Review by Liu Domi

"Here We Go Again!"

Welcome my fellow .hack'er, to the third game of the .hack// series. Allow me to start off by saying that despite the grade, this game is actually good, if not great, and is only granted a 7 for various small reasons. So, let us get on with the review!

Graphics- 6/10

Eh, the .hack// series has never had very flashy graphics, and that has never been a big problem. Choppy, blocky character figures(most specifically during the multitude of cut scenes you will come across in the game) are still existent, however, the characters look decent from a distance. The monsters all look pretty nice, as they pretty much always have. Newer weapons have some pretty gangsta designs, even the flowery long arm weapons. Grunties STILL look slightly choppy, but that is frivolous since it won't be a bother to gameplay. Oh, yeah, one more thing.... that stupid annoying dust that ALWAYS breezes across the bottom half of the screen has not left the game yet. Finally, the new wallpaper backgrounds for your desktop look A-ok.

Sound- 7/10

The game's background music has not changed. Not for fields, dungeons or root towns. That all-too-familiar slash still toys with your ears in battles. Nothing much has changed in terms of sound, except for character voices. Marlo, Moonstone, and company sound more feminine to me for some reason. And we even has one reason to celebrate! Mistral's squeaky, super-high pitched mouse voice is almost completely absent from the game! Yes, yes, cheer all you want, you've earned it.

Story and Gameplay- 9.5/10

If you have been playing since the first or second .hack game, then you already are aware of the brilliance that the .hack storyline possesses. The third game in the series moves the story along quite quickly, and at quite a mass rate. Since I wish you to find out for yourself what happens in the game, I'll reveal as little as possible as a sort of appetizer. And old enemy decides to help you out, several operations commence, and a friend seems lost. There ya go, a nice little soap opera review. The amount of significant boss battles varies little from the previous game, but, hey, each one moves you closer to finding out the truth of the corrupted "World" online game, and closer to saving your friends. The same field clearing, dungeon clearing, treasure grabbing, hack-n-slash style of gaming is the same as it has always been, with a new server added into the concoction. Overall, it is very entertaining, and, to stretch it a bit, "intense and suspenseful."

Length- 3/10

I felt that this game was too short, shorter than the second and first games in the series. Even after all the extra stuff, I was able to beat this game in a day. And so, I would highly recommend renting this game if you can, and if not, buy it, beat it, and return it to the store. Case closed.

In conclusion, this is a fine game that deserves to be played by all. In my opinion, the story and gameplay .hack// Outbreak provides is great, but it was just a bit too short for me. So, this game receives a big, fat, lucky 7(not an average =)). Have fun with it!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/18/06

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