I always view anime video games a bit like movie tie-in titles. While they have the potential to be good games in their own right, the main draw is less the game itself and more of the fanservice aspect. After all, it’s fun to step into the shoes of your favorite characters and play out either the plotline of the anime or a completely new plotline. But when it comes to Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight (it’s a somewhat unwieldy game title), I only have a passing knowledge of one of the two franchises this action RPG uses. So, how well does this title stand without taking the popularity of its respective anime into account?
The plot for Millennium Twilight, as expected of a game that mashes two properties together, is a bit odd and nonsensical. While Sword Art Online and Accel World take place in the same universe, they take place in different time periods, so Millennium Twilight has to pull some time traveling shenanigans to work. Also, the ‘Vs.’ in the title is a bit of a misnomer, as while the two sets of characters are at odds, the misinformation is resolved within minutes and they work together to find out why their respective virtual worlds are combining.
Which brings me to one of the key points of Millennium Twilight—the sheer amount of characters available to choose from. This is an action RPG after all, and not a fighting game, and with a three man party, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. You’ll eventually get most of the major characters of Accel World and (the second season) of Sword Art Online, which ends up being a sizeable cast. Additionally, players can get by on almost any party build (you can use three characters), so you don’t have to forsake your favorite characters to have a balanced party… well, mostly.
The thing about Millennium Twilight is that there’s a big focus on aerial combat. You’ll be spending most of your time in and out of battle flying. Of course, due to how Brain Burst (the MMO of Accel World) works, flying is an extremely rare ability. What this means for Millennium Twilight is that while all of the characters of Alfheim Online (the second MMO of Sword Art Online, yes, it can be confusing) can fly, most Brain Burst characters have to compensate with a super high jump that is difficult to control. It really makes it so the Sword Art Online characters are better to use in most situations (excluding Silver Crow), which is a little disappointing.
Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the combat in Millennium Twilight. There’s a small learning curve (mainly what buttons do what in terms of flying), but zipping around and bringing death down on enemies is pretty satisfying. The game starts off relatively easy on Normal mode, but the difficulty does ramp up to the point that you need to understand how to properly dodge and string skills together in order to survive with minimal causalities. I never found Millennium Twilight so demanding that I needed to take down the difficulty or grind out of frustration, but the game also wasn’t afraid to swat me out of the sky in later portions if I decided to ignore my skills and tried to brute force a boss battle.
Exploring, however, hits its share of snags. While Millennium Twilight is sometimes good about directing you where to go next, there are several instances in the main story that the game basically tells you to “look around” one of the decently sized locations and hopefully you’ll find the plot trigger. In most RPGs, this is a bit annoying, but the frustration is amped up considerably in Millennium Twilight for the same reason that makes this game stand out—the flying. Not only do you have to scour the whole ground map hoping to find what you’re looking for, but you also have to fly to every floating island, to the top of every skyscraper, and so on. It’s a lot worse if you decide to take on sidequests that require you to find specific areas as well since the area you have to trigger is minuscule and almost impossible to see while flying. This problem is really a big flaw in an otherwise quite fun game, and it’s an even more frustrating problem because Millennium Twilight is usually good about directing you where to go most of the time, but then fumbles at seemingly random places during the main story.
What I can say, though, is that I really enjoyed Millennium Twilight, even without any sort of attachment to the anime that the game represents. It’s nothing particularly revolutionary, but I thoroughly enjoyed most of my time with it. Moments of confusion and the unintentional nerfing of most Brain Burst characters aside, this is a fun action RPG that is worth a look if you’re not a fan of these MMO anime series, and most likely worth a buy if you are.
Versions tested: PlayStation 4
Disclaimer: A copy of this game was provided to RPG Site by the publisher.