Publisher Namco Bandai has revealed a plethora of information for their upcoming PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 title Sword Art Online: Lost Song, including its Japanese release date of March 26, 2015. In addition to the release date, over 50 screenshots have been released showcasing the game’s visuals and new mechanics.
The game itself will be set in the new Alfheim Online after a merge with Sword Art Online and will feature a new original story. Following the merging of both games, a new mysterious floating continent has appeared, Svart ALfheim. The game will be the first in the series to let you play multiple characters, where previous iterations only letting you play as series protagonist Kirito.
The new continent, Svart ALfheim, is a large continent full of numerous areas and various terrains, with deserts, plains and icebergs, and each area will be approximately be 16km2 in area.
One new big feature in the game is the introduction of air combat, which is featured the light novel and anime’s counterpart. The game is split up into two combat modes that can be switched at any time in a seamless motion: the ground combat, which features traditional turn based RPG mechanics from previous games but with the inclusion with jumping, and the air combat, which has a new full action and movement system. In the air players will have to maneuver in all dimensions keeping track of the enemies from all 360 degrees. Here is an example of Kirito fighting one of the game’s new enemy.
On the ground the game retains the same mechanics as previous games in the series. There will be more varied dungeons for the player to explore, more bosses to defeat and loot to collect.
One of the big changes from previous instalments, Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment for the PSP and Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for the Vita, is the inclusion of magic. As with the source material players will be able to use a variety of spells to their advantage, alongside the usage of traditional weapons.
A total of 5 playable characters have been revealed so far and they include:
- Kirito, the main character and a Spriggan who equips a one handed sword and can dual wield
- Leafa, a Sylph who uses a one handed sword and has high agility
- Asuna, a female Undine and can equip rapiers and wands
- Silica, a Cait Sith who uses support magic and daggers
- Lisbeth, a Leprechaun blacksmith that can use a mace
In addition to more playable characters, you can now have parties of three characters where you can pick who to partake an adventure with.
And here are more screenshots showcasing the new aerial combat system and how it can be used to target ground enemies:
The official website of the game has also announced a limited edition for the PlayStation Vita edition of the game. The edition will contain a special box featuring the main art drawn by abec , a copy of the game, a OST CD disc, a Blu-ray disc containing special content about the making of the game, a special case where you can store CDs and Blu-ray discs, a small set of mini clear files and a special booklet all about the game’s story, setting and art.
In addition of all the new screenshots, a new video was also released:
Sword Art Online is a light novel series written by Reki Kawahara, who also is the author of Accel World, and illustrated by abec. The light novel series began in 2009 and is illustrated being published in ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Bunko. To date a total of 15 volumes have been compiled in the series, released in Japan on August 9th 2014. . Since then it sold millions of copies, topping the charts in 2012. Additionally in 2012, an anime adaptation was released. The Sword Art Online anime aired in July and was produced by A-1 Pictures, which received a large reception. Since then, the series has appeared on a plethora of media with international merchandise, spinoff manga, and handheld and browser video games, including Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for the Vita. The latest manga volume, Sword Art Online: Caliber, began serialization in the September issue of Dengeki G’s Comic magazine. In addition, Kawahara has relaunched the series as Sword Art Online: Progressive, a re-release of the light novels with additional content. A new light novel adaptation titled Sword Art Online: Alternative will begin publication on December 10th. A second anime adaptation of the series began airing from July this year.
Here is a synopsis of the original series from MAL:
In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players can control their avatars through brain waves using technology called “NerveGear.” When players enter the game, they discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive. To escape, players must beat the game by defeating each boss on all 100 floors; however, if they die in the game, they die in real life too. Their struggle for survival starts now…
Sword Art Online: Lost Song will be releasing in Japan on March 26 for the PS3 and Vita. No details about an international release has been made so far. More information about the game will release soon.
Source Article and Images – Sword Art Online: Lost Song Website
“Sword Art Online”, “Sword Art Online: Lost Song″, images, video and all associated brands and titles © 2014 Reki Kawahara, A-1 Pictures, Bandai Namco Games inc. and SAO Project