New Gacha Quick Review – SAO: Alicization Rising Steel

Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel - A Turn Based RPG With a New Twist on Battle Animations

Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is a mobile turn-based RPG game based on the Alicization arc of Sword Art Online. The game is developed and produced by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. and was globally launched on November 19, 2019.  Players can collect and do battle with characters from all of the SAO arcs, and the game retells a lot of the story from the original anime arcs.


SAO Alicization Rising Steel tells its tale through a series of sequential story and combat nodes.  In some nodes, the player maneuvers the lead character in two dimensions on a battle map that contains treasure chests and items.  Enemies are randomly encountered during movement original RPG style, and a boss battle awaits the player at the end. Other nodes contain only story, or only battles.

The players party consists of 4 Main Members, 2 Sub Members, and an optional Support Member.  The 4 Main Members are active at the beginning of combat, and the Sub and Support Members will replace a Main Member when either a Main Member dies or when it is commanded by the player.  Each character has an element type, a weapon proficiency, 3 battle skills, an Incarnate technique, and their own set of equipment.

Combat is turn-based, with turn order being determined by speed, and displayed along the top of the battle screen.  Different actions can impact the turn order, and those results are displayed before the action is confirmed. Each character has a normal attack, 3 sword skills, and an Incarnate Technique.  An Incarnate Technique is a flashy and powerful move that can be executed once the Incarnation Charge reaches 100%. Normal attacks are basic attacks that increase the Incarnation Charge. There are 5 types of Swords Skills: Assault skills that are primarily meant to deal damage, Break Skills that are meant to delay enemy Incarnation attacks, Heal skills that heal the party, Charge skills that increase the parties Incarnation Charge, and Enhance Skills that enhance a character’s attack or defense.

The player can also strategically choose to “delay action” in an attempt to set up battle combos or better time abilities.  For another strategic option, frontline characters can be swapped with backline characters at any time without turn penalty.  Each character has an HP and MP bar, with Sword Skills requiring the us of MP. Characters and enemies both have an elemental attribute, and there is a system of elemental weakness and strength (for example, fire is weak to water).  Combat can be controlled manually, or automated for easier farming.

See a gameplay video clip here:

The Gacha

Many of your favorite characters from the SAO Universe are available in Alicization Rising Steel.  Characters come in rarities from 1 to 4 stars, with 4 being the highest. There are two ways to recruit new characters, one being the gacha and the other being through events that award welfare characters.

There are 2 main gachas in SAO Alicization Rising Steel, the character gacha and the weapon gacha.  The character gacha contains characters of rarities 2* to 4* and may have a rate-up for a specific character.  Pulls can be done 1 at a time, or 10 at a time with a free pull thrown in, so you definitely get more value saving up for the 11 pulls.  The first 11-pull on any given banner has a 50% discount on summoning currency. The rates for the character gacha are as follows:

  • 4*: 3%
  • 3*: 25%
  • 2*: 72%

The weapon gach contains weapons of rarities 2* to 4*.  Like the character gacha, pulls can be done 1 at a time or 10 at a time with a freebie thrown in, and the first 11 pull is 50% off.  The rates for the weapon gacha are the same as the character gacha:

  • 4*: 3%
  • 3*: 25%
  • 2*: 72%

Overall I think it is nice that weapons and characters are split up into different gachas so that you can target what you want to pull, and the rates of both are pretty decent at 3% for highest rarity.

See a video clip of the character gacha here:

Launch/New Player Bonuses

SAO Alicization Rising Steel is currently running several Launch Bonuses.  First, a welfare version of a 4* Alice is being given away, with maximization items being available in currently running limited time event.  A 7-day log-in celebration bonus gives 6 gacha tickets, plus a guaranteed 4* ticket on the 7th day. There are also some premium pay packages available for a limited time after starting the game.


So, the big question, “Should I play this game?”  Here is my quick answer:

You should consider trying this game if:

  • You are an SAO fan, of any arc.
  • You are looking for a new solid turn-based anime RPG to get into on day 1.
  • You are interested in this style of game, with a different twist on combat animation.

You can probably pass on this game if:

  • You are not an SAO fan.
  • You already have a full schedule of games you enjoy playing

Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is a solid turn-based anime style RPG with a different twist on combat animation.  SAO fans will be able to take a trip down memory lane replaying the story, get treated with some original new content, and enjoy battling with their favorite characters from the anime.  Combat is interesting and enjoyable, character development is typical and fine, and the gacha is reasonable. For non-SAO fans, however, or people with an already full plate of games they enjoy, there is nothing here different enough or incredible enough to recommend dropping something to play it.


by Alyeska
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