Review by Devolution
"All the flavor of the first...which is a good AND bad thing"
Lemme see. I'm a big .hack fan. I love the game. I love the concept. I've seen all of //SIGN, //DUSK, //LIMINALITY, and I played //INFECTION and own //MUTATION. Without a doubt, this is the best game ever in terms of originality.
Having said that, let's get to the point.
This game is NOT a sequel. If anything it is a continuation split into four volumes. So I am not surprised there aren't any real enhancements.
GRAPHICS: Squaresoft's worst efforts far out do .hack's best efforts in almost every way. However, that doesn't mean that Bandai did a crap job. the interface is remarkable and the detail in the game movies is quite a remarkable facsimilie of the anime. I just wish the transition from Kite's shocked eyes to normal eyes didn't look so PS 1.
In terms of character design, this is where the game excels. From monsters to allies to the phases themselves...an incredible amount of detail was put into this aspect.
MUSIC: The music in some parts is remarkably good. The music in other parts is sickeningly bland. The best music in the game has to be Helba's theme music in the movies. the Lios music is pretty good and so is the Aura/Harold musics. However...the biggest WTF were they thinking music belongs to Net Slum. -_-
Aside from these exceptions, the music wasn't nothing to wite home about.
SOUND: The English dub is quite good on most characters. (Rachael was just awful. I want to stab her in the face.)Sure it's not as good as the Japanese mix on most levels...but it's still good. Black Rose and Helba's english voices are a whole lot better than their japanese voices. Kite was pretty...overdramatic in both mixes and Balmung was simply bland in the english mix.
Overall...it's a good dub.
GAMEPLAY: This won't take me too long. Annoying camera. CHECK. Fun dungeon time the first 10 hours? CHECK. Repetitious? CHECK. Data Arc is the most useless move known to man? CHECK. Trading gets annoying fast? CHECK.
STORY: Ok this is what makes .hack the best RPG ever. The story is unique, fun, and innovative. I cannot go into it without spoiling it to no end but let's just say it's that good. Many of my questions were answered....many MORe questions filled my head like ''OMG!!!'' at the end of the game. I agreed with Black Rose right there.
OAV: Well...umm...it was good. I don't have much to say about it because the OAV's are pretty boring up until OAV 4. Most of them simply provide backstory on THE WORLD, coma victims, Harald, Emma, etc.
Despite lackluster graphics and music, an annoying camera, and short length, .hack//MUTATION is worth the money.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/19/03, Updated 05/19/03
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