Review by Tir Mcdohl

"An offline online game?"

Synopsis : .hack//Infection, the first part of a four part game series, is a story of a MMORPG(Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) gone awry. Much like games like Phantasy Star Online, Ragnarok, and Runescape, .hack takes you to an online world for you to explore. However, this is a totally offline game. The story is about the world of the game itself, and near the beginning, strange errors begin occurring, and all of this works its way to weave an incredible story that may be confusing unless taken into context.

Graphics 8/10 The graphics suit the style of the game well, it looks and feels like an online rpg. There are even computer messege boards you can view(ha!) and other such things. The graphics can be summed up in one word: fitting. The character art is done in the anime style, for those unfamiliar, it is a style seen in many Japanese cartoons, called ''Anime''.

Sound 8/10 The music usually fits where you are, but there are no memorable tracks, really. Where this game shines is its audio track. One thing that raised this score so much is the option to pick between English and Japanese.

Story 10/10 The story is nothing short of amazing. It can get confusing and clustered at times, with many important facts to remember. This is only one part of the entire .hack story. There is going to be three more games in this series. Each game comes with a bonus OVA(Original Video Animation) called .hack//Liminality. Also, there is a TV series being released on DVD on 3/4/2003, and the show is being played on Cartoon Network. There is also the manga(comic book), which, although not yet released in the US, will be soon. They all take place on different continuities, so if you like this game, you should check them out to.

Gameplay 9/10 Balanced gameplay that perfectly simulates an online RPG, it contains many stats and such for all weapons in the game. You can trade with any ''player''(who is computer controlled) and obtain new items that way. Beware, there is much talking in this game, and many cutscenes for the story, especially at the beginning and near the end.
Would Tir buy this? YES! Great game, with a bonus OVA to boot! Why not?

A biased review(because of my love for anime) would make me give this a 10, but since I am out to tell the truth, it's actually a 9.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/16/03, Updated 02/16/03

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