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Review: Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet (PS4 Retail)

Message reputation : 100% (11 votes)
Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet



This is the latest installment in the SAO (Sword Art Online) series from Bandai Namco. In this game, you are a new player in the world of Gun Gale Online. Which is a post-apocalyptic world where it is a lawless world outside the main city SCC Glocken. As a new player in this competitive VRMMO (Virtual Reality Mass Multiplayer Online)  can you become the greatest player in this game?

Story

The story begins shortly after you enter the Glocken for the very first time where you are introduced to a strange young girl in a pink outfit who reveals herself to be your childhood friend "Kureha".  She begins explaining what GGO is and showing the player around town.  During the tour guide, the player is then thrust into a tournament against other players for an incredibly rare item which whoever obtains it will have a massive advantage among other players.  In this tournament, Kureha will quickly explain how to protect fight and protect yourself since in this mode it's kill or be killed. And she takes you to an area inside the dungeon so both of you won't be targeted by high tier players.  Among reaching a fork in a road both the player and Kureha runs into one of GGO top ruthless players Itsuki. Who finds two low-level players competing in the tournament and believes this a joke and lets you pass without killing you.  Once the player passes Itsuki they will end up in a teleporter room which leads to the rare item.

However, you aren't the only one who found the room.



Your Afrs-sys could be a male or a female. It's up to the player.

The rare item is called an AFr-sys X type which  is an android that you can customize his or her looks and give it a name(He/She will be nicknamed Rei regardless of what you picked) Rei is going to function as your partner and grant you access to a special weapon called the UFG (Ultra Fiber Gun) which functions as a grappling hook  which can be used to access high ground, take down airborne enemy units (except flying Gundams)  and steal items from knocked down enemies. After this point, you will meet the original SAO character cast. Kritio can explain all the previous key points of previous games that link with Fatal Bullet to bring the player up to speed. Then the story is all downhill from here henceforth.  As the player keep your expectations extremely low when it comes to Fatal Bullet story and everything plot related.


After a few upgrades, she can do banking and purchase equipment with allowance money. Rei has some pretty good taste in weapons.

A mass majority of the story is going to be about upgrading Rei from finding parts and interacting with people around it. Since you are a beginner Rei will just tell you that you suck and because your low prestige and level, the features that the Rei had are gone and doesn't remember all it can do. Rei is a trip to deal with, it will go through personality conflict crisis, extreme anxiety, moments of depression,  running away for some of the dumbest reasons, tripping over nothing, and so much more.


Searching for the bad guy in the tournament.

Aside from the main story which involves Rei.  After the majority of the story is finished the player gains access to play Kritio. In this mode, the story becomes much darker and a lot of people lives are on the line, as Kritio your main objective is to work alongside the Japanese Government and figure out the mysteries of why people are dying from playing GGO,  and the killing happens only during interviews and major events. The next major event is called B.O.B  where all the top ranking players will be in and most likely when the killer will strike next.  However the there are hundreds of players,  many of them are good and well known and some are just bullet sponges,  you are only given a few hours to figure out this mystery, Who is the killer? Why are they killing top players in GGO? Will Kritio and his friends be safe?
Gameplay

When it comes to gameplay Fatal Bullet does it really well here and it's a lot of fun! It is a fast-paced third-person action game. In this game, you can have up to of 3 party members join you. Each member is represented by an icon next to their name which signifies their role in combat. There are six main roles which easily fall into two categories which are Offensive and Defensive. The offensive roles are Assault, Destroyer, and Sniper. Assault is the fast hitting, in your face, and dance around bullets role,  Destroyer just use weapons and abilities that hit extremely hard, use explosions, cause black holes and leaves nothing but destruction,  Sniper picks off enemies from a distance and have very unique support abilities.


For example. This nutcase of a woman here is an assault class character due to her icon.

As for the defensive roles you have Tank which is to soak up a lot of damage and extremely difficult to take down and most enemies will focus on the tank while the other members do their role. Engineer which uses a lot of skills to weaken enemies, decrease attack/defense, poison, shock, or set enemies on fire. The final role is to support which is basically the healer. They use healing skills, revive fallen members, increase their combat abilities. Support roles are always welcomed.

The roles are determined by the character stats and skills they have equipped.  There are six main stats in the game Strength, Vitality, Intelligence, Agility, Dexterity, and Luck. Seems simple enough but this can get complex rather quickly so here is an easy breakdown.

Strength-  Increases your carry weight, damage with photon swords (Star Wars lightsabers) and a requirement to hold weapons.   A high investment in this stat will push the character towards damage roles.

