Review by nerr

"A great game, but it seems lacking."

Hmm... I've played the first one, and was intrigued to try the 2nd, so after borrowing it from my cousin and playing through and beating it... I was impressed! It's got a good story, and it doesn't really start to go downhill until the third installment of the series. If you want to continue playing this though, be prepared by leveling up a LOT. The story basically continues from the first with you, Kite, trying to find out why your friend, Orca, was put into a coma. The setting of the game takes place in a simulated MMORPG called "The World". The reason people are being put into comas is a virus that infected The World, called The Dreaded Wave. This virus is causing many problems in The World such as infected monsters, and hacked data. If you've never played any of the games in the series before, you should start with .hack Infection, then you can move on to this one. Just to give you an idea of what's going on in the game, I'll explain the storyline a little. You start the game by being invited by your friend Orca, as Kite, the Twin Blade. Orca takes you through a portal called the Chaos Gate, which leads to keyword-generated areas. When you get to the area, they make their way to the dungeon, after a short tutorial on how to kill Goblins. Well anyway, they reach the dungeon and they see a girl floating down a hallway, being chased by an unknown figure known later as Skeith. When they reach the end of the dungeon, they are sent to a strange place. There, the mysterious figure, Skeith, attacks them. Suddenly, Skeith pulls out a large red rod, and attaches Orca to it. He then performs a move called "Data Drain" which sends Orca in the real world, into a coma. Kite narrowly escapes, but as he does, the little girl, known as Aura, gives him a magical bracelet called the "Twilight Bracelet", saying he alone must help stop this virus and save The World. (The game of course, but probably the real world too if people keep going into comas @_@) The Twilight Bracelet allows Kite to use a technique called "Data Drain" which greatly weakens the power of monsters, and is the only way to defeat infected "Data Bug" monsters. However, you gain less experience when you hack monsters, and also, if you hack too much and your infection level gets to 100% it's an instant game over, so don't use it too much. Okay? So then starts the adventure of the DOT hack series. Mutation, the game itself, starts after Kite and his team defeat Skeith. From here, you can convert your Infection data into Mutation data, so you can save all the levels and items you gained. You also get to use the new and harder server, Lambda from now on. This game mainly focuses on finding the source of The Dreaded Wave, but I won't say more. Beat the game yourself you spoiler-happy review reader! =P

Story: 8/10
Good story, but after this one, Outbreak is all downhill.

Since the second section of my reviews is always battles, I'll follow the suit and keep it that way! The battles are usually started when your characters in the field encounter a portal. It's a big yellow spinning thing, so they're kinda hard to miss. Anyway, getting close to a portal causes it to activate and release monsters. To defeat these monsters you must get to them and attack them with either your weapon or use a Skill. Skills are in your Battle Menu when you press Triangle, from there you can select what you want to use. These skills use SP or Special Points, so don't overuse them. I'm sure that if you've played as many RPG's as you claim you do, then you should know all about this, right? So you eventually defeat the monsters, and treasure chests or other items may appear. Simple, right? A word of caution: Most of the monsters in the new servers will be too strong for you, so I suggest leveling up in an easier server before moving to a new one. That's about all I have to say here, so onwards once more!

Battle: 8.5/10
Okay, but it gets aggravating trying to defeat some ofthe stronger monsters.

Sound Quality. Most good games have good music and sounds, right? This is no exception. It is a Playstation2 game after all! The music varies from level to level, and never seems to get old unless you've been in the same dungeon forever. The characters also speak very clearly, so it is easy to understand them, but if you can't there's always your friend, the dialogue box! The battle sounds are pretty real too. Thunder sounds like thunder, trees coming up from under your enemies, sounds like trees coming up from under your enemies! Great sound, but they could have used some more tracks maybe (This is solved as the series progresses). You can also use Music you have unlocked on your Desktop so you can hear all your favorites when you start the game. Overall, the sound is good, and your ears won't be bleeding from listening to horrid noises. It's all good.

Sound: 9.5/10
The game has some great tracks in it, and you'll want to try and listen in.

Next up are the Graphics! All I can say is one word. Awesome. They look great, and with their great sound to match! The characters, monsters and many other things are incredibly well detailed! This isn't one of those games where you can easily confuse two objects because of their looks. You can tell what things are, but sometimes they'll tell you! Can't remember what that little egg thing over there is called? Just step closer and... GOLDEN EGG! A very clear sound, with the graphics to match of course. It can almost feel real sometimes, if you really get into the game. Graphics are good, so this section's rating is as well!

Graphics: 9/10
Nice! I really liked the graphics for this game, but the environments could have been a little more detailed, so I give it a 9/10!

It's time for the final section. Replay Value. Compared to my other sections, I really don't have a great deal to say here. Once you beat the game, you train, you get the next game, you keep going. There's not really any going back, unless you really like it. Myself, I'd rather just play through this one, it's predecessor, and it's successors, once.

Replay Value: 7/10
Myself, I wouldn't replay the game. If you really feel like it though, knock yourself out!

It's time. Time for my Overall rating of .hack // Mutation. Here are the scores.

Story: 8/10
Battle: 8.5/10
Sound: 9.5/10
Graphics: 9/10
Replay Value: 7/10

OVERALL RATING: 8.4/10
Good, but I liked the first more. They could have done a better job, but a good game, none the less.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/19/05


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