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First Impressions: Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

Sword Art Online Integral Factor Image One

I’m sure those who follow my Instagram account aren’t surprised to see this game pop up as my next video game review. I’ve been playing it for the past week now and I can honestly say I’m hooked to it right now.

For those who are familiar with the anime show Sword Art Online (also known as SAO for short), Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is a mobile role-playing game. This game centers on the beginning plot of SAO, which involves the main characters in the anime trying to clear all 100 floors of Aincrad in order to escape the game. But now you are one of the people in SAO trying to get out of the game too.

As someone who’s a big fan of anime (and SAO in particular), I’ve really enjoyed playing this game so far. It has the look and feel of the SAO universe and its one of the first role-playing games I’ve truly enjoyed in a long time. I think part of the biggest appeal for me is that I was actually able to create a character that closely resembles my real life appearance. My character doesn’t look exactly like me (because there aren’t too many games where that’s possible), but I found the appearance I was able to make for her closely resembled my real life self.

Sword Art Online Integral Factor Avatar Image One
My avatar in Sword Art Online: Integral Factor. At the point I took this picture, I was on the 2nd floor in the game at level 19.

I’ve also enjoyed playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor because the fighting and game play is so much fun to me. In this game, you can equip your avatar with two different weapons and switch between them during fights. Each weapon has different skill sets that you can get as you complete quests, and you can equip those skills in order to gain an extra attack against monsters. I find that fighting these monsters using these skills can be quite a bit of fun. As someone who doesn’t particularly like grinding in games all that much, I really don’t mind it a bit whenever I’m playing this game because fighting these monsters is actually a bit more of a challenge than in most other role-playing games I’ve experienced. Especially when you enter the dungeons where you have multiple enemies attacking you at once. It makes this game that much more of a joy because it challenges me to be a better player and to continue leveling up so I can clear the floor. I also like that you have more than one weapon you can choose from. This allows you as the player to be able to become skilled at using more than one weapon during fights, which I think is a good skill to have in this game. I like it because I was able to find early on which weapons I enjoy using, but I also have the chance to use other weapons too if I want.

I especially like that clearing floors in this game isn’t easy. I’ve been playing this game for a week now and have only made it to the 4th floor. It allows you as the player to see exactly why it took the original SAO players so long to progress. But I also appreciate it because I love playing games that are a challenge to complete.

What I think makes up for it, however, is that you as a player do have the option to join other players and form a party. As someone who’s used to playing games solo, I like that if I so wanted I could join a party because it definitely would make clearing monsters in dungeons so much easier. While I’ve yet to really use this feature (I’ve only been in a party truly once so far since I started playing), I like being able to interact with others who love SAO and want to fight together. I don’t really get the chance to play video games with other people that often so it’s nice that I have that option if I so choose to do so.

Another thing I like about this game so much is that it allows me to be in the SAO universe and interact with the characters from the anime. Ever since I watched SAO for the first time, I’ve always wanted the opportunity to explore that universe, see the monsters Kirito fought and try my hardest to help clear each floor. Now that this game is out, I get to do just that, even get to talk to the characters from the anime. Even better, some of the choices you make in the game change the outcome of the original story line. And I really like that because you can save characters that were originally killed off in the anime. I also like that you get to explore the SAO universe because you actually get even more story line content in this game that you haven’t seen before. With each floor you clear, you learn more about Aincrad, get to do quests that you didn’t see in the anime.

I think my favorite thing about this game overall though (well besides playing this game, of course) is getting to see the SAO universe. I love getting to explore each of these floors in this game, especially the moment when I defeat a boss and get to see what the next floor looks like. I like this particular moment in this game because the SAO universe in this game is graphically beautiful. I find that each floor is beautiful in its own way and can’t wait to see what the next floor looks like.

Sword Art Online Integral Factor World Image One
Me at level 42 whenever I get to the 4th floor for the first time. So far, the 3rd and 4th floors are my favorite floors graphically in Sword Art Online: Integral Factor.

There are however, some issues I do have with this game that if cleared up would make it a much more enjoyable playing experience. The biggest issue for me when playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is lagging/freezing during game play. I’ll be fighting a monster on one of the floors and notice that its health isn’t going down, even though it’s clear that my attacks are hitting it. So I’ll reset my game, which usually results in my character losing a majority of their health, sometimes even dying. I’ve actually died a couple times in the game because of this problem and it’s really frustrating to deal with. I’ve also noticed from the one time I was able to really join a party that most of the conversation I had with my party members somehow gets deleted to where I can only see things I typed when talking to a party member. I don’t know why, but it’s something I easily noticed and it annoyed me. But despite these difficulties, I’m still playing and enjoying this game a lot.

Another criticism I have for Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is that there aren’t really a variety of quest options for a player. Besides the main quest storyline, you have two other quest options: fighting monsters to collect items and boss fights. I get that the overall objective in this game is to clear each floor of Aincrad in order to escape the game, but I was hoping the quests in this game would be more story based. Or that there would be more to them so that they would be just as challenging as the main quest storyline. While it does benefit you to do some of these sub quests anyway (mostly because you can gain experience to level up), I find them to be just plain and not to be too much of a challenge to complete. It almost seems pointless to do most of them, especially because you can do them multiple times if you wish with very little reward.

