Review by HM Master

"Part 3 of this Amazing Series"

Well, here we are at part 3. After playing through the first two and really liking them, I knew I had to play number three. This one is by far the best part yet. As in Part 2, you can load your data from the previous game and have all of your items and character levels. This is such an awesome feature, but it does make it hard for people who are starting with this game. But why start with this game? It IS number three, so go out and buy the first one for 20 bucks. I am really excited for part four, and will be sad to see such a cool series end. Hopefully more will be made. As in the earlier parts, this one comes with the Liminality anime. While it isn't an exciting story with lots of battles, it does help understand what's going on in the real world while Kite is in the game. Plus it's free! Okay, my review is below but remember the Final Score is NOT an average.

Gameplay (10/10) - As you know, Dot Hack is played in an online game called ''The World''. So during the game you will be calling people to join your team and trading with the NPC's. This is the same as part two, but definitely has many new elements. There is a new root town, meaning more shops with different things, and MANY new weapons and armor. You can spend a lot of time just searching for trades and trying to get better items. With four root towns, there is a lot to do. New Gruntys (the Creatures you can make and race) are there too, with an added ''Grunty Search''. This lets you search out hidden treasures and portals when you call a Grunty to a field. While you don't have to do this, it is fun and can net you some pretty good items. Once again, people email you and the board is still there. During the game you receive a lot of email, some for fun and some story driven. You can still email people back, but there are only two pre-made choices. There is a whole new round of goblins, this time with THREE in each battle. As in the past parts, there are hidden keywords on the anime and other places. But unlike the other two parts, there is A LOT more this time. There is more Ryu Book bonuses (My favorite) to go for. You can have two characters join you through dungeons, although some require certain characters. Unfortunately, there are only two new characters to get, but one (No spoiling it) will make veteran players happy. Overall, some extraordinary Gameplay.

Story (10/10) - Wow. This part definitely has the most story out of them all. There are a lot of critical plot points. The story started out with your friend Orca going into a Coma strangely inside the world. Many others have fallen into comas. Your character along with others is trying to figure out the mystery of this and the ''Epitaph of Twilight'' which is a mysterious story-type thing that has been broken into fragments. I do not want to reveal anything more, especially because of all the plot points in this game. The story really is good, and I can't wait till part four to see what happens in the end. there are a bunch of sidequests you can do with other, secondary characters that will let you get to know them more, and make them stronger. Even if you don't go for extras, you will definitely want to know what happens next.

Graphics/Sound (9/10) - Well, the graphics are still good, but they are the exact same as the previous, almost year old, part one. That's too bad because the character design is really cool. The dungeons still look the same as before also. There are new monsters and they look really neat, like the previous ones. The Root Towns have always looked cool, and the new one does as well. Now onto the sound. Mostly the same tunes you have been hearing but they aren't anything bad. Some tunes really stick out (Like some boss battle ones) and are fun to listen too. With the Ryu Book, you get to listen to most of the music from the game, which is probably one of the coolest bonuses in the series. Add that with your favorite Background Image and you can just stare and listen for a while. At least, I've done that. I'm guessing that the graphics will stay the same with the next game, but they are nothing terrible. If it wasn't for that, than this category would have been a perfect 10.

Play Time/Replayability (10/10) - HUGE, HUGE category. This game has so freakin much to do, that the people who say it is a 20-25 hour game must have just blasted through it and didn't do anything. Okay first, the hidden dungeons. There are MANY dungeons that have valuable trade items or weapons for you to get. Plus, lots of new monsters and leveling up. There is always a Gott Statue to get, giving you even more stuff. In the Root Towns, you can Grunty Race until you have every item there, which can be pretty hard. There is a lot of NPC's that have trade items, some which require special items or a lot of a simple item. Next, the Ryu Books. My favorite, these books you get from Data draining enough times. By this game you should have had all of them a long time though. There are a lot of different things you get counted for, so be prepared to spend a lot of time trying just to get that certain thing. For example, getting 55 dungeon portals opened. That can take a while, but it is definitely possible. As you reach the goals, you unlock Images for your background, music, and movies from the game. You can watch all the movies from this game once you beat it. You can also watch previous movies from the other games. There is a lot of unlockables to get, and it will take a long time. With the Grunty Search, you can be out in fields for hours looking for good stuff. It is pretty fun too. Leveling up all your characters is a good idea also. There is also a Phantom Quest that takes a pretty good amount of time to complete. Just trying to get all the best weapons and armors for everyone could take a LONG time. As I said before, there are new goblins and they are pretty challenging. Wow, a lot of stuff to do here.

Wow. Just when I thought this series couldn't be better, part three makes it better. I really cannot wait for Part four and I hope Bandai decides to make another Dot Hack game or games. For all fans of Dot Hack, I also recommend the anime if you haven't seen it. It takes place six months before the game and is fun to watch, especially if understand the Dot Hack world. I recommend this game to anyone who has played through the first two. And for the people who have not, BUY the one you are on right now, because you wouldn't want to miss this incredible series.

Gameplay- 10/10
Story- 10/10
Graphics/Sound- 9/10
Play time/Replayability- 10/10

Final Score- 10/10!!!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/31/03


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