Finally cleared Accel World Kasoku no Chouten, first run. This is the second game form the franchise Accel World, the first being Ginyouki no Kakusei. Just like the first game, it is available for both the PS3 and PSP, and the special edition of the game includes the EX 02 OVA. I bought the PSP version again as it is cheaper, and portable.
**WARNING: There will be spoilers.
Kasoku no Chouten is a direct sequel to Ginyoku no Kakusei. The story started right after the first game, with Phase 07, with Kuroyukihime senpai telling everybody that she’s going to London after graduation. Remember how the first game skipped the Chrome Disaster arc and went straight to the Dusk Taker Arc? Well, Chrome Disaster arc is here now. Similar story, with the Nega Nebulus team helping Niko to fight Chrome Disaster. The story also continues to Haru being infected with the Disaster Armor, although Haru managed to overcome it rather quickly, enhancing Silver Crow with gold trimmings. The story also covers the Space Elevator race. They really crammed in a lot of stuff.
And yes, looks like there won’t be a third game. Why? The story ended. Yes, the battle for level 10. Black Lotus is kicking ass. And yes, that screenshot that was uploaded on the net is true. Kuroyukihime and Haruyuki finally got together, and we have Yayoi Arita. 🙂
Now I don’t know if there are alternate endings or whatnot as this is my first run. In magazines and website, I saw pictures of Cyan Disaster and White Cosmos, but I don’t see them in the game.
If you have the first game’s saved file in your memory stick, the game will let you use it to get some money bonus and access to the first game’s gallery (only the CGs you have cleared will be shown though). The mini games are there, but you have to buy them.
For the most part, Kasoku no Chouten retains a lot of the mechanics of Ginyoku no Kakusei. Again, to those new to the franchise, this is NOT a fighting game. This is a dating simulation/adventure game, where you will be mostly seeing the characters talking and pressing the circle button to see the next dialogue/scene. Majority of the gameplay is the same. You have the adventure mode where you talk with the characters, then you have the dating simulations where you go on dates, and the same rock-scissor-paper Brain Burst battles. They did add some more features to Kasoku no Chouten that makes the game more enjoyable.
First of all, Brain Burst battles in the first game are pretty much pointless. They don’t add anything to the gameplay as your character’s stats are hard-coded to the story. Heck, it was so pointless that you can skip all battles in the game plus mode. In Kasoku no Chouten, performing Brain Burst battles will actually level up your stats. They also introduces Akihabara Battle Ground (BG), the tournament for Burst Linkers in episode 21. Battling in Akihabara BG will net you some money. Unlike the Brain Burst battles, your stats won’t improve much, and sometimes you won’t gain any additional points at all. Also, you can only do this once per day. This is primarily used to get money quickly, especially later in the game where the gifts are expensive. And yes, remember the name Prussian Stiletto. You will be fighting her most in the game as she is the one with the most reward money.
The game also brings in territory battles, where you will pick an area to do a 3 on 3 tag battle. It doesn’t really add anything to the story per se, but you can recruit additional members for the legion. This is also the only way the other Nega Nebulus members to level up their stats. Only the members that you pick as a team will get the points though.
This creates an imbalance gameplay-story relation. Since you, the player, can do Brain Burst battles as much as you want, Silver Crow will be pretty much the strongest duel avatar. This is especially true later when you are maxing out your stats. All the level 9 kings are nothing against Silver Crow. I mean I pretty much up to the point that I am defeating anybody in two to three turns with my basic attacks. This kinda distorts the game’s story, as while you kick ass during the battles, the story telling reflects otherwise. I guess it reminds you that the focus of this game is not fighting, it’s the dating simulation.
The background music includes some updated arranged tracks, but they are pretty much the same as the first game. I really wish they used the anime OST. They use the second anime opening, Altima’s Burst of Gravity, for the opening of the game. Unlike the first game, looks like they improved the video encoding as it is as smooth as the regular anime now. Also, just like the first game, all the anime seiyuu are here. In addition, we have Utai Shinomiya (Ardor Maiden) voiced too. Alas, Rin Kusakabe is not here, which is ironic as she appears in the EX 02 OVA. Oh, and just like the first game, each character does the piracy warning. Utai’s one is extremely cute!
As for the graphics, well, it is mostly the same. The characters have new wardrobe, but no variety (ie. school uniform, one casual, and a swimsuit. That’s it). Many of the scenes in the accelerated world are now replaced with static images instead of the 3D models. The images are definitely better than the poorly textured 3D models, but it cheapens the game. The CGs are superb, as usual, done with the same style as the anime.
Overall, I enjoyed the game. Of course, I am highly biased as I am a fan of the franchise. Kasoku no Chouten is definitely a better game than Ginyoku no Kakusei, an improved sequel. 9 out of 10. As usual, like most anime-based dating simulation games, this is a game for the fans. If you are not a fan, don’t bother. If you expected a fighting game, look elsewhere.
What saddens me is the fact that they are ending the story, despite the light novel is still ongoing. It is clear that there won’t be a third game, unless they do a reboot/different timeline, or maybe Magisa Garden. Does this mean we may not see season 2 of the anime? 😦 At the same time, they did introduce Utai, complete with her own seiyuu. Maybe there is hope. In any case, this is it for Accel World game. Below is the last scene of the game. Hime: “I love you, Haruyuki-kun.” Yeah, they still don’t say Kuroyukihime’s real name despite the story ending. -_-;