Review by Estoy Loco

"An Extremely Refreshing RPG Experience from Ban Dai"

Note: During this review, I will be referring to this game as dot-hack, because the name of the game really messes up sentences!


I don't know about you, but I've never been that big of a fan of the games that Ban Dai makes. None of them really ever appealed to me. That is, until I heard about dot-hack. This game will pretty much blow you away with its incredible originality.

Story: 9

The basic premise of this game is that you are a newbie in the MMORPG ''The World''. The World has been out for a while now, since 2007(at the bottom of the screen when you go to log-in to The World, it says © 2007-2010). The person who first introduces you to The World is your friend, Orca. After you've created your character, Orca shows you around, telling you some of the basic things you need to know how to play. After a while of exploring a dungeon, a strange pale girl rushes by you, being chased by a monster that couldn't of possibly been on that level, because it was incredibly powerful. You decide to follow, and you end up in a very strange area. I won't give away any more of the story. You'll have to pick up the game if you want to know any more!

Graphics: 6

Graphics is an area where dot-hack, sadly, falls short. Although the character models do look very good, the environments tend to look very bland, and a lot of the textures are repeated. I also think that Ban Dai may of made too many instances where the characters eyes dilate. It just doesn't seem natural.

Sound: 8

I've played the game for a while now, and I can't remember a single song off the top of my head. It's not very memorable, but it's not annoying, either. Much of the dialogue in the game is voiced, and with very high quality I might add. One thing I might of changed about the main characters voice is his pitch. He sounds a little too whiny in some instances. The sound effects are of fairly high quality, some items say their names when you pass by them, and the voice actors sound like they've been well-trained.

Gameplay: 9

dot-hack is an action-RPG, with live battles. Whenever you want to use an item, cast a spell etc., the game pauses so that you can select what it is you want to do. Some people may think of this as good, and some will think of it as bad. It's all a matter of personal preference. The group-fighting aspect of it is really great. Whenever you meet up with someone that wants to fight with you again, they give you their ''member address''. If you want to fight with them, you simply call their member address, and if they're logged on, they'll respond(I've yet to see them turn down an offer to join up.). On the desktop, you have a couple of things to do, like read e-mails, save your game, look at news, etc. The gameplay in dot-hack is definitely above average. I consider it to be great.

Extras: 10

So, you thought that because this game didn't come in some big bulky box that you weren't getting any extras, eh? Well, you were wrong! This game comes with a second disk! This disk contains an entire anime movie, called .hack//Liminality. I don't want to give too much of the movie away, so I'll just tell you that the movie is mostly about a person who went into a coma because of The World.

Lasting Appeal: 8

I'm starting to feel a slight bit of boredom set in from the dungeon crawling, but I most likely won't be putting this game away entirely for a long time to come.

Overall: 9/10

This game is definitely going to be one of the biggest games of the year. It simply deserves to be.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/15/03, Updated 06/28/03

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