Sword Art Online: Lost Song Preview – It’s Got Wingson October 28, 2015 by Oscar TK
Sword Art Online: Lost Song came out in Japan earlier in the year on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Not ones to dwell in the past, Bandai Namco are bringing Sword Art Online: Lost Song out in the west on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita instead. It’s due out 13th November 2015, and I got a chance to have a quick look at the game at London MCM.
The PlayStation 4 demo I played was a timed one, focusing around one of the game’s overworld battles. The flight mechanic is Sword Art Online: Lost Song‘s big new thing, and what better way to show off than with a big land/air battle. The landscape is lush and smooth, and it’s easy to forget as you’re flying around that it’s a game that originated on older formats, even if it doesn’t hold up so well on closer inspection. It seems to be a pretty great PlayStation 4 port, even if it’s not quite as good as Tales of Zestiria‘s.
Getting the feeling of flying right was essential to getting the game right, and in that respect Artdink have succeeded. Movement is fluid and responsive, and is another element where it’s easy to forget PlayStation 4 was not the original console. Flying felt so good that I had plenty of fun just soaring about. There’s a couple of different flight modes – one that allows you to just hover, which you’ll use plenty during air combat, and another where you fly forwards at speed. These are selected with the d-pad, and it all felt quite intuitive.
The combat doesn’t fare quite so well. It’s not bad, but quite basic, especially compared to the flying mechanics. There was a whole army of monsters to fight alongside the NPC allies. Combat is all real time, and you have to mix up light and strong attacks, as well as blocks and dodges. It’s never too graceful, and at times can feel quite clunky. The large amount of enemies also don’t mesh so well with the at times annoying camera, and it’s easy to get a bit lost in the fray.
Not that it really felt too difficult. Even the boss monster, with its stacks of health bars, wasn’t too tough after getting the rhythm down, but it’s health bars are what kept it standing. The combat does make it feel a little bit like an MMO, which isn’t always the best, as accurate as it may be. Not that that’s all there is to the game. There’s also dungeons which promise to be a bit more complex, as well as an online multiplayer that’ll add a lot of replay value to the single player quest.
It’s refreshing to see a vibrant and colourful game like Sword Art Online: Lost Song on PlayStation 4, and the movement really does feel fantastic. Despite a little bit of clunk, which might work better in the full game, Sword Art Online fans are definitely going to want to pick this up. Not only does it perhaps replicate that feeling of freedom and dynamism the best of any Sword Art Online game yet, but the story is also quite interesting, being more of an alternate take on how Sword Art Online events could have panned out. Sword Art Online: Lost Song might not be a game that will get many people into the anime, but being a game for fans by fans is rarely a bad thing.
Sword Art Online: Lost Song comes out on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on 13th November 2015.