Agility- Increases your full sprint speed, accuracy, and defense. Many evasive and photon sword skills require lots of Agility. A high investment in this stat will push the character in the damager roles  mainly in the Assault role

Dexterity- Increases your accuracy, main damage with firearms, weak point damage and the main requirement to use all weapons.   As a player you must have  Dexterity,  this is the main damage stat of firearms and without investment in this, you will be locked out of 99% of the weapons.

Vitality- Increases how much damage you can take. Raises max health. A high investment with this stat puts the character into a supporter role,  also very handy with shotguns.

Intelligence-  decreases the cooldown time of skills (That's a good thing) and gadgets( Items) increases the chance of status aliments attacks working on enemies.  A high investment in this stat puts the character in Engineer or Support roles.

Luck-  Increases drop rate of items, increases the rarity of items,  reduce damage from status ailments,  increase critical hit chance.  A universal stat like Dexterity.  However, I did notice in my playthroughs high luck grants you better skills on weapons and accessories it could be just me though.



The player can only allocate stats and skills for their created character and Rei.  Any other party member will do their own skills and stats.  While using a skill that is in your role that ability becomes more effective. However, the player can equip any ability from any role as long as they meet the gun and stat requirements to do so.

In this game when it comes to equipment there are three categories weapons, accessories, and outfit.  You can find weapons and accessories from shops and sometimes fallen enemies drop them as loot.  There is no armor in this game what so ever so if you want to increase your defense, raise up the agility and vitality stats.  There are eight main weapons in the game. Going from the lightest to heaviest it is handguns,  photon swords, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles,  RPG's/ grenade launchers and finally Gatling guns.  


Agil is the only person in the game who can appraise your equipment to see what you obtain.  He's just awesome!


All weapon share these few traits among themselves.  Stat requirements to use them, Weapon rank,  fire type (Single, burst, semi-auto, fully automatic)  memory chips (Traits/added effects)  and rarity.  The rarity comes in different tiers,  grey, red and blue being the lowest while yellow and green being the best the higher the rarity the better stats and memory chips you will find on the equip weather if it's accessory or weapon.   The further you go in the game the weapon ranks will increase demanding higher stat requirements but in return offer higher damage outputs. Fashion is basically to look good.  And accessories are completely random when it comes to abilities. Some increase in base stats, some offer a  % of protection against certain attacks, and many are just so bad you will just sell them.


The two most important characters Agil and Lisabeth. Agil appraises and buys items
from your character. Lisabeth on the right upgrades your weapons. You will be visiting them often.



When outside of SCC Glocken the screen changes into battle screen until you go back to town.  Here you will have an assist auto-aim that will lock on to a target that is in your firing range. If this feature is annoying it can be turned off by pressing up on the direction pad of the controller.  The thin blue bar underneath the gun icon/ bullets is the player's health bar and trust me when you start off in this game you do not get that much health and it feels like you can die so easily in this game. It does not take much effort to kill a player.  There are some defensive tactics that can work such as hiding behind cover, dashing and rolling away or just find high ground such as buildings and mountains.  The enemies will also do tricks like that including setting up ambushes, using smoke grenades to confuse the player, summon a Gundam (A giant robot with superior combat skills),   or a straight up gun fight.


Oh no! It's a Gundam!  Need to run FASTER!

The difficulty of enemies out in the field ranges drastically from easy to is this even fair anymore?   You have the cupcake difficulty enemies such as scorpions, bees, run and shoot automation and then you have the insanely difficult enemies which include human A.I (Artificial Intelligence) enemies which seem to never miss a shot even while rolling, A Gundam,  some evil looking hunchback monster that shoots fire and likes to run people over.  The teammates you can have on your team are classified as stupid. There have been many times where they will fail to do their role or follow commands. The player can give commands by pressing in the touchpad. Sadly many of them are just to dumb so commands are almost virtually useless. If the player falls in battle one of your team members can just run over to you and revive you. Honestly, this is a 50% chance of working.  They can run towards and just look at your corpse until they die, trip over your corpse,  run to you and then make a U-turn  and do the shuffle dance and reload their gun ( I wish I was making this up)  or my personal favorite screw up is where they do nothing but barrel rolls to your character, trip over your corpse and then get shot and die.


At that moment I knew... I messed up.

