Review by antiflagpunk2

"Think .hack part 1, that’s basically part 2 without anything new or innovative to keep your attention."

.hack Part 2: Mutation

A parallax of gaming based on a semi active based world where free, completely 3d movement and excellent environments dazzle the senses. Yet this sequel fails to impress by adding very few new features while slowly dragging along the story in a half witted attempt to drain more money out of the mindless zombified public that eats up the idea of owning a measly half hour anime in place of 20 more hours of game play. Quite possibly my biggest gripe was stretching the series to 4 games, when in fact Bandai is plainly attempting to bleed the proverbial stone of gaming audiences leaving one to think...that was it? Perhaps insanity has overtaken me in the process of purchasing the second chapter, but even then I didn’t realize that even more questions are asked and for the larger amounts are still yet to answer. Not all of us are complete fools, and sadly we let Bandai get away with such a pathetic excuse for gaming merchandise. When I completed part 2, it was done under 17 hours leaving me to think that both part 1 and part 2 could have been done on the same disk, saving me the $50 I’d spent on an hour of anime that was actually put me to sleep and just left more questions in fixation that just frustrated me further.

I’ve come to grips with the old saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” but .hack part 2 has gone way over the line. Absolutely nothing has changed from the point you converted your data to the last boss of part 2. All exactly the same. Aside from new weapons, armor, and even a few new characters (though I’ll go into greater detail of those later) monsters, and one new ability with the data drain(even that looks exactly the same as the original data drain!). New characters you say? Well, let try to explain the character issue. Basically all the characters fall into a few different classes, six of them if my memory serves me correctly, you see the repeating nature of gaining new characters seeing as how many of them are the same class of a previous character. How about an example? With a blademaster already in your friends list you, with common sense allowed, have been giving him/her the best of your inventory that suits this blademaster(like blademaster only items). When you recruit another blademasters there’s honestly no point in using this one, seeing as how there exactly the same(within the exception of personality) unfortunately for the latter of the two your first blademaster has his/her best equipment for that class, so what is the point in power leveling and wasting more equipment? I have no idea. I’m willing to play a game till I’ve accomplish a majority of the goals while finding secrets along the way, but the shear amount of vocal numbing forces you to search out equipment for several different times for the same class that I’ve already buffed up is quite redundant in my opinion. You even recruit characters in the same gosh darn manner, a random poster during random times posts a random link that leads to a random keyword combination that in turn you find the potential friend, so then some pointless dungeon crawling ensues, find the specific item bring it back MAYBE perform another over simplified puzzle by this time you should have there member card in hand…just like in part 1…exactly the same. *yawn*

Similar to expansion packs for other such games they add a bit more flare which tends to be the driving force in your continued playing venture. .hack part 2 is completely the same, I know I’m repeating myself but the downfall of a potentially great series when you’re given the ability to access only one other server, gain 20 more levels while finding a handful of different armors and weapons in dungeons that haven’t changed in any noticeable way. Even the gob races are the same thing, only this time you receive a gob helm A instead of the gob helm that was found in part 1. Ugh. Grumbly racing and breeding IS NOT FUN, plain and simple

Graphics are quite nice, though I really wish they could have been enhanced in some way I’m not going knock off points for that. The environment is vibrant within the exception of the overused blur effect that is just an excuse to not detail the backgrounds. Monsters have large amounts of movement, I especially enjoyed the thundering sound of the larger baddies while they came from miles around to duke it out with my tiny army. In the hax0red zones the running code effect was an interesting little touch, SOME weapons are over barring the lack of effort while others are very nice looking to say the least with the dragging color trail. The spells are nothing to write home about; in fact none of them stand out in the least. Just a bit of flashy polygons attack the enemy in the element appropriate to your specified ability in the matter of seconds. Even the summons take no more than a few seconds to perform, I’d really hoped for something a tab bit more impressive but sadly I was mistaken.

The story left me thinking…”what? Ok…” I didn’t particularly understand the ending, but I suppose that was the same for part 1. I understand Bandai is attempting to build suspense but at this snail speed it’s more frustrating than suspense building. In all honestly it’s probably quite a good story…but I’ve yet to experience much of it through these chapters and that’s perhaps what forces me to shake my head in frustration the most. Its like opening a book and reading 100 pages and then having to set it down for three months before you can even consider picking it back up.

For god’s sake, rent this game if in all honesty you feel like togging through what feels like part 1 all over again. My final thought is that though I’m not a fan of the anime, never had the desire to read the mangas, or anything within the exception of the game has actually appealed to me I’m still waiting for the story to pick up and possibly being the saving grace that could pull this series from this recycled mish-mash of tedious predictability that is .hack part 2.

Story – 4
Graphics – 7
Sound/Music – 7
Game play - 7

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/11/03, Updated 05/11/03

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