"Part three of the series"

This review will be based off of ONLY this game, the other games will not influence it, though I will me note of them.

Story; 7
Ah, the core of an RPG. But, normally the story is meant to be interesting. The problem with this game is that the story is so-so at best. The first game introduced you to ''The World'' and the second introduced the plot. This one...does nothing. The story of .hack is good, but the story for this one game is bad. It's all filler, it's just an elongated series of caracter interactions that happen o coincide with the plot. You will find yourself going fr one area to the next over, and over, and over again. It's not bad, exactly, but the plot is only advanced, never expounded upon, and that makes it all the more confusing. It gets a 7 because the plot as a whole is good and because it DOES have plot itself.

Characters; 8
They did a pretty good job with characters. They are often funny and strange, they are al quirky, and they did try and make it obvious that the characters are not the same as their ''players''. My only complaint is that so many are pointless. There are only a few characters that actually do anything. Most are just there as extra party members, and to occasionally mention a dungeon with good stuff.

Sound; 9
I rarely giv tens, or this would have one. There are many songs in this game, and few of them are bad. There are no songs that you may like on it's own, but you shouldn't regret it when you forget to mute the TV. The voiceovers are good, and the sound effects accomplish their goal.

Graphcs; 9
I only grade graphics on one thing; playability. The graphics do not interfere with playing and therefore recieve a 9. BUT, there is one problem with this game, and that's the lack of different scenery. You will constantly go through almost identical dungeons over and over again.

Battles; 7
The battles are fun. They require you to guide the other party members and cope with a multitude of defenses. But they are boring also, as every battle runs the same, an every area/dungeon only has a few guys which you must fight many times. And, the bosses are more of endurance tests than challenges. As long as you survive for a while, you win! The one bad part ae negative statuses; all you do is carry a ton of items and heal them. They don't provide any stategy, just boredom.

Other; 5
Ouch. The problem is is that this game has poorly developed anything besides plot and battles. All the grunty sidequests a short and annoying, tag is LONG and arduous, trading is either to easy or really long(if they request 10 useless times you have to find), the non-story related dungeons are monotonous, and even shopping is boring because you rarely buy equipment or have to juggle attributes.

Overall; 8
This game has decent characerts, a passable plot, and pretty fun battles, but lacks anything else. You will want to go straight from dungeon to dungeon, but, the dungeons also get old. It takes definite patience to play all three of the existing games, and the fourth, where there is real story, is on it's way. Any hardcore RPG player, especially in this recent slump of RPGs, should try these games out. They are not the best, but are better than alot of other things out there. They may also, if you are like me, make you desire to see the much-celebrated anime .hack//SIGN Enjoy.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/03


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