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Review by nerr

"A nice sequel, but it could have been better."

Alrighty! Since I've played the first two, why not the third? That, was when I realized what a mistake I had made. The first two were great, but when I started this one, the series took a huge fall. In this game you get access to the new Sigma Server, but unfortunately, it's full of incredibly powerful and bloodthirsty monsters. It was extremely difficult to even get anywhere in this game because of the constant collecting of Virus Cores, and constantly having to level up, even if you think you were extremely powerful. Well, anyway here's the beginning of the .hack story if you still don't know. You start the game by being invited by your friend Orca, as Kite, the Twin Blade. Orca takes you through a portal called the Chaos Gate, which leads to keyword-generated areas. When you get to the area, they make their way to the dungeon, after a short tutorial on how to kill Goblins. Well anyway, they reach the dungeon and they see a girl floating down a hallway, being chased by an unknown figure known later as Skeith. When they reach the end of the dungeon, they are sent to a strange place. There, the mysterious figure, Skeith, attacks them. Suddenly, Skeith pulls out a large red rod, and attaches Orca to it. He then performs a move called "Data Drain" which sends Orca in the real world, into a coma. Kite narrowly escapes, but as he does, the little girl, known as Aura, gives him a magical bracelet called the "Twilight Bracelet", saying he alone must help stop this virus and save The World. (The game of course, but probably the real world too if people keep going into comas @_@) The Twilight Bracelet allows Kite to use a technique called "Data Drain" which greatly weakens the power of monsters, and is the only way to defeat infected "Data Bug" monsters. However, you gain less experience when you hack monsters, and also, if you hack too much and your infection level gets to 100% it's an instant game over, so don't use it too much. Okay? So then starts the adventure of the DOT hack series. If you've beaten Mutation, you can now convert your data to Outbreak data, allowing you to carry over your items and levels from the last game. Outbreak starts after you defeat Magus (Definitely NOT the Chrono Trigger Magus) in Mutation. Anyway, this game once more continues with you fighting the Dreaded Wave and trying to figure out why your friend is in a coma. The problem now is though, as the title says, there is an outbreak of the same virus that infects The World, and now more and more people are slipping into comatose. This is a real problem, so with the help of Helba, the hacker, and Lios, the Administrator, Kite and his team are able to find where the parts of the Dreaded Wave are. They've already taken down three, but there are still 5 left. Ouch. You only fight 2 of them in this game, so it's three for Quarantine! That's the summary!

Story: 7.5/10
If you've read my Mutation review, it keeps going downhill from here. Too bad though, it could have been much better.

On to the battles! It's much like before, with a real-time battle engine, but now, it's even harder. With most normal enemies being able to use level 3 or 4 spells on you, a character with over 1,500 HP can be down in about 10 seconds flat. I must warn you that if you EVER want to survive, you must keep a Wavemaster (Magic-User, Healer) with you at ALL times. Seriously, these guys are lifesavers. Possibly give them spells that heal all the Party Members at once. (Phal Repth works extremely well) It's much like before, but like I said, HARDER. Your party members are also smarter, which is a huge advantage. They will actually tell you that they are going to heal you, which is helpful in times of need. You still have your Special Skills as well, which can be lifesavers too. So, just load up on good equipment, good members, and good Skills and you just might survive.

Battle: 8.5/10
It would have been much better, had it not been such a huge leap in difficulty.

Well, at least they didn't screw up one thing in this game! The Sound Quality! It's hard to believe it, but even though the game itself has taken a fall, the music is even better! More crisp, more tracks, and more music for your desktop! Yeah! I'm really glad they didn't decide they felt like screwing this up too! The music is kinda catchy, and once you play it for a while, you can memorize the tune.

Sound: 10/10
Great sound. You may get tired of listening to some tracks, but you can always just go to a different type of level!

The Graphics are basically the same, with the great details on the Characters, but still not so much on the environments. Too lazy to fix that I guess, but it's all good. Most of the places are really well detailed and the NPC's are too! If you really get into the game, it can seem almost real! Seriously, these are great! I'm glad that CyberConnect didn't feel like screwing this up! I feel like I'm kinda copying from my .hack // Mutation Review, but since nothing has really changed, i'm going with a 9 again!

Graphics: 9/10
Almost identical to all 4 games, but the environments are still lacking. If they would have fixed that I could have given it a 10!

Do you know what time it is? It's time for the Replay Value! The Replay Value in my opinion, isn't all that great, because once you beat one, you want to get working on the next one. That is, unless you liked the game SO much that you actually want to play it again! I really don't have a whole lot else to say here, so let's wrap this up into a neat little package with the overall rating!

Replay Value: 6.5/10
You're probably not going to want to play this game again once you beat it. If you're like me you'd be wanting to play the next one! So this section only gets a 6.5/10.

Here's a recap of my scores:
Story: 7.5/10
Battle: 8.5/10
Sound: 10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Replay Value: 6.5/10

After averaging the scores I get...

I was kind of disappointed with this volume. It was okay, but lacking in some areas. If you do want to play it though, knock yourself out!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/20/05

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