There are dungeons in this game and once inside you are automatically given a blank minimap and it will fill up the more you progress through the dungeon. Inside you will fight dozens of enemies who will block your path to fight if you are in a long dungeon there will be multiple teleporters. So you can just skip sections if you feel like it. Also, there are very carefully hidden treasure chests that are for a quest item, ammunition, or some rare part for upgrading.  There are mini bosses and just regular bosses. Both drop unique equipment. The only real difference between the two is that mini-bosses have around two health bars when regular bosses have three or more.




Once you head back to town you from the field you will get results on your actions outside.  The more enemies you defeat the more money and experience you obtain, gain enough and you will level up. Every level up the player will be awarded CP which is the currency to spend on upgrading the character stats.


Graphics.


Go on a date with her and she'll make the ultimate female armor.
Sadly she hates the armor and will never wear it again.


Become a bro with Agil and he'll give everyone MadMax punk outfits and take on all GGO while making a profit.

It is beautiful. I had no problem with the graphical look of the game characters and how it looks outside. It was just wonderfully done. You can unlock characters dates/hangouts by increasing their affinity towards you which then awards the player with unique cutscenes or romance in your bed. This does take quite of a lot of work and dedication to pull off many of the scenes are very enjoyable and quite funny. As far as problems go, there are two issues which include how dull the dungeon designs are for the majority of the dungeons and they needed to add a few more enemy designs.


Soundtrack

It was truly wonderful. The soundtrack is really good, they have some jazz pieces, upbeat songs, and a few some pop songs. My favorite pieces of music in the game comes from Zeliska theme and the music they play in the quest area lobbies like treasure hunting, PVP (Player vs Player), and unique enemies.  There is a little something for everyone. It's hard to dislike the music in this game.


Multiplayer


This what co-op looks like,  just smashing a boss.

They have a player vs player matchup which I was never able to test. Every time I join a lobby no one is ever online to play a match. The other online game mode is where you join in a room up to around eight people to fight a boss. Once the boss is defeated everyone obtains an item and some money. You do not get exp from playing online.


DLC/ Season pass worth it?

I personally do not own the DLC or Season Pass. However from word of mouth the current DLC that is out is called Ambush of the Imposters which grants access to new weapons, new hairstyles, fashion, three characters the most talked about is Musketeer X  and how awesome she is.  The new dungeons have veterans of this game ripping their hair out and comparing the difficulty to Dark Souls series (Extremely difficult games) As far as the season pass is worth it?  If you like the game sure go for it!

Score  6.5/ 10

This game could have easily been the best of the Sword Art Online video games released. The gameplay is great, the graphics are beautiful and the soundtrack is amazing. However despite all of that the game suffers from a horrible story and terrible A.I partners.  If you look past the story you have a pretty decent game on your hands with just a few flaws but you can easily spend many hours in this game and have fun.
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Comments

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Welcome back @Pennsage and nice review!
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@Pennsage Welcome back indeed. Thanks for reviewing this game! Wink
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@Pennsage your review reads like a 7 or 7.5. Why'd you decide to give it a 6.5? Don't get me wrong it's a good review I'm just puzzled by the score you gave the game.
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Great review. It looks like people are returning now that E3 is over as usual.
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on June 15th 2018, 10:06 amPennsage
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
@Kain Simple. Here are four good reasons why it has a 6.5. First, the story is super bad, I'm saying holy crap all of this writing and plot was horrendous! They needed some new blood working for their writing staff cause that story is a trainwreck. Secondly, the A.I in the game as your partners are just retarded. It's easy to get a wipe with them and don't get me started with that troll Itsuki! He's the worst A.I Partner I ever saw. Itsuki stunts will make monsters or powerful enemies you want to avoid to come straight to your location while your busy fighting six enemies or more, and in the battle that fool is nowhere to be found.

Third, even though the game is plot is bad its also really is quite short. It's basically like 20-30 hours of gameplay honestly it seems like Bandai was running on a clock to get the game out and they possibly cut some of the remaining plot and put it as DLC. It really feels like the game could have been longer and they cut a few corners. Finally, the true ending requirements are extremely tedious to do. And it will force the player to grind excessively for hours in a short span of time and there are some issues where you did everything correctly and still won't acquire the true ending. Of course, if I added all that in there I would have a super long review and let's be honest my reviews are long enough as it is.

Any questions?
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@Kain, Personally I like the game but I can't really recommend it to others at full price. Maybe as a really good sale or when a price drop happens. Fatal Bullet is an okay game but it has too many flaws to be considered great or good. I really can't give it a bias opinion score as a reviewer I hope you understand.
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Sweet review dude. Cool
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