7 Things To Know When You Start Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
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If you’re a fan of the anime, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is a really fun new venture into the world of Gun Gale Online (and you should totally check out our review), letting you play as a new character dragged into the madness of this VRMMO by a childhood friend. However, although it looks very simple in the anime, as everything does, the game has quite a few things it doesn’t tell you how to do.
So that you don’t get absolutely slaughtered the first few times you try to do anything in Gun Gale Online, here are seven things you should know when you start playing the game.
1. Your team is changeable
It took me at least half the game to find out how to do it. The game mentions this once shortly near the beginning that it’s possible, but doesn’t tell you how to do it if you don’t go looking in the database yourself. If you go in the menu and check out the Friend List, which you’d think would be empty if you haven’t played “real” multiplayer, you’ll find every character you’ve met so far that have said they would join your party. The good thing is that no matter who you take, everyone’s going to level up at the same rate if you’ve picked them or not, which is good for when you realize you need another strategy. You don’t need to go grind XP for your sniper character because they’re still at level 20 when you’re at level 75.
2. You can buy skills in the menu, but you can’t set them there.
After spending plenty of time and Skill Points buying skills and wondering why the hell I can’t use them, I checked the database and found out that you can only set the different weapon-type-specific skill sets at home or in the lobby. This is something that the game doesn’t mention at all. While it does mention the terminals you use to do this, it doesn’t mention that you have to do this specific thing only there.
On top of this, make sure to set the skills you want to use for every weapon type you want to use them with. If you just equip them for the weapons you’re using at that time, it’ll come back to bite you in the ass when you get a much better weapon of a different type.
3. Weapon Arts have to be bought. Be sure to do so.
Weapon Arts are the charge attacks you get in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, usable when the square around the weapon icon is completely full. They really help, especially against tougher bosses, and can often be the difference between life and death. In fact, Weapon Arts often deal status effects or similar lasting damage sources on the boss, which means you end up dealing several times more damage than normal weapons.
However, unlike in many other games where you unlock them from story progression or leveling up, you have to buy them from the info broker Argo that you can find in the urban district of the SBC Glocken. They will cost you a heavy sum but do enough side quests and you’ll get there in no time.
4. The story doesn’t always progress by itself
Quite often in the game, there are moments when it looks like you have no main mission to play, which can be annoying as it’s not quite clear if you need to level up more or do more side missions. However, taking a quick look at the various parts of the map and looking for that bright orange symbol will get you right where you need to go. If it’s a speech bubble, you need to manually go up to someone and initiate conversation, but if it’s a double-bordered square, you only need to walk up to the right area.
5. Do the side missions. It’s for your own good.
Although some of the side-missions can be repetitive, which is especially true for treasure side missions which don’t have a clear way to get the right item unless you scour every last meter of the area, side missions are essential. Side missions are almost the only targeted way to get XP and level up next to the main missions. This is especially needed in the last few missions where the difficulty suddenly spikes. Where the minimum used to be a suggestion, it turns into good advice. Obviously, you can also try to do it at a much lower level, but you need to be very good, because having a higher level means you have more CP, leading to higher stats.
6. Upgrade your stats if you want to win
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is highly punishing if you don’t upgrade your stats. Weapons have stat thresholds, skills have stat thresholds, and you have less health, less defence, and less attack if you don’t upgrade your stats. While it probably is possible to beat the game with all your stats at 1, it would not only take one hell of a player, but the game would take so much longer to compete. Even an upgraded version of the strongest sniper rifle in the game makes only a small dent in the life bars of the last few bosses.
7. You can’t dating-sim your way out of this.
In this game, you can only build relationships with other people by battling alongside them and reviving them, which builds your affinity level. You can’t badger them until they like you, nor can you smother them with presents until they associate the thought of you with Christmas and happiness like in many JRPGs and visual novels. Although this has upsides and makes a bit more sense than the usual approach, it’s also annoying if you don’t die often or aren’t usually fast enough to get to them before someone else revives them. Just bear that in mind when trying to build affinity with your favourite squad member.
That’s about all you need to know when you start playing Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. Is something missing on the list, or is an entry completely redundant? Do you think that a certain feature is really cool? Sound off in the comments, and if you’re a fan of over the top action, you’ll love Soulcalibur VI just like Ashley did. If you’re more of a fast-paced game fan, you’ll love the announcement of the Burnout Paradise remaster.