I’m also critical of this game because it doesn’t really explain how you can improve your skills very well. When I first started playing, I thought I understood how it worked, but it’s taken me longer than expected to understand it and to improve the skills I have equipped. I’ve managed to do just fine not really understanding it, but it’s frustrating because I want to do the best I can to be a good player in this game. I know with time I’ll have it all figured out, but I still wish the game had explained it better so that I wasn’t dealing with so much confusion.

But overall, I’m enjoying playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor immensely. It’s a much better SAO game than I was expecting for mobile and I’m having so much fun playing it that I don’t know if I’ll ever stop playing it. It just needs a couple adjustments here and there for it to be a much more enjoyable gaming experience for me. But I still love it all the same and can’t wait to play it some more.

First Impressions: Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is a RPG, action turn based game. Played on Android and mobile devices, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X has just recently been released in the United States.

And it is unlike no other Kingdom Hearts game. For one, you get to create a character uniquely your own. In previous Kingdom Hearts games, you played heroes chosen by the keyblade. But in Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, YOU are the hero. You can customize your avatar’s clothes and hair as well as choose which keyblade you want to use on each quest. It has also been released on Android and mobile, something Square Enix has never done with Kingdom Hearts in the past.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Avatars

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is an enjoyable game for beginners to the series. Those unfamiliar with Kingdom Hearts can play it without playing any of the other games.

I both like this and hate it. I enjoy that this game can be a stand-alone because it has unique features other Kingdom Hearts games don’t have. But at the same time, as a big Kingdom Hearts fan, I’m sad. Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is a good game, but I was hoping this game would move the plot of the series further along. But it doesn’t.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Action

However, I also just started playing Kingdom Hearts Unchained X a couple days ago. So while I feel like there’s no real plot to the game, there’s still a lot I haven’t gotten to just yet.

But from what I’ve played so far, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X is a fun addition to the series. I enjoy being able to play a unique character that I’ve created as well as explore familiar worlds seen in the rest of the series and can’t wait to dive further into the game to see what all else it has to offer.

First Impressions: Undertale

Undertale Title Screen

Released in September, Undertale is a role playing video game created by Toby Fox.

Taking place in 201X, Undertale tells the tale of a human child who falls into the Underground, a world where monsters live. After a war between monsters and humans broke out, the monsters were banished to the Underground to live out the rest of their days. The only way monsters can get out to the surface is through taking seven human souls.

Undertale is a game I became interested in playing after watching GameGrumps play through it.

By watching them play Undertale, I was able to learn the mechanics of the game and understand the different ways the game can be played.

Upon playing Undertale, one of the things I enjoy about playing this game is that there are two ways the player can enjoy their experience. When fighting monsters, the player has two options. The player can either attack the monster and cause direct damage, or they can spare the monster through the act of mercy. Mercy allows the player the ability to not attack monsters and cause them damage. While not killing monsters doesn’t give the player any experience points, it allows the player to play the game in a different way than most role playing games typically allow.

One of the many boss fights the player experiences in Undertale.
One of the many boss fights the player experiences in Undertale.

But in Undertale, your choices affect your future gameplay. So if you choose to kill all of the monsters that appear before you, that will impact your gameplay the next time you play. This is one of the many aspects of this game that I really enjoy. I like that the choices you make in this game can impact you whenever you decide to play this game again. It adds something different to this game that you don’t often see in role playing video games.

Another aspect of Undertale I enjoy is the storyline. You get to play as a child who enters a world full of monsters. A world where most of the monsters you face are friendly but seriously misunderstood. Monsters that seem more human than deadly. But the enjoyable thing is that you don’t have to kill them. You get the choice whether you want to kill a monster that doesn’t want to fight, which is something I really appreciate. Not only that, but your character is able to connect with these monsters and become friends with them when you spare them. I enjoy the storyline for this reason because I feel like Undertale teaches the player important life lessons that you normally don’t get from role playing video games.

Image can be found on Kotaku.
Image can be found on Kotaku.

I also enjoy playing Undertale because I enjoy the graphics of the game and music. All of the little towns and places you go to throughout the game are really cute. I also enjoy seeing the layout for the monster battles too. How your health when you fight is determined on whether the heart you have control of gets out of the way of an attack in time. But I also like the music in Undertale. It’s pretty funky and different from the type of music I’m used to seeing in the games I play. I especially love the music when you’re fighting bosses. Each song picked for the boss battles uniquely stands out from the rest of the soundtrack and gives the player a better understanding of the character they are encountering.

Undertale Game2

Aspects of Undertale I don’t particularly like are the pace of the game and the controls. I feel as if the pace of the game ranges from being really slow to super fast. There are times when you are exploring the Underground where the overall plot of the game drops and random things begin happening, such as the date with Papyrus. While I did find all of these incidents to be rather entertaining, I also felt like it was all filter to try and make Undertale a lengthier game. I also don’t like the controls in the game. Whenever I’m playing games on my computer, I’m so used to using the X button as the button to select and use items and do everything. But whenever I play Undertale, X is the button used to deselect and exit out of things while Z is what’s used for items and everything else. For me it’s a little bit harder because I’m not used to the controls and have to get reacquainted with them every time I play.

However, Undertale is overall a pretty good game. I enjoyed watching GameGrumps play it on their channel and am enjoying my experience with the game too.


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