SAO’s Legends, or Sword Art Online’s Legends, is a free-to-play browser-based MMORPG based on the anime Sword Art Online. The game is heavily rooted in the series, and you’ll get to fight against plenty of the monsters and enemies you see in the anime. If you’re not all that familiar with Sword Art Online, you might not quite understand what exactly is going on, since the game doesn’t do a good job at explaining why you’re doing what you’re doing. However, if you are a fan of Kirito’s adventures in the world of Aincrad, you’ll get plenty out of this game.

When you start the game, you will need to choose between four different classes: Ranger, Priest, Knight and Swordsman. These classes are fairly traditional, and if you’re even played an MMORPG, or a “regular” RPG, you won’t encounter any surprises here. Leveling your character is also quite traditional, as you’ll gain XP from completing quests and killing monsters. The game doesn’t quite start until you reach level 50, so you’ll have to do grind through the first levels. Fortunately, this MMORPG can grind for you.

By activating auto battle and auto pathfinding, you can let SAO’s Legends play itself. Your character will talk to NPCs, do battle, loot and complete quests with minimal input from you. It’s great for grinding, or if you are feeling especially lazy. Once you realize that the entire game revolves around moving around the map and killing dozens of monsters at a time, you’ll start to really appreciate this feature.

Even while you’re letting the game grind for you, there’s still plenty of micromanaging you can do, if that’s your thing. You can upgrade pretty much everything in this game, from your gear, to your skills to your girlfriends. Girlfriends are SAO’s Legends’ equivalent to pets, but it’s not as offensive at is sounds. These are characters that will follow you around the map and help you during combat. These ladies are actually characters from the anime, and you can “collect” them the same way the series protagonist Kirito does. There are currently 12 different girlfriends to unlock – all of which are quite useful in battle.

Moving on to more traditional “collectibles”, weapons and armor can be upgraded by polishing them, fortifying them with crystals, and using gemstones. Each option improves your gear in a different way, but you’ll need Gold and precious stones to be able to do so. You get those by, you guessed it, grinding. Or you can buy them with Diamonds, but those cost real money.

Here we touch on SAO’s Legends’ sore spot – it’s a 100% “pay to win” game. The first 50 levels will go by in a flash, but once you reach level 51, the game slows down to a crawl unless you purchase VIP status and other powerful items. You can choose to keep grinding, but each monster provides so little XP, it can take ages to unlock the next quest or reach the level of the rest of your clan.

SAO’s Legends can be a fun game if you want to feel like you’re a part of the Sword Art Online world. It’s fairly easy to pick up, though the amount of information and UI buttons that slowly fill your screen might be a bit overwhelming at first. If you’re a fan, I’d say go for it – it’s free! Otherwise, you can probably do better.

Dive into the world of Sword Art Online and relive Kirito’s adventures in the world of Aincrad!

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