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Sword Art Online II Episode 17 Review: Link the Loot

Episode seventeen of Sword Art Online II, brings this mini story arc about Excalibur to a close. Kirito and friends discover the secret to beating Thrym and successfully obtain Excaliber, Klein gets a legendary weapon he can barely use, and Kirito gets led into paying for everyone’s dinner.

After watching last week’s episode, I was wondering how closely this questline would follow Norse Mythology. So I looked up a poem about Thor and his weapon being stolen that was a very similar situation to what is going on in this story arc. This week, it is revealed that the questline follows that story pretty closely. This includes the part where Thor disguises himself as Freyja in order to obtain his hammer. With the combined forces of Thor and the Kirito team, Thrym falls pretty quickly.

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Many a gamer, especially MMO players, can likely relate to Klein on some level or another. Often you get that really rare and powerful weapon like Klein does, only to realize that you don’t have the proper skill level to use it. For me this brings back unpleasant memories of having to level up weapon skill back in earlier expansions of WoW in order to use a weapon that was significantly better than what I had stat wise. Although if weapon skill in ALO is anything like it is in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Klein will have a fairly high weapon skill with hammer weapons within half an hour of using the weapon.

I know it isn’t really important to the story, but I really wish they would show stats on weapons and items in both ALO and SAO. With legendary weapons like Excaliber and Thor’s Hammer, I wonder what kind of stats they have along with any special abilities that come from equipping the weapon. Perhaps Excaliber provides useful things like healing the user for a small percentage of the damage they deal or boosting certain elemental skills. Either way, it doesn’t seem like something that will ever be shown or mentioned again so I suppose that kind of information would be irrelevant.

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The Cardinal system continues to bother me, and also is the greatest destroyer of my ability to suspend my disbelief. Having content get destroyed by failing a quest is one thing, but having dungeons that are deleted simply because one group of players cleared it is an unbelievably awful design. Sure that would result in a lot of weapons and armor that not many people would have, if any. However, other players should have the opportunity to at least do that content for themselves. If this sort of thing happened in any real life MMO, there would be hundreds of thousands of topics on the official forums complaining about that sort of thing. If it happened in World of Warcraft, the official website would be down for weeks if not months due to the amount of people trying to go there and complain.

Sinon proved in this episode that her skills with a sniper rifle in GGO translated well in terms of using a bow. With a single arrow and a little bit of magic, Sinon was able to recover Excaliber when Kirito was forced to drop it for some unknown reason. While Excaliber was clearly a heavy weapon, it didn’t look like something that would keep Kirito from being able to jump while holding it. Either way, Sinon graciously gives Kirito Excaliber in exchange for him thinking of her whenever he uses the sword. I’m surprised that Asuna didn’t protest this, given that she is still in a relationship with Kirito as far as I can tell.

Following the large celebration dinner at Agil’s cafe, this episode brings this mini story arc to its conclusion. However, this is not the end for Sword Art Online II. There will be another episode next week called Forest House. It is likely that this will be the start for the next story arc in the series. At present, I can’t make any predictions for what will happen given that I’ve only read the first few chapters of Phantom Bullet. Regardless, more action packed episodes are on the horizon for Sword Art Online II, and there are at least eight or nine episodes left for this season.



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