Review by YourWorstNightmare

Reviewed: 03/01/03 | Updated: 03/01/03

This game will take your breath away

I know what you're most likely thinking, you're probably saying to yourself ''.hack? What kind of lame-o name is that? What a stupid game!'' and I know you are thinking that because, at first, I thought it too. Let me tell you something, that ain't true! This game starts off as your friend introduces you, a young boy named Kite (or a name of your choice) to the new online RPG style gaming called ''The World''. It all goes to plan until he finds an unstoppable creature in the midst of a newbie level. Just as he tries to stop the creature, he is ''Data Drained'' which I ill explain later in the review; putting him into a coma in the real world.

Gameplay (10/10):

The gameplay in this game is simply amazing. Take the battle system from Kingdom Hearts (open battle field, not taken into battle screen) and add the cool feature of showing where the enemies are with magic portals together and you'll get the fascinating, unique battle system of .hack//Infection. The magic aspect is just plain awesome when combined with the skill aspect. You have around 50 skills overall and around 250 spells. There are four types of spells: Spells(Ooh, fancy), Weakening, Strengthening, and Healing. Each one does their own self-explanatory thing. There may only be about 10 healing spells but there are about 100 magic spells and about 50-65 strengthening or weakening spells. The characters run at different speeds to match the weight of their clothes and due to other factors. And unlike Suikoden III, the characters do not A) Run like pansies or B) Run at INCREDIBLY slow speeds! Now even though two characters; Piros and Elk run pretty slow, it is understandable for Piros since his clothes must weigh about 300 pounds. And as for Elk well, he sucks. In my very honest opinion, the gameplay along with the graphics made this game.

Sound/Music (10/10):

The music is very intense and for some reason, some of the dungeon music reminds me of FF7. Like all RPG's I know of, this game changes the music to a fastbeat, more heart pumping type of music as battle commences. The characters also like in successful (Keyword: SUCCESSFUL) games like FFX and Kingdom Hearts, speak each with their own voice actor. I do have two things to say though, 1) Kite sometimes sounds like a girl and 2) The people that made this game hired too many Digimon voice actors to voice act for this game. But regardless, the sound/music aspect of the game is still very awesome. Not to mention that the characters make their own ''Battle grunts'' as they swing their swords/wands/daggers. The characters also pronounce every single spell (which there are probably around 250 of) in their own way. Overall a great aspect of the game.

Graphics (10/10):

Simply mind-blowing, ear-numbing, teeth-chattering, etc. These graphics are the best besides GT3 (which is a completely different type of game) on the PS2 that I've ever seen. The characters when they run look real, it makes you feel like you're actually the character running along with two allies, striking the enemy with your twin-blades in rage. As you run, dust comes up from the ground and the characters legs move perfectly. The lips don't move to the words but rarely do you notice because there aren't a lot of close-ups in the game. This as I said before, is part of the reason this game is as good as it is.

Storyline (8/10):

This is the biggest flaw in the game. I am a little disappointed that the storyline is quite weak, but still makes quite a bit of sense. I think it's quite stupid that you're making a big deal about a computer game just because your friend got thrown into a coma because of it. Worry about your friend, not the game. You never visit him or anything, but whatever I didn't make the game. Other than that the storyline is great, it's fantastic how all the characters somehow tie into each other. Basically, a couple flaws can be fixed to the point of not noticing them, which this game definately did a good job of.

Replayability (10/10):

There are areas that you go to in the game, you get to the areas using different keywords. Since there are so many keywords and so many combinations, you could technically play over, and over, and over, and over until you dropped on the floor dead because there are so many different places to see and enemies to fight. Not to mention that the game doesn't involve a whole lot of talking, so it is nice to play again due to there not being a whole mess of useless talking. Besides that, there are three sequels coming out that complete the story and the game so you had better start saving up now! But it's still definitely a good thing.

Rent or Buy: Buy!!!

Final Comments/Overall (9/10):

This game had some flaws, but made up for it with presentation. Like my old teacher always said, ''If you mess up, make it look nice and all your problems will slowly dissolve away like rats in stomach acid''. Overall this is definitely a game to buy and if you have any interest in RPG's, this game is absolutely a must get.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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