Bandai Namco brings Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment to North America
When thinking about English anime video games, you wouldn’t be wrong to come up with Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto and not much else. Bandai Namco has started to change that with releases of games tied to lesser known properties, like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle and Saint Seiya: Brave Soldiers. The next franchise they’re giving a shot at internationally is Sword Art Online on PS Vita. The crux of the property tells the story of players trapped within virtual reality MMOs where death means real life tragedy. Originally based on a light-novel series by Reki Kawahara, the first anime adaptation recently aired in the United States on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is an action RPG that takes place in an alternative timeline to the novels and television series. The game consists primarily of two modes, the first of which is a recreation of the preceding Japan-only Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment PSP game, while the second tells a new story about the player killing guild known as Laughing Coffin. While players take on the role of the main character Kirito, his looks and even his name can be customized. Hollow Fragment drops you onto the 76th floor of Aincard as you begin battling for freedom by fighting bosses and clearing dungeons. It also features a dating component as well as a multiplayer mode dubbed Hollow Area. The game shipped earlier this week in Japan.
Bandai Namco didn’t share pricing details, nor a release window more specific than the summer. It should be noted that thus far only Bandai Namco America has announced the Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment. The company’s European branch has yet to comment on their plans.
In related news, remember when we reported on One Piece: Unlimited World Red? Bandai Namco originally announced that the Vita version would only be available on PSN in North America. The company has since gone back on that decision and has partnered up with Gamestop to offer a limited physical release.