Review by Neosporin

"Oh my gosh I think I was Data Drained........"

Introduction - .HACK outbreak is a part 3 of 4 games. I won't go into depths of the previous games, but the basic back bone of the HACK game is that you as a player play as a Twin Blade character that goes by the name of Kite. On his first time playing the world his friend Orca was attacked by a mysterious being. In the real world after Orca falls under the attack he is diagnosed with a Coma, and you as Kite explore the world along with your freinds to find the truth about ''The World''.

Gameplay - The gameplay to .HACK Outbreak is a unique one to all RPG games. Instead of Time turned battles or window toggling, HACK combines these to make a unique batle system. When playing you fight in regular time, hitting a button repeatly to attack an enemy. However if your going for the big kill you need to use abilities and magic to your wishes. So like I said although it is ATB style by hitting a button will allow you to go throw a menu to pick the skills you wish. So by combing both battle styles it makes the game unique.

Most of .HACK is spent ramaging through the worlds dungeons. Each has a primary objective most likely just reaching thelowest dungeon. This can be tedious but the dungeons offer unqiue surpirses. Also the world of HACk also allows you to reinact the joy of online games such as e-mailing your freinds and going on message boards. Also in HACk you can raise grunties(animal to transport) and find hidden easter eggs throughout the game.

Since the world is such a dangerous game, Kite needs some help to find the turth. Throughout the game you can call up a friend and they will fight with you through dungeons and boss fights. You can also trade with them and give gifts to them as well. Each character yo call upon has a unique class or job that helps give yo advantage. If you need power on your side you should call upon a Heavy Blade or a Axemen but if you need some healing powers call upon a Wave Master. Each player has their own pawns and weaknesses.

Play Time/Replayability - Despite the great things Outbreak carries it is moderatly short. Depending on your skill you can finish this game in less than 38 hours if your skilled enough. However if you aiming to raise you characters skill level(you can convert data to next game so they'll fight with full strength) you'll spend countless hours training them. Also you can gain goodies for your e-mail page and raise different breeds of Grunties.

Graphics - I'll be honest here the graphics in this game are'nt really up to PS2 power. The game has average graphics looking inferior to games like FFX,KH,etc. However graphics don't make a game and the sometimes blocky graphics can be easily ignored.

Final Recommendation - This game is a game for any RPG fan looking for a new game to try out. The story and gameplay shines greatly on this game but it is highly recomemneded for you to buy previous games for a greater experience. However the game suffers from Short Hours spent on it and

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/18/04

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