Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris continues its original take on Japanese games’ summer events: fixes and patches instead of bonus swimsuit costumes.
You already know Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris launched on PS4, Xbox One and Steam on July 10, with a lot of problems. Several patches have been released since then, but the game is still unsatisfying in multiple technical aspects. Producer Yousuke Futami held a short stream on August 7 where he talked about future patches. He’s also regularly writing columns via Dengeki Online to explain everything.
Here’s a quick summary of the upcoming patches and fixes.
Late August will bring ver 1.05 to the game, with further corrections to the game’s stability. It’ll also add a Quick Save, Quick Load system, and further fixes to the camera.
Following that, Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris will get another patch in September, ver 1.06.
This patch will bring the final adjustments to the load times, for the whole game map. The adjustments to the framerate will be finished with this patch as well, and the game should be then made fully stable with no FPS drops on all platforms.
This September patch is planned to be the “final” patch for the camera, loading, and framerate problems. Producer Futami noted this doesn’t mean that they will stop and leave it at this if further problems are discovered.
In late September, the team is also planning to add a “Semi-auto Mode”. This will allow inexperienced action game players to be able to easily link attacks and Sword Skills by pressing the same button. Needless to say, it’ll be optional.
In late September, the team is also planning to add a “Light Mode” of sorts, where you’ll be able to enjoy Alicization Lycoris‘ story like an ADV game (the type of games called visual novels outside Japan), without the battles or exploration. It’ll be a shorter version of the game’s story that you can enjoy reading.
Raid Dungeons will also get a quality of life update in September. The game will memorize the members you picked, which Raid Job you assigned them, etc. You’ll be able to pick all that offline too, so once you get online for a Raid Dungeon run you can jump in right away.
As for the Steam PC version, Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris will get in September the same fixes above plus further PC-specific fixes, such as adjustments to the Keyboard + Mouse controls.
Once they’re done with all that, the development team at Aquria will start focusing on the DLC content.
— ソードアート・オンライン ゲーム公式情報 (@sao_gameinfo) August 7, 2020
Personally speaking, as I’ve said multiple times in the past, anime game adaptations often launch with framerate problems, bugs, camera problems and the like, for years now. And at the end of the day, the games themselves are always made by small teams on a small budget, so unless you’re used to these anime games, not expecting much, and are a fan of the IP getting adapted, you’ll be disappointed. That’s regardless of the company behind the game, though it’s most of the time Bandai Namco, as it’s the biggest company handling games of anime and manga IPs.
With that said, Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris is the first case I’ve witnessed in a long while of a Japanese game getting so many patches to fix things up, and see it continue up to two months after release. The situation is exceptional seeing Covid-19 too, but SAOAL definitely shouldn’t have released for full price on July 10. I’m guessing it couldn’t be delayed further, for financials. The main reason behind everything happening in this world is money after all.
I don’t want to play the devil’s advocate, but at the very least, it’s commendable Bandai Namco keeps communicating about the game, and is honest with how things won’t get better until sometime in September, over four weeks from now on. And unlike Yousuke Futami, I’m sure many other Japanese game Producers would have simply ran away from Twitter at this point. I’ve seen many Japanese players dissatisfied with the situation, and Japanese people are really savage when it comes to negative, anonymous comments on the net. Hopefully, the whole situation will turn out to be some kind of wake-up call for future anime games, though I’m not getting my hopes up. In any case, it’s always sad to see a franchise as huge as SAO get a game release like this.
Specific dates for the patches will be announced later on, first on the SAO Games Official Twitter.
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