Review by HM Master

"Part 2 is a Perfect way to continue the series!"

I didn't know anything about Dot Hack until finding Part 1 at EB Games. It sucked me in instantly. I started to watch the show and needed the next game. It is a great Part two of four. Some say it's more of the same, well yes that's true, but Part 1 was great, so that's a good thing. Basically the idea in Dot Hack is it’s the year 2010, and everyone plays this massive multiplayer online game called “The World”. This isn’t only the game, but the show as well. The player wears a headset looking thing, and pretty much goes into the game. Lately though, people have been mysteriously falling into coma’s while playing the online game.

Gameplay (9/10)- Dot Hack is an action RPG, meaning it fuses RPG elements with fast paced, live action battle. It definitely has the RPG part down, with many, many items, weapons, armor, spells, and everything else. The party setup works well, but sometimes you have to watch your teammates during battle, as they may not heal when they need to. Another thing is healing. It takes too long (Kingdom Hearts style) and you or your party can be hurt or killed while healing, which is frustrating. The gameplay overall is great though. The game is on the easy side, i never had a problem during it.

Story (10/10) - Wow. It's a very complicated story, with the world and all of its previous failures. It captures the online feel very nicely, and the message boards and email make it feel almost real. The main character is trying to find out what happened to his friend, Orca, while trying to find out what is corrupting the world. Since it is four part series, there isn't as much story as, say, Final fantasy X, but it still has a compelling storyline that made me want to continue to Part three.

Graphics/Sound (8/10) - Ok, so the graphics are fine. Are they anything revolutionary? No. The PS2 can do better, but they aren't terrible. The sound has a few memorable songs, but overall there won't be many songs that will stick in your head or move you. The songs fit all the places thought, from forest to fire. I have noticed some slowdown when walking around the boardwalks at the Theta server because of the large amount of NPC's running around, so it gets quite crowded. Nothing too bad though.

Play time/Replay (10/10) - This game is full of secret keywords and items, it will take you a while to find them all. The Ryu Books will probably take the most time if you go for them, but the bonuses are great! If you just blast through the game, it might take 15 hours or more. If you stay for the immense load of secrets, then you could get 40 hours out of it. The extra DVD is nice, for there are secrets on it also. Is the movie good? I think it is. Some may want a second play through just to understand the story, but that’s what the movies and email are for, so you probably won’t play through unless you start back at Part 1.

So in conclusion, this is definitely a must buy for fans of the first. If you didn't buy the first, don't start Part 2 yet. Go buy Part 1, and then get Part 2, because it is definitely hard to start from scratch. It's possible, but you won't have all of your stuff. Can't wait to play Part 3 of this excellent series!

Final Scores (Not an average)

Gameplay- 9/10
Story- 10/10
Graphics/Sound- 8/10
Play time/Replay-10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/08/03

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