Review by AznFusion
"My old Review for this game"
Pros: Story, PSO type battle system, and not needing a modem
Cons: It would have been cool to have a multiplayer option...All other cons are in my review
Nice new game to the RPG genre
My true rating is an 8.5. Basically because it is a very good and well thought out game that will immerse the player depending on who he/she is from either start to finish or some other part of the game, but no matter who it is will enjoy the story when brought into ''the world''. Now to begin the review...I have played this game aproximately 30 something hours and have had it for about a week from its release of Febuary 12th. I'd like to start on a low note with its cons stating that when you are far into the game the battles can get tedious, but for some reason keep you in for the wanted effect to improve upon your character. The graphics are not a spectacular thing to view, but still was an interesting thing to view based on the fact that it is another ''world'' that has some nice landscapes and new and innovative looking characters. Other cons are the shortness of the story, but not of the game, and the fact that dungeons can look alot like the one before it, but with different positioned hallways. Don't get me wrong, the randomly generated dungeons are a nice addition to this type of game. Voice acting is acceptional, but it would have been nicer if bandai could put down a couple more bucks to have every 150 something characters(not all usable, but are able to trade with) to have voice actors, even if they were the same people. Funny how all the grunties had voice actors though. And good that it also included a japanese track for the game as well. Another point i'd like to add was the fully controllable camera. It was a well thought out idea, but for some people could have been a hassle (personally i had no troubles with it). I enjoyed the fact that it had a first person mode, but only because i had the option to do so. Now for the last con; the game let you later level up your character after completing it, but there were no more areas that were higher than level 30, but even so it didn't take away from the game, in fact none of the cons did. Thats enough cons, now for the pros which could possibly be a longer list.
To start off with pros, i'd like to first say that the story was the thing that hooked me and probably most other people who've played it. Wanting to see the next plot twist or movement in the story was something that caused me to keep playing unto the ungodly hours of the early morning(no big deal, who needs sleep, as long as i reach level 30). I agree with other reviews that this game used a clever way to show the factorials and to progress the story with via email and message boards. More pros are the different things you can do and the wide openess of this action rpg, it was anything but linear, but if you wanted could get that way. The data drain idea was something very different and the way you got more mp3's and wallpapers also was creative, almost like a diversion that would keep the ''want everything'' gamer to not come to the idea of putting down the controller. The battle system was acceptable, but was blotted out by the want for exploration through the randomly generated dungeons. The also notable thing that .hack offered was the way that you could name/find dungeon and field areas by entering three words, and the fact that it showed you the level of that area. Trading was also very enjoyable trying to look for that special weapon and trying to find an item in your stock that the other character would accept. Flash mail was also a funny way to contact friends to join your party. For the last pro, hearing that you can transfer the data from this game to the next game leaves for a lasting play time and the ability to have a go to an incredibly large combination of areas for the gamer to venture through, but stil unlikely anyone would go through every area.
Overall this game is something to be bought, because renting it wouldn't give you a good enough perspective of the game. An idealically, immersive, stunning story that lasted 25 hours, level areas that topped at 30, and okay graphics, but still something to be played by a casual gamer (because most people like to repeatedly press x), hardcore gamer (theres lots of things to find), and Genre specialist (i am a fan of rpgs, this seems like it fits a good rpgs description).
Last note that i want to say, is that everytime you level up in this game you most likely will be happy to see those golden words appear above a characters head, as it becomes very difficult to level up after you have achieved level 30, based soley on the reason that the strongest enemies will give about 10 experience tops to add to your compilment of experience points that should equal to 2500...
I have now had this game for about almost what..8months? Now having this game for so long, i no longer play it, but once in a while get the feeling. I have moved on to the next chapters of this game, and have discovered that it has been well developed, but has the exact same battle system as before, with nothing new, but a more immersive story line. Honestly though you could easily pick up the, probably 4th episode which should be here in about 3 months, and play that by itself to have the most fun, with all the probable boss battles, and larger cast of enemies and characters. I still keep my score for .hack//infection now and will continue to uphold that rating, even though i have traded it in at my local ebx, for store credit in purchasing disgaea. I will recommend this game for a starting rpg fan, so that they can still have the feel of there most likely love for beat em up button mashers, combined with a bit of strategy and the beauty of growth in another world.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/03
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