[Review] Sword Art Online Variant Showdown: Attractive enough for SAO fans

One more product on the 10th anniversary of SAO launched. Let's take a look at Sword Art Online Variant Showdown to see whether this game is worth playing. 

As you all know, Sword Art Online: Variant Shodown officially opened the international server. 

What we can tell about this game is: OK. If you want to know more about our thought, keep reading.

About Sword Art Online Variant Showdown

This game is developed and published by Bandai Namco, which holds the copyright of countless top-notch anime like Gundam, SAO, …

Specifically, the game is a product of the 10-year Sword Art Online anniversary. The game was officially launched on November 21, 2022, on iOS and Android platforms.

SAO Variant Showdown Plot

According to many sources, the game takes place after the events of Underworld. Kirito and his friends hear the news about two rumors in the new MMORPG called Cross Edge.

The first rumor is the appearance of an assassin who specializes in hunting players, with unknown motives and reasons. If anyone is killed by this stranger, they will lose their memories. The second rumor is about this guy’s mysterious whereabouts when he always wears a hood.

In order to investigate that, the Kirito team decide to join this game to expose lured behind. This plot reminds me of part 2 of GGO when Kirito also has to investigate a mystery in a new game.

SAO Variant Showdown Gameplay

Basically, the gameplay of Sword Art Online: Variant Showdown is quite similar to Honkai Impact 3. If you have been exposed to the company’s products, you will also be able to partially imagine the hack-and-slash gameplay of this game. And if you haven’t played Mihoyo’s game, you will basically rush into fighting with monsters.

On the screen, there will be 2 skill buttons, 1 normal attack button, 2 character change buttons, and 1 dodge button. Your task is simply to combine those buttons to have a combo of damage, and control, making the enemy unable to fight back.

When I play this game, I still have to think about which character to choose. But when I experienced it, I found that the game only had to rush into the competition with monsters, without calculating anything. 

In general, the gameplay is fine, but it is still a bit pale, need to add a little more challenge to become a masterpiece.

Graphics and sound


First, let’s talk about character creation. The heroes in the game have a design that is closes to anime, I feel like I’m watching an interactive part of the movie SAO. But the facial expression is not really real.

In addition, I think many details in the game were pushed a bit too much compared to the original anime, creating a slightly uncomfortable feeling for the player.

There are still many other plus points for the graphics, for example, the game effects are made extremely well, creating a great visual experience. Kirito’s moves are reproduced extremely vividly thanks to the outstanding colors.

During the download process, you will also see a short but quality AMV from the development studio. It seems that the movement to insert AMV into the resource download in a game is flourishing.


The listening part of Sword Art Online Variant Showdown is also quite commendable. The soundtrack at combat is really exciting. The music in the lobby is softer and more tender. This is a general formula, so Moi is not very impressed.

Battle sound is also a plus point for the game. All the echoes from the skill effects, the sound of weapons clashing, and the voice acting of the characters are extremely close to the anime.


To sum up, this is really a quite good gaming experience. The graphics are beautiful, the character creation is nostalgic, and the plot is new, but the gameplay is too bland.

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