Review by Clowd

"Finally, an Origonal RPG!"

Its about time that some company comes out with an RPG with a non-Cliched and original storyline. The .Hack world is growing rapidly now, and from what I've heard its quite popular in Japan. .Hack//Infection part 1 is just the first in a series of 4 games.

STORY: 10/10
.Hack//Infection has the most original storyline I've ever seen in any RPG. Most RPGs coming out today are using the same old storyline, that is ''Save the world from destruction by some evil person/force/thing'', but .Hack breaks away from this. The storyline is confusing at first, but with 3 more parts to the game to come out in the future, they should clear things up. The basic storyline is that there is this huge MMORPG called ''The World'' that has over 20 million players worldwide. You play as the character Kite (Default name) who has been invited to play this game by his friend from school who is known as Orca in ''The World''. Orca shows you how to play ''The World'' in one of the game's many areas. However, you encounter a mysterious enemy who attacks both you and Orca, and this enemy uses some mysterious power to destroy Orca (the character). You later find out that the person who was playing as Orca had fallen into a Coma. Soon after this, Kite receives a mysterious ''Bracelet'' that gives him the mysterious power of Data Draining and Gate Hacking. As Kite, you decide to seek out some answers to this mystery. Before you ask anywhere else, this game IS NOT ONLINE COMPATIBLE!

''The World'' is a huge and nicely detailed area. Corrupted areas look like Corrupted areas, water looks like water, and the characters have a nice amount of detail. Don't expect graphics like in FFX though. You do get to see the weapon you have equipped, and there are many other ''players'' to talk and trade with.

All the music and sound sounds correct for the situation that it occurs in. The music isn't as catchy as in Final Fantasy, but it sets the mood quite nicely for the area you're in. The sound effects are great, a rock falling on your enemies sounds like a rock falling on your enemies, and a blast of fire sounds just like it should. Everything here is very well in place.

This game has some of the best voiceacting I've ever seen in a Video Game. The Voiceovers are just as good as Kingdom Hearts, and the Script for the game was written well. The characters actually talk like they are in a game.

This game is a dungeon crawler, and the battle system is similar to Kingdom Hearts, but without the evil camera. The game has several sections to playing, E-mail, world News, the message boards for ''The World'' and the game ''The World'' itself. The players in ''The World'' talk about the latest News and Events in the game, and some of the Players will even join your party, which can have up to a total of 3 players. The only bad part of this game is its length. The game's storyline is short, but there are literally over 1,000 different areas to explore in the game, which should offer some replay value.

This game did what most RPGs today don't, Give an original, fresh, and new story. This is only part 1 of 4, the next part, .Hack//Mutation is supposedly going to be released in May 2003. The main part of any RPG should be its Story, and .Hack//Infection has exactly what I want!

Yes, .Hack//Infection does come with a 45 minute DVD movie, .Hack//Luminality: In the case of Mai Minase. The .Hack//Luminality series is a 4 part DVD series that has to do with what is happening in the real world while the game that the movie comes with is happening. I've seen better Anime movies, though. .Hack//Luminality does help explain a few things in .Hack//Infection and the other games, I won't share what because that would spoil it all.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/14/03, Updated 02/14/03

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