It's a crossover that we didn't see coming: Tales of Arise recently got a premium DLC pack that lets you fight against Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online. The unimaginatively titled 'Sword Art Online Collaboration Pack' is currently available to buy from the PlayStation Store — but is it actually worth the rather steep price tag? We went ahead and bought it to find out.
But before we get into the details, let's go over what's included in this DLC pack.
Here's a handy list:
- Two arena fights (one low level, one high level) against Kirito and Asuna
- Three outfits (one each for Alphen, Shionne, and Law)
- Two weapons for Alphen (rewards for beating the high level fight)
- One Artifact that lets Alphen use a new Mystic Arte (a reward for beating the low level fight)
And all of this is priced at £12.99 / $15.99.
Having completed the two arena fights ourselves, we can safely say that it is indeed an expensive DLC pack. Considering some games have released entire expansions for less, this is a DLC that's difficult to recommend unless you really love Tales of Arise and / or Sword Art Online.
To be clear, there's no real story to the fights. Once you have the DLC, you simply find Kirito and Asuna standing around in the arena lobby. After a brief chat, Alphen challenges the duo to a sparring match, which can be accessed, as per usual, through the arena receptionist. No in-universe reason or explanation is given for Kirito and Asuna being there to begin with, so this is very much a carefree crossover.
The first fight recommends an average party level of 25. In other words, it's there for players who may have only just reached the arena. A thoughtful inclusion, and completing the battle nets you an Artifact that, when enabled, lets Alphen unleash a new Mystic Arte in combat. Said Mystic Arte looks pretty darn cool, and has Alphen assault the enemy alongside Kirito and Asuna. Not exactly lore friendly, but the animation is lovely.
Once you're done with the first fight, you unlock a much harder challenge. The second and final duel recommends an average party level of 99, so you're going to need to be in the Tales of Arise endgame, or in New Game+ to stand a chance. Beat it, and you're awarded with two new weapons for Alphen, based on the two swords that Kirito wields during the fight. As it turns out, these blades are two of the strongest in the entire game. One boasts a better attack stat than Alphen's best weapon, while the other boasts a better elemental attack stat. They look nice, too.
But what about the battle itself? Well, it's a tough one. As you might already know, arena battles are always set to the normal combat difficulty; you can't just knock the difficulty down and expect an easier time. This also applies to the Kirito and Asuna fight, so you're going to need to be at your absolute best to claim victory.
All told, this is one of the hardest encounters in the entire game. Those who adore Tales of Arise's combat system will find a great deal to like about this chaotic brawl, as you'll be forced to utilise different boost attacks in order to put a stop to both Kirito and Asuna's most powerful abilities. Attack windows are very limited until you're able to break the enemy, but the battle doesn't feel unfair — it just demands a lot of patience and skill.
It's a fun scrap, but if you're an experienced player, it's only going to last about ten minutes. And when it's over, that's pretty much it for the Sword Art Online DLC. Obviously you can make use of Alphen's new swords and the included outfits in New Game+, but outside of another quick conversation with Kirito and Asuna, that's the main thrust of the DLC done and dusted.
Again, depending on how much you like Tales of Arise, this pack can be difficult to recommend. It's undeniably expensive for what's included, and although the fights are well made and fun, they're over quite quickly. It's a quality DLC pack, but it does struggle to justify the price tag.
Have you tried the SAO Collaboration Pack for Tales of Arise? What do you make of it? Are you still playing Bandai Namco's latest RPG? Dodge those attacks in the comments section below.
Yeah... not worth $15.99 imo. Ghost of Tsushima Directors cut is only a few bucks more and that's a whole new island with new enemies and stuff. This should have been $2.99 at most.
As someone that enjoys watching SAO, I don't think the price tag is very much worth it for the amount of content.
I love the game but I have so many things to play that I'm only a bit after the first true boss fight lol
But I need to finish the game, the combat is so flashy I love it!
@AFCC The story gets better and better, you will enjoy it!
It really is "licensing priced." I felt Sword Art's second arc was so bad that I really lost interest in the rest of the series. No real interest in this DLC either, despite liking Tales of Arise.
Lol I love Sword Art. Cheered me right up watching it when I had a rough patch before. However, this is sucky. Even if I had Tales I would skip here, you need story for these kinda things. I remember the FFXV missions added in from Terra Wars and FFXIV crossovers (for free) all had stories/fights and exploration. I guess Square Enix had the luxury of outright owning both IPs where as Bandai probably only have a contract, they probably got it cheaply or even in the contract between them and whoever has rights to the SAO property.
This is an easy no buy for me. I don't care about Sword Art Online at all, it never interested me so naturally I won't be buying this.
@3Above Gotta milk those weebs for everything they own.
Bandai knows that anime fan will pay anything that has their favorite waifus and husbandos in it.
$15 is way too pricey. Luckily, I don't watch or play SOA anime and games so I'm not all that interested. I'm am however interested in some of the other cosmetic DLCs but will only get them if there's a discount.
Milking weebs all day.
Luckily I don't care for Tales or SOA.
Even if I did, the DLC would probably feel too tacked-on and pointless to warrant the price.
I'm really enjoying Arise (taken a quick break to blast through Metroid Dread) but have never played a SAO game. Even if I was a super fan of both, this DLC does seem rather pricey.
Always been intrigued by SAO - are the games worth playing? I can never really tell if they're single player games or "online" as the name suggests.
@3Above I had someone tell me the second half was way worse! I was scared
@AFCC nah I'm about 38 hours in and it's good. How tou feel about it might depend on which characters you like though.
@3Above So far I have 3 characters but I only really really like playing as Alphen, his combos are just too good. And long range fighting in this type of game isn't as fun imo
@mcdreamer Offline games, Online is in the title because anime/light novel is about players trapped in a MMORPG.
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