Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Also Confirmed for Europe, Australia

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Also Confirmed for Europe, Australia

Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment 01

The previously Japan-only PSP game Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment will also be included as a part of the PS Vita's digital-only Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment title.

Bandai Namco announced the PS Vita game Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, based on the light novel series and anime series Sword Art Online, will launch in both Europe and Australia this July.

In April the company announced Hollow Fragment will launch in North America "this summer," around the same time the second season of the anime begins.

Sword Art Online is a trapped-in-a-game world. Much like the novels, anime, and manga, the game takes place in a virtual reality world where the game's creator has trapped the players inside. In order to escape, players must continue to fight monsters and climb upwards, and if the players die in the game, they die in real life.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will be exclusive digital for the PS Vita. It comes with the previously Japan-only game Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment.

In a prepared statement, Herve Hoerdt, vice president of IP Strategy at Bandai Namco Games Europe, said of the game's release, "Adding such a strong license to our portfolio in Europe and Australia is an honor for us. Fans were looking forward to enjoying this game; we listened to them. Our close collaboration with Sony allows us to release more and more niche games; Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is the result of this successful partnership!"

Games based on anime will occasionally make it over to North America and Europe, but they're not companies' biggest sellers. More niche games will make select groups of people very happy, though. Sword Art Online fans will be the ones mainly picking up this title.

Source: Bandai Namco

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As a big SAO fan I was genuinely excited when I heard about this game. Then I looked into it a little bit... yea it looks terrible. I won't be getting this one.

I wonder how it'll compare to the .hack// games. Not too happy about the fact we're playing as Kirito, though, it would have been much better to give us our own character.

As long as it's dual audio, I'll pick it up.

If it isn't, then I'll watch an import version played from beginning to end on Twitch instead.

Well shit, this I did not expect when I bought the game off the Japanese PSN.

By why Eu and AU but not NA, I wonder.

VanQ:
Well shit, this I did not expect when I bought the game off the Japanese PSN.

By why Eu and AU but not NA, I wonder.

If you look at a lot of anime games more you'll notice a trend I find, and it's usually that PAL regions will get it localized. On the off chance it is localized in NA regions, it's not always in stores. Only exception seems to be the Naruto games. For example, the One Piece games are infamous for not being localized in the US. Yeah, Romance Dawn on the 3DS was, but that was a rare occurrence and is just a remake of the original PSP game. Both Unlimited Cruise 1 and 2, along with Unlimited World Red on the 3DS, and the 3DS versions of Unlimited Cruise weren't localized. Pirate Warrior was, but it is not sold in any retail store in the United States for some odd reason. You can buy them on PSN and physical NA copies do exist, but for some odd reason they don't exist in stores. I think SAO is doing the same thing, as this is Bandi Namco we're talking about, and if any company has a worse localization team than Nintendo and Atlus, it's these guys.

Love their games, their localization is still crap. :/

Neronium:

VanQ:
Well shit, this I did not expect when I bought the game off the Japanese PSN.

By why Eu and AU but not NA, I wonder.

If you look at a lot of anime games more you'll notice a trend I find, and it's usually that PAL regions will get it localized. On the off chance it is localized in NA regions, it's not always in stores. Only exception seems to be the Naruto games. For example, the One Piece games are infamous for not being localized in the US. Yeah, Romance Dawn on the 3DS was, but that was a rare occurrence and is just a remake of the original PSP game. Both Unlimited Cruise 1 and 2, along with Unlimited World Red on the 3DS, and the 3DS versions of Unlimited Cruise weren't localized. Pirate Warrior was, but it is not sold in any retail store in the United States for some odd reason. You can buy them on PSN and physical NA copies do exist, but for some odd reason they don't exist in stores. I think SAO is doing the same thing, as this is Bandi Namco we're talking about, and if any company has a worse localization team than Nintendo and Atlus, it's these guys.

Love their games, their localization is still crap. :/

You know, the only reason I still have anything to do with Naruto is because the games are just phenomenal. They give you the story in a well presented, gorgeously animated manner and cut out all of the useless filler and on top of that the combat systems are usually a lot of fun.

I haven't watched any One Piece after the Crocodile fight but I've considered buying the games if they're as good as the Naruto games. Do you know if they're similar?

I'm really on the fence of how good it looks. Like, big time. I must ask though... Is the Infinity Moment part of the game revamped for Vita, with better graphics, FPS, etc? Or is it just a straight port like the PSP section of the PSN? Either way, I'll keep my eye on it

VanQ:

You know, the only reason I still have anything to do with Naruto is because the games are just phenomenal. They give you the story in a well presented, gorgeously animated manner and cut out all of the useless filler and on top of that the combat systems are usually a lot of fun.

I haven't watched any One Piece after the Crocodile fight but I've considered buying the games if they're as good as the Naruto games. Do you know if they're similar?

Depends on which one. The Unlimited Cruise series has it's own story, with the two Nintendo Wii titles being episodic games actually. Unlimited Cruise games are developed by Ganbarion, the makers of the Jump Superstars series on the DS, and the games are fun. Basically for the Unlimited Cruise series, you are on an island and can explore around, you collect materials, find treasure, and then fight bosses from the One Piece series all for an ultimate prize at the end. You have 4 islands you go to, each with different enemies and bosses, including 4 hidden bosses. The second game is set up similarly, only the islands and bosses change, and 4 new hidden bosses are added. The game doesn't go through all of One Piece, because it was released in 2009 so the farthest it goes is the Shabondy Archipelago arc. The gameplay is split between the 9 crew members, each with their own moves that you can level up, and more moves and specials you can give them. The levels go up to 10, but if you play new game plus it goes up to 20. The games also link save files since it's episodic, so if you are say level 10 for one character and start up the second game, you can go to level 20 with all of them. The games are a lot of fun and I love them.

