Review by manugarciac

"The great saga continues"

As you all may know, .hack is composed of four video games (that come with an OVA each), an Anime and a Manga. What I will talk about now is the third video game.

This is an interesting aspect of the game, because it's not pretty common. You feel the sensation of playing an online game, not being connected to the Internet. You receive and send e-mails, read and post messages on a board, and the most important thing: You play in ''The World''. ''The World'' is the game itself.
This version of the game uses the same menus and controls of the other games. The controls are easy to master and the menus are easy to understand. What may not be too good is the fact that the game ''stops'' a lot because you have to browse the menus quite a lot.
Another bad thing is that the game may get repetitive. You are basically always exploring dungeons that look pretty much the same.

In my opinion, the story is the most important aspect of this game. It is what makes you want to play the four games. If the story wasn't that good, it would be pointless to play the four games because, as I said previously, they are all pretty much the same.
I won't talk pretty much about the story, in order to avoid spoilers. What I can say is that it is located after .hack//SIGN (anime) and before .hack//DUSK (manga). It is about an online game where weird things are happening.

This game has great graphics. All the movies (not FMVs) are very beautiful. The in-game graphics are also great. Also, the sound is very good. You can choose between hearing the character voices in English or Japanese. The melodies this game has (a lot) are very nice too.

-Play time/Replayability-
Maybe the worst aspect of the game. You can finish with the storyline and sidequests in around 20 hours. Then, everything you can do is level up and find rare weapons that will most likely become obsolete at the beginning of QUARANTINE. There is not too much replayability either. Once you finish the game you will want to play QUARANTINE rather than replaying OUTBREAK.

-Rent or buy?-
I think that the four .hack games should all be bought, because you may want to play all of them in a row once you are finished with them. What you may do is rent the first one, and if you like it buy all four.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/16/03

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