Review by shortymjh

"Short, but Sweet"

A story of a game gone haywire, this is one of those RPGs that creates a basis for all others to come. . Hack: Infection gives the feel of a real online game, with a simulated computer login screen, artificial characters to trade with and talk to, and a seemingly endless amount of area to explore.

Game play

The game play is great except for some minor setbacks. The World has an endless array of areas to access. Using three separate keywords, you can go from a barren desert to a narrow forest to an expansive meadow. To further expand your exploration area, you have different servers. The only ones offered in part one are the delta and theta server, but that is more than enough to supply you with hours of play and tens of thousands of areas to find.
This game uses, in my opinion, a unique style of fighting. Unlike the Final Fantasies, this game gets you up close and personal to the action. The basic move is just the X button. But there is also a large amount of magic that you can use, from attack magic to magic that strengthens you. You'll never get bored discovering new magic. There are even item scrolls that can be used as magic.
''The World'' is full of different classes of users. There are swordsman, mages, spear...uh...people, and axe men. Each of them has their own skills, abilities, and strengths.
In the theta server, there are even pets that you can raise. They are called Grunties. You must feed a Grunty so that it may grow. In infection, there are three different styles of Grunty that can be raised. You find food in the areas that you visit. Certain foods only grow in certain areas.
In each area is a dungeon. Each dungeon has a set level of floors that you can explore. At the bottom of the dungeon is a special treasure that usually gives you items that are very hard to come by any other means.
There are different levels of weapons and armor for each class as well. They can be leveled up in certain areas, or be traded from other players.
The game includes a set of books called Ryu Books that keep a record of almost literally everything that you have done. Based on what you have done and how many times, you get rewards for completing certain tasks in the Ryu Books. You get rewards for encountering a certain number of monsters, reaching a dungeon floor, etc.
The only parts in this game that could use some improvement are...
--The game suffers slightly in how to work the camera. When you first begin, moving the camera can be tedious and annoying. But as you get used to it, you hardly notice that you are moving it at all.
--Leveling up can be dull at times. It becomes routine after some time of playing it.

Infection may be only part one of four, but it still has a solid story line. You play as Kite, a new player to the most popular online game, ''The World''. The World is a massive RPG with no real purpose, but to Kite, this game is more than a game. The World has been infected by a virus and has caused many people to go into a coma, and it is up to Kite to save it. Kite acquires a special bracelet that gives him the power to rewrite the data of out of control enemies and viruses. He meets many friends along the way, and, with their help, he has a chance to do it.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics in this game are stunning, but the background seems to suffer greatly. The walls and floor are poorly textured. They seem to come out of an N64 because they appear very flat and seem to fold over the area like paper.
This rating recovers with the sound. The sound is awesome. When you take each step, it is as if you are actually there because of the realistic effect. When you are in a fleshy dungeon your feet make the perfect sound for the area. When you are in a forest, you can even hear sticks crunching beneath your feet.

The main part of the game is very short - only about 15 hours. After you finish that, there is still much to be done.

Since your save file goes on to the next part of the series, there is really no reason to restart. You can level up now and get all of your people as strong as possible in this part. If you want to go through the story again, it does not seem to take away the thrill at all.

Final Recommendation
This game is a great game with endless amounts of playtime and an infinite number of areas to explore. You will spend hours upon hours leveling up and finding new enemies.
You should definitely buy this game if you like RPGs and even if you do not.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/05/03, Updated 04/05/03

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