Review by piroteckkie
"Not original nor phenomenal. It was about time, I'd say."
.hack Infection is a pretty lame game. There are a lot of things that could have been great, but just isn’t. It takes place in the year 2007 when an MMORPG called “The World” is really popular and has over 20 million users. I guess people in 2007 are just as bored as us 2003 people. Anyhow, you play under the persona of “Kite”, and you’re at level one, whilst your good friend Orca (like the whale) is at level 50. Anyway, you go through The World and a big evil bug hits him. Spooky. Then, you find out he falls into a coma in the real world. Hmm… an online world and a real world… Haven’t I seen this before, in an anime that started with “S” and ended in “erial Experiments Lain”? Why yes, yes I have! And everyone is saying how original and phenomenal this game’s plot is!
Since this game rips off one of the trippiest animes ever, I have to give it a low rating. I mean, sure, Lain ripped Evangelion off, but a ripoff of a ripoff is something that I just cannot enjoy. I mean, geez! I’ve already seen the plot before, and they didn’t try to change it at all!
In the gameplay section, .hack fails once again. The game forces you to control the camera angles during battle. You have to choose special moves from a menu. A menu that grows in length every time you learn a new skill, and skills aren’t sorted by type or anything. You have to scroll through the list, looking for just the right skill. To go to a dungeon, you have to use a very odd and confusing method of using keywords. And plus, the game is too easy. Early game, I got some of the best items by trading things I got in early dungeons to NPCs, and then I just went .hack and .slash through every other dungeon in the game, in a Diablo-esqe manner.
And, you know, while .hacking and .slashing around The World, you hear some very odd sounds. While trying to get the camera just right, you get hit by an enemy, and some of the oddest grunts and groans can be heard. In fact, oftentimes I got so sickened by it that I began to scream out nursery rhymes to drown out the yelping and screaming. But, after I got to the breaking point of my sanity, I discovered you could configure it so the voices were in Japanese! A chance to study for university and to not have an odd chill constantly running down my spine!
The music in this game was generic. Not exactly memorable like the Final Fantasy battle theme, but a bit more nondescript, like the town theme in The Granstream Saga. I liked it, though, so this game gets an A+ in that category.
The graphics in this game are pretty funky. Sometimes you can come across an area that’s corrupted, sort of like in Everquest. I originally thought my CD was scratched, and took a Gamedoctor to it. But, no scratches, just crazy Bandai programmers making this game more realistic that any MMORPG I’ve ever played. Two thumbs up your nostrils, Bandai.
Anyway, you shouldn’t buy this game if you’re expecting a challenge in the difficulty area. You should buy it if you’re expecting a challenge in the control area. Otherwise rent it.
BUY OR RENT? Rent.
(Side note: aside with the items I got from the NPCs, I got some through a gameshark and a magazine demo CD with a download with some items preinstalled. I’m so cheap.)
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 02/15/03, Updated 02/15/03
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