The Pirate Warrior games are a bit different. The games are set up in sorta linear paths, but there is still some exploration. However, the game goes through every arc in the One Piece universe, including anime-exclusive ones. The first game goes up to the Whitebeard War arc, with the second game going to Punk Hazard after the time skip. Gameplay is similar to that of Unlimited Cruise, but Bandi Namco are the developers of the game instead of Ganbarion. In Europe, you get a PS3 DLC code for premium themes of all 9 crew members, which I wish I could get. T^T

Unlimited World Red I've sadly not played or spoiled anything for because while it originally was for the 3DS, it's being ported over to the PS3, PS Vita, and Wii U and is actually getting a US release date. Hopefully the Wii U one gets localized as being the one released because I want more Wii U games. That game was developed by Ganbarion with Bandi Namco being the publishers, so we'll see how it goes.

The 3DS versions of Unlimited Cruise 1 and 2 apparently aren't that good because of control issues, and Romance Dawn I've not played for too long to give a real synopsis of it.

This is all so getting a digital US release too, however everything I can find at the moment points to it being simply a digital release of the Taiwanese version (which is Japanese Audio with English subtitles/menus) so no english VA cast at the moment

CaptainMidlands:
This is all so getting a digital US release too, however everything I can find at the moment points to it being simply a digital release of the Taiwanese version (which is Japanese Audio with English subtitles/menus) so no english VA cast at the moment

That's what Bandi Namco tend to do with anime games a lot, in fact they do it for the One Piece games a lot. They release the game with Japanese audio, but English subtitles which isn't to bad I guess.

Now if only they made a SOA game that worked with Oculus and potentially some sort of microwave helmet in case you die.
Or just the oculus is fine too.

SAO was an alright series that gets far more praise than it deserves (and I'm seriously sick of fans comparing everything to it. Especially their apparent belief that it's the origin of the virtual reality + death game trope).

It's the first half of the animé has the 'die in game -> die in real life' dynamic, with the mystery as to who was really behind it all and why.

Unfortunately the tension was kind of broken by the fact that the main character's special ability was to say 'screw you' to the rules which was taken all the way up to:

The second half is just weird. There's a massive tonal shift where the game itself is more light-hearted, and the players won't die in real life by playing it, but the end goal is essentially to stop the main character's girlfriend getting raped by a creepy old nerd.

The games' storyline concerns an alternate universe, however, and looks to be something akin to FF:Dissidia(?).

KarmaTheAlligator:
Not too happy about the fact we're playing as Kirito, though, it would have been much better to give us our own character.

Well you can customise the character somewhat (8 faces and 13 hairstyles with a colour wheel for both hair and eyes) as well as name him whatever you like. Basically the standard 'customisation' you see in most F2P MMOs.

Of course it'll still be Kirito underneath...

VanQ:
Well shit, this I did not expect when I bought the game off the Japanese PSN.

By why Eu and AU but not NA, I wonder.

The title contains the word 'also' which suggests it's already confirmed for NA and, if there was any doubt, the third paragraph explicitly says so. Have you not had much sleep? :P

NotThePANTSU:

KarmaTheAlligator:
Not too happy about the fact we're playing as Kirito, though, it would have been much better to give us our own character.

Well you can customise the character somewhat (8 faces and 13 hairstyles with a colour wheel for both hair and eyes) as well as name him whatever you like. Basically the standard 'customisation' you see in most F2P MMOs.

Of course it'll still be Kirito underneath...

And that's exactly the problem I have, it'll just be Kirito with a fresh coat of paint, nothing else. I liked the first part well enough, but I never wanted to play as/be him. No, not even with his harem in the making, which is another thing in the game.

It's made worse by the fact we're apparently starting from floor 76, which means we'll start with all of Kirito's abilities (and he has most of them maxed out already), including the dual wielding (he's the only one who's supposed to have that) and his high level. I would have preferred more choice in the matter.

CaptainMidlands:
This is all so getting a digital US release too, however everything I can find at the moment points to it being simply a digital release of the Taiwanese version (which is Japanese Audio with English subtitles/menus) so no english VA cast at the moment

That'd probably be preferred on my end, at least XD I never liked the English dub at all. Though, I'm sure some people would appreciate it. That's some good digging though~

Elvis Starburst:

CaptainMidlands:
This is all so getting a digital US release too, however everything I can find at the moment points to it being simply a digital release of the Taiwanese version (which is Japanese Audio with English subtitles/menus) so no english VA cast at the moment

That'd probably be preferred on my end, at least XD I never liked the English dub at all. Though, I'm sure some people would appreciate it. That's some good digging though~

Its mostly based on time scales more than anything, the game hit Japan in April and the English/Chinese menu version for places like Taiwan and Hong Kong hits in May, with an EU/US release of July. Two months isn't enough time to completely revoice the game while still meeting Sony approval times etc which leads me to believe it will be a purely Japanese voiced game with English subs/menus

Unless off course they have had the EU/US release in the works for some time and planned for the recording of the English VA's, this seems unlikely though as the announcement would have been made earlier imo (especially given SAO's western popularity), so I can only assume as I have yet to find anything that says otherwise it will be a digital release with Japanese VA's

 

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