Review by cimama

"More of the same, but that's not really a bad thing....."

For anyone who has seen the .hack anime or played the first game, you know that the story is one of the best ever for a video game, or anything else for that matter. Being able to combine all of the media formats together is something few have even attempted to do. In fact, the only franchise I can think of doing this is The Matrix. The game takes off right where the first game ended (duh). Now that Kite and his friends have an idea of what they're getting themselves into, the dangers become greater, the plot thicker, and the experience for the player all the more enjoyable.

Graphics.....8/10

I'm a bit disappointed that they don't use the same character models for the cut-scenes as they do during the actual game. The cut-scenes look extremely nice and really alive, while the in-game ones look dull upclose and very plain. The designs are great, though. Also, the detail for the dungeons aren't as good as one might expect. They should try to make them look more like they do in the anime series. But all in all, a very solid game in the graphic department, but they should try to improve them for the last game as a special surprise.

Gameplay......9/10

The battles are really fun and interactive. They're no Final Fantasy, but they would give them a good fight. I always liked RPGs where the characters don't just stand there waiting to be attacked. There are tons of options and commands you can give to team mates during battles, like who to attack, what attack or spell to use, or if they should just stand and watch. All the controls seem to flow together very nicely, and there's even a first-person mode for people who truly want to feel the game, although it feels a bit clunky.

Sound.....7/10

The good part is that they give you the option of listening to the Japanese voice track instead of the English one, something most games don't do. The bad part is that the effects are repetitive. Every battle it's the same old sounds of WHACK and BAM. They should try to make it so different weapons give different sounds. Also, there are only voices during cut-scenes or special in-game events, but during battle or while you can freely move around, your partners talk to you with little message pop-ups. Another thing they should try to replace for Part 4.

Replayability.....9/10

One of the great things about .hack is that you can either play it as the story would want you to, or you can play it as a real MMORPG. If you want to take a break from the story, just take some partners and go out and hack away at enemies to get new and more powerful items. Then head back to the main towns and trade them to get even more powerful items. Truly a great experience.

Overall......9/10

If they only try to improve the aspects of the game every new version, then all the games would truly be worth owning for anyone. But I ain't complaining with what I got now. Plus a free anime DVD, the is a must buy for any RPG fan , story fan, anime fan, or a combination of the three.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/03, Updated 05/21/03


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