A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
Sword Art Online – Episode 11 Review: A Lack of Focus
When last we left off in Sword Art Online, Kirito and Asuna decided that being trapped in the deadliest MMO of all time is the perfect time to get married. So they finally do what they should have done earlier, which was report the incident with Kuradeel to Heathcliff. But after that, Asuna requests a temporary leave of absence for herself and Kirito as they aren’t happy with how the guild is being run and need time to think about the situation. What they really mean to say is: “Can we have a vacation so that we can go to some random floor of Aincrad, get married, and buy a house and lose track of the whole getting out of this game alive plotline?” Heathcliff grants them permission to leave, believing that they will come back soon.
So the next day, Kirito and Asuna stand on the porch of their new house, admiring the scenery of the 22nd floor. Usual stuff, Asuna tells Kirito that her feelings for him are real and that they will continue their relationship even after they clear the game. You know, the conversation they should be having on the last floor of Aincrad. So the couple spend the next few days on what is basically a honeymoon inside an MMORPG only with no quests and just goofing off. Also, these two tend to have a few awkward moments throughout this episode which make me wonder how well they thought out this whole ‘lets get married and buy a house’ idea.
Early one morning, Kirito leads Asuna to a nearby forest. According to the legend there are ghosts that appear there, which freaks Asuna out. While riding on Kirito’s shoulders, Asuna spots a young girl among the trees. Kirito sees her as well, and given the circumstances they have every reason to believe it is a ghost. Then all of a sudden the little girl falls to the ground unconscious. Kirito goes over to take a closer look, and they realize that the girl may in fact be a player and not a ghost. Although she is missing her Sims Icon, which could be the result of a bug. Kirito and Asuna agree that they can’t leave the girl out there on her own, so they take her back to their house.
While watching the young girl sleep, Kirito and Asuna theorize as to who she is and where she came from. She is clearly not an NPC or a quest giver due to a variety of mechanics, but at the same time it is clear that she isn’t an ordinary player either. Theorizing that she has a parent or guardian somewhere in SAO, Kirito and Asuna decide to wait until the girl wakes up. The little girl finally wakes up the next morning but appears to have no memory of anything beyond her name, which is Yui. Yui apparently is struggling to say the names Kirito and Asuna, so instead calls them by different names. Mommy and Daddy. Kirito and Asuna find this acceptable and tell her to call them by those names. Oh dear lord. As if getting married and buying a house was bad enough, now they are going to adopt a child in SAO.
So at Breakfast, Asuna hands Yui a plate with what appears to be a pie. Yui however seems more interested in the taco shaped meal that Kirito is eating. Kirito tells her that whatever he is eating is really spicy, but that doesn’t deter Yui. So Kirito literally says “yolo” and hands one of the tacos to Yui. So Kirito may not win a whole lot of Dad of the Year Awards for that decision, even if Yui did end up liking the taco. Nor does Anniplex get any awards for dialogue when they actually use the phrase: “You only live once”. As Yui sleeps, Kirito and Asuna decide to take her to the city on the first floor, to see if there is anyone there who might recognize Yui. At the very least this is motivating Kirito and Asuna to start considering going back to the front lines so that they can reunite Yui with any family she might have in the real world.
So Asuna and Kirito take Yui to the Town of Beginnings, reflecting on the events that took place there two years ago. While walking around they notice something odd. Despite the fact that thirty percent of the player population lives in the Town of Beginnings, there is a lack of player activity. Certainly a cause for alarm and concern, but with two players like Asuna and Kirito whom are very high leveled, they shouldn’t have any problem with it whatever is going on. They hear a scream, and see a woman and children being corned by a group of players from the Army. Kirito and Asuna jump over the players and Asuna draws her weapon. Asuna takes advantage of the fact that her attacks can’t kill anybody in a town and beats the tar out of one of the players. Realizing they don’t stand a chance, all the players from the Army retreat.
While Asuna is being swarmed by the group of children that idolize her badass OP skills. Yui wakes up and starts mumbling stuff as she reaches out to the sky. Yui states that she is not from there, that she is from somewhere dark. Then out of the blue, Yui goes ape shat and starts screaming as the entire server starts to glitch out. Yui passes out moments later, leaving Kirito and Asuna to hang on that metaphorical cliff for another week as they try to figure out what just happened.
Stay on target? Oh it is too late for that? The X-Wing carrying the main focus of this show seems to have blown up at this point as the focus shifts more toward Asuna and Kirito living in Aincrad like they had been there all of their lives. Asuna and Kirito should be focusing a little more of their energy on getting out of SAO so that they can pursue their relationship in the real world rather than a virtual one. And them acting like they’ve adopted Yui or something seemed really strange and unnecessary. Maybe it will all work out, but I’m not filled with confidence. Stay tuned for the next review!