Details about upcoming PlayStation Vita title Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment have been dripping slower than a rusty tap. With a rich oasis of ladies shown in the E3 trailer that will join you in battle, news of gameplay not involving dungeons has been bone dry. Thankfully, some light has finally been shed on non-combat features, along with a release date of 19th August in North America and 20th August in Europe.
Screenshots show off the title's hub town, along with special events that will take place in them. It seems that you will be able to talk with important characters from the series, including one of the newly announced personalities, Yui, a mental health counsellor who, after being rescued by Kirito and Asuna, refers to them as her parents. Rather than boasting simple fluff text, a bar at the bottom showing their 'enjoy' and 'talk time' is present, hinting that you will be able to raise affection for special bonuses, rewarding you for interactions.
You will also be able to buy commodities instead of just scrounging off monsters, as Agil, the property's trusty merchant, will be making an appearance. One more potential party member has been revealed in the form of Klein, too – one of the first people that you'll meet in the world of Sword Art Online and Kirito's older brother figure.
With screenshots showing CGI cutscenes, parties of up to seven players, an ever-growing cast, and stuff to do other than bash monster's heads in, it looks as if Hollow Fragment is shaping to be the title that fans of the franchise have been begging for. Is this new information getting you more psyched for the impending portable release? Sign in via the comments section below.