weapon skins and costumes. You can obtain CUBE tickets by completing Daily Missions which are updated every day. These missions are usually very easy such as deal a certain amount of damage or jump a certain amount of times. I don’t like how this is the way you can obtain unique outfits for your characters. In Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, you could obtain outfits by crafting them using Asuna’s store, all you had to do was grind for materials. Now getting these outfits is left up to chance and I feel is just a horrible idea altogether. A gacha system like this has no business being in a full-priced, $60 game. Here’s the real kicker – if you’re not connected to the internet or if the Sword Art Online game server is down, you aren’t allowed to use the items you’ve obtained from the shop. I found this out by chance when I played the game while waiting for an update to download. They wouldn’t allow me to use the weapon skins and outfits I obtained from the shop. Not only did they implement a gacha system in a full-priced game, you can’t even use the items unless you’re connected to the internet. This was just a bad decision, and I hope they fix this system in the future.
I enjoyed my time playing Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, especially after all the recent updates. The game has a decent story, very fun combat, a well-implemented soundtrack, beautiful environments and great looking characters. However, it is still affected by technical issues, an absurdly long first chapter, a questionable use of character creation, the omission of characters such as Yuuki and the CUBE shop system which shouldn’t be there in the first place. It took me about 121 hours to beat the main story while doing side missions and Bond Events as well. Once you beat the story, you can tackle Raid Dungeons, try to test your mettle against high level foes, try to get high rarity weapons or even try to unlock all the event CGs. So there’s still some things to do even after beating the game. Would I recommend paying $60 for this game? I would only recommend doing that if you’re a hardcore Sword Art Online fan like me. If you’re not, I recommend waiting for a sale or waiting for the technical issues in the base game to be mostly fixed. If you do decide to take the dive, know there’s an immense amount of content waiting for you.
Game copy purchased by the author.
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