Bandai Namco Games put out a new update on Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for PS Vita just ahead of the game’s Japanese release next Thursday.
Alongside a load of new screenshots, we get further details outlining the importance of player communication with their AI partners in the game, as well as weapon and item acquisition and various miscellaneous features, the most notable being PS Vita TV compatibility.
Read on to learn more about what’s in store for the game.
(1) A new challenger!?
Super famous player Yuuki will be joining the fray in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment. How will she show up? You’ll just have to wait and see for yourself!
(2) Bonding gives you a new wardrobe?! Plus, more information on the AI communication system!
New costumes and weapons aplenty will be in the game for players to acquire. Weapons that are obtainable in Hollow Area, as well as a slew of new special costumes for the heroines are on display! Get them and then get to adventuring in Aincrad! In tandem with that, the more you communicate with heroine characters, the stronger they’ll also become.
(3) Hollow Fragment – The Long and Short of What to Expect.
A number of mechanics have seen fine tuning over the previous installment. The game will also support PlayStation Vita TV as well.
Yuuki Konno (CV: ???) – Although she might look benign, Yuuki in actuality is apparently a top-notch swordsman with a go-getter attitude who knows her way around a blade. She’s known in some parts as the “Absolute Sword” and wields her weapons single-handedly.
Changing Equipment Loadouts
As in the previous game, you can swap out both your own equipment and that of the various heroines. If you get on good terms with the ladies, you can even give them weapons and armor as presents and there are loads of both that you can only pick up while roaming the Hollow Areas. This functionality naturally extends to your other partners, too. Give them a new outfit, for instance, and they’ll change into it for you, with every heroine also having her own batch of unique ones to put on. Use any combination of weapons and armor you see fit and then head out and fight in Aincrand!
Equipment as Presents
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, weapons and armor are among the items you can give out to other characters. How your partners and the heroines look in the game is therefore up to you! Everything you can hand them can be subsequently worn by them. Dress the characters up however you like and then head off on adventures together! You might even be able to sport matching outfits….
New and Altered Weapons
You’ll be able to get your hands on a number of weapons and armor that have special rarity and abilities. That being said, while you’re in the Hollow Area, you won’t be able to see Aincrad itself. Still, it’s a good opportunity to pick up weapons with unusual abilities that can’t be found anywhere outside the Hollow Area, which is accomplished by way of Material Investigations. By clearing out Material Investigation conditions that you can learn about in administrative areas, you’ll unlock especially strong weapons for your use!
On the flip side, though, they all have their downsides, so caution has to be exercised when taking them out into battles. There are lots of these special items and ways to get them, so pay close attention to the conditions outlined in order to get them! With plenty to find out in the Hollow Area, you’ll have to make the most of your nine weapon types and 10 skill types to come out alive in Aincrad!
Communicating with AI Characters
You can change the makeup of your partners’ diamond-shaped stat charts by doing things such as issuing commands to them, so pick characters that will act in battle in ways that you prefer. Their status screen will show off the types of skills that they use in different situations, so if you want to be particular about what they use when, you’ll have to make sure to really praise them when they use the right skills. The three types of diamonds on the status screen are as follows:
- Attack: Dedicated to attack skills and performing combo chains.
- Buff: Related to healing skills, as well as those that impede enemies, among other things.
- Defense: Split into three types of skill trees that revolve around actions such as taking hits and attracting enemy aggression.
In addition to orders, parameters can also be raised as a result of things such as characters’ GooD evaluations, which in turn changes the AI mentality towards how it should conduct itself. If you can max out Attack, Buff, or Defense stats, you’ll also unlock special outfits for them to wear! Heroines in particular get powerful high-end armor, making it more than worth your while to raise their stats!
PS Vita TV Compatibility
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment supports PS Vita TV, allowing players to take the game to the big screen. On PS Vita TV, touch controls are replaced with standard controller commands, with rear touch controls for zooming the camera in and out being replaced by a virtual touch panel. Switches and GooD evaluations are also handled via controller input, making the PS Vita TV a comfortable way to experience the game. (Some aspects of gameplay may therefore differ in comparison to how the game is played on the PS Vita handheld itself, but none of these changes will affect gameplay progression.)
Last Attack Bonus
You can get special items by landing the final blow on level and Hollow Area bosses. The nature of these bonuses vary depending on the area and level, meaning it’s a wise idea to strive for Last Attack Bonuses wherever you go. Additionally, Hollow Mission 3 (Hard) in the Hallow Area also comes with Last Attack Bonuses of its own.
Spending Time with Your Partner
Hold your partner’s hand, sit on a bench, or even do both at the same time (!). The road to good communication is paved by such intimacy. Doing so will deepen your friendship with them and, in time, possibly even your affection for one another.
Players can opt to stash items away in the game’s storehouse. While it’s not necessarily a feature worth bragging about, it’s worth noting here since the previous game lacked such functionality.
View the new screenshots at the gallery.