Review by Vizywo

"Solid Simulation of its Time"

When I ordered this game, I was apprehensive due to the bad ratings given it. Luckily, I ended up playing it, only to find it greatly exceeded my expectations. Having it be a game released in the early years of 2k, in comparison to other games that came out around the same time, it was phenomenally well-made.

Gameplay - 9/10 - Interactive with a message board, headline news, and emailing system, the feel of the game is like a simulated mmorpg. When beginning the game, you're given a nice tutorial that guides you through the basics. When battling, it's basically a button-mashing sort of game at first, with skills selected from the menu. You can also choose what modes of action the other characters in your team do. One thing to keep in mind is that MP (magic points) recover more while you stand still in an area, much like in most mmorpgs.

Story - 7.5/10 - The game begins with your character (who you name at the start), who is beginning to play in "The World". With tutorials and guidance from his friend "Orca", he discovers a bunch of possibilities and places to battle. Unfortunately, while exploring a certain dungeon, a certain strange thing happens to Orca. The game then focuses on the tale of the game's protagonist (the character you start as), and the mystery surrounding "The World". The story is quite solid at the beginning. There are regular characters and antagonists that set the scenes of the game. There are also a few side-quests in which you discover more of "The World". Still, despite the interaction, the game is quite linear, like a progressing movie of sorts.

Graphics - 8/10 - The game is good for its time. Most, if not all, of the characters are fleshed out and well-designed to stand apart from others. Even NPCs have their own different looks. The only drawback to the graphics is that the dungeons are seemingly similiar.

Sound - 9/10 - A great aspect of the game is the sound effects, from the pitter patter of the feet as characters move to the slash sounds made in battle. Another thing to take mark of is the music, which matches the moods of the events, towns, fields, and dungeons. The English voice acting is somewhat good too, or at least, audible enough.

Play-Time/Replayability - 7/10 - With me exploring nearly everything until the end scene, I found myself playing at least 20 hours, which isn't too bad for a volume in a many-parted-series. However, if you play it paying attention to the details and extra places, from start to finish, you'll find there's not much to do when playing it again. One thing to also note is that the game isn't too hard to play, with an easy learning curve.

Final Words and Score - 8/10. - It's a solid game, well-worth checking out as long as you plan to play the series (the games after it). If you're willing to put in some time and effort, you'll find a pretty good gaming experience. Though, this game might not be for all, so if you can, try renting it out first to see if it's for you. If you get this game, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/04/08

Game Release: .hack//Infection Part 1 (KO, 10/22/03)

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