Review by tdubbs2

"If I wanted to do something boring and repetitive, I'd get a job"

Gameplay (4 / 10)
Gameplay is hands down the most important aspect of a game, and that is where .hack drops the ball. The game consists of doing the same exact thing over and over. You warp to a level, you find the dungeon, and then you get the treasure. There is barely a story and there is no background to the environments or what is going on. You just do the samething over and over again. The game is supposed to have six million players yet there are only a hundred some in the town and only nine that can be played with. Also, you can't buy any good weopons or armor so you have to spend hours trading with other ''players'' the get yourself equipped. Unfortuneately, the AI in this game is very sub-par as well and you have to equip each person because they can't do it themselves. To make things frustrating, there are different classes that aren't very different, but they can't all wear the same armor. As much time is spent trading items as is playing the actual game. The exchange menu doesn't really show you if the item improves your stats so you have to write down ALL of your equipment and their stats on a piece of paper and compare them to what you are trading. This gets very tiresome, especially when you are equipping yourself and nine other charecters. Also, there are no moves other than stab. When you fight you just keep performing the same action, which is slow and takes forever to repeat. Possibly the only place that did excel was the extensive AI command menu. Unfortuneately the AI is too dumb to equip itself or get potions. However, the AI menu is so extensive because they only do what you tell them to. They often forget to heal themselves or give you a potion unless you tell to do so. They probably wouldn't go to the bathroom unless you instructed them to. This game is lame and Bandai needed to spend time creating good scenarios, better combat system, and actually making a story.

Story (4 / 10)
There is no story! The game begins with your friend falling into a coma and you need to find out how to save him. On the way you get a bracelet that lets you drain the cores of monsters. In the end, you fight a monster that drained your friends core. That's it. Along the way you go through huge ''infected'' dungeons to find empty rooms with bizarre crap in them. You also team up with random people to accomplish fruitless quests. Actually, most of the time you just go into a dungeon because one of your party members wanted to. The only quest the game had was to find a potion to turn a charecter back to normal color. It was very pointless. Most of the time is spent leveling up charecters because it always happens that the puny charecters wanted to go to the hardest dungeons. This game becomes repetive and redundant and most of the time you find yourself saying ''Why am I doing this?'' and ''What does this have to do with the story?''.

Graphics (9 / 10)
This is possibly the only place the game didn't fail me. The dungeons and levels have very cool textures and themes. Unfortuneately, each dungeon is randomly generated and it shows. The game gets to a point where you don't enjoy the graphics because it is the same old thing over and over again, and even if the dungeons look different they fell the same.

Sound (5 / 10)
The music is either this stupid march that is poorly composed, or just sound effects to show how eerie the setting is. Also, each charecter has lame things to say when you heal them, give them an item, open a treasure chest, or they kill an enemy. These quips get irritating very fast. Also there are talking eggs and fruit that also have catch phrases that become very annoying very fast. I recommend you burn yourself a nice CD compilation and listen to your headphones.

Playtime/Replayability ( 5 / 10)
The game can easily be beat with all side quests in under 20 hours. I know people who have beaten the game in eight hours and others who have done it in two sittings. The game doesn't last long because there is no story. You can only go to ''infected'' dungeons to find stupid rooms for so many hours. I strongly recommend that you do not replay this game because it wears on your sanity.

Final Recommendation: Rent it, only if you really want to try it.

This game is especially craptacular. There is NO story or reason to do what you do, the combat engine is awful and boring, the game is horrendously repetitive, and the AI is frustrating. If you want a game that is good and similar to this, get Kingdom Hearts. Also, don't get sucked into the whole series scam. You might see ''Part 1'' or ''Part 2'' and think ''Wow, this game must be good if it is being made into a series''. It's not good. It's just a $200 scam. Each game is the same thing only with some new scenarios. If the game takes only 20 hours to beat, it is pretty obvious all four installments could have been made into one game, but Bandai would rather stick it to you by making you pay $200 for four mediocre games that are the same exact thing.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/27/03, Updated 06/27/03


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