Sword Art Online: Lost Song is a game within a game. With the cast of characters spending a vast majority of their time in an MMO called Alfheim Online. Should you die in Alfheim Online, you die in real life. Sound intriguing right? Throw in a great spell and ability customisation with that fact that you can fly around the world to take on enemies as well as on the ground and you’ve got the makings for an excellent game right? Well, not quite. While on paper is sounds great, the execution just doesn’t deliver the way you wanted it to.
As I’ve mentioned, the game is set inside an MMO and while this is designed largely as a standard Role Playing Game, the spaces you play within feel like ones you’d find in MMOs. Because of this, open fields can be massive and sometimes impressive as hundreds of enemies can be seen at any one time. This is where you’ll see your first and major problem with the game. There are A LOT of the same enemy which you must kill throughout your playtime with this game. You will probably kill the same enemy thousands of times throughout your over 20 hours playtime.
Don’t get me wrong though, gameplay is rather fun. You can map a variety of spells and abilities to whatever button you want and gives you great freedom to craft the character you want to play as. Even that though doesn’t save it from getting really repetitive. It’s all a shame really though because once the feeling of repetition is gone, it’s bloody good fun.
To make things feel a lot better, you can play with other real people to make battling hordes of the same enemy more fun. This is a welcomed inclusion but one I will not tell you that it makes it a better game because every game is improved with co-op. I’m glad it’s included and it works well but it doesn’t make it a better game; rather, it diminishes the dullness that it is.
There is a surprising lack of fan service here. This doesn’t really matter as the narrative just isn’t really that good. It’s doesn’t really ramp up or entice you to keep playing to see stuff unfold. It’s serviceable but not incredible.
Despite its downfalls, I still enjoyed Sword Art Online: Lost Song. Gameplay is fun, even if it is repetitive and the premise is intriguing. It could have been so much more to become an essential purchase for JRPG but it’s one of lost potential but still is a worthwhile endeavor if you are looking for a fun JRPG fix, that’s if you have already played the rather excellent Tales of Zestiria.