The days when JRPGs were a foreign concept for the PC gaming community seem to be truly gone, as another mainstream addition to the genre makes its way to Steam. "Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization" was originally released for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita on November 8, 2016, and is set to be available on Valve's store from October 27.

"Hollow Realization" was the third video game adaptation of the popular anime released for Sony's current generation console, following "Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment" and "Lost Song."

The PC port includes any content released for the action-RPG, including the DLC "Abyss of the Shrine Maiden." For those yet to decide on whether they should pick this one up, it might be best to wait for this version to be released.


"Sword Art Online" might be a ridiculously popular anime, but its reputation is not exactly top notch. The show centers on Kirito, a bland hero who is trapped in an MMO with thousands of other players. The premise is great and quickly engages the viewer, but some of the narratives choices made throughout the series divided the fanbase.

The video game adaptations of the anime tend to follow suit, with players debating on whether they are worth anything. While the previous two PlayStation 4 titles are yet to be ported to the PC, the spin-off "Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight" was released on Steam. Currently sitting at an aggregate score of 64% on Metacritic, it is only worth playing for fans of both series.

From all the PS4 games, "Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization" is actually the best reviewed of the bunch. As the most modern release, it is the only entry in the franchise which actually seems to belong to the current generation. While "Lost Song" offered a more action-oriented combat style, "Hollow Realization" saw a return to "Hollow Fragment" mock-MMO gameplay.

Despite being the best of the bunch, "Hollow Realization's" Metacritic rating is only 69%. Therefore, it is hardly anything to write home about.

The future

"Hollow Realization" might not be the crowning achievement of the JRPG genre, but it is a good sign that Bandai Namco is porting it over. "Fatal Bullet," the next video game based on the series, has already been announced for PC, so it looks like the franchise is here to stay.

With "Ni No Kuni 2" also set to be released on Steam, the PC gaming community is finally not being ignored by Japanese developers.