"The End of a Great Journey"

Not everyone feels the same about this last installment about the .hack series. I have looked at some web sites that give this game a 6/10, only because ''It is the same old game with a new title''. Well, isn't that the point? Sure, Bandai may have been a little money grubbing to release a single game across four separate ones, but it was something new, and not a lot of players complained.

Some people think this game is the final part of a series. Maybe they got sick of it by part 2, but kept going to get it done. For others, it is a sad moment that such a great series if over. For me, it is both.

Now, to get to the game. There is very few new things to this game that haven't been seen in the past. There is a new server to go to, with a slew of new equipment and potions. And, like the previous 3, the ability to make 2 new Grunties along with the old, annoying Noble Grunty (for those who remember the NPC Grunties in the second Root Town, one mentions Rocker Grunty. Here, you finally can get him!) While not right away, a slew of new characters will join your adventure, including Tsukasa, Subaru, Bear, Sora (all from .hack Sign TV show) and ever Orca and Helba! Sadly, most of these will only be available after you defeat the final phase.

Now for the bosses. Data Bug bosses are out of style, as there are dungeons with ALL monsters being data bugs. Cubia returns for his last battle, and there are of course the final phases. Once the game is beaten, there is of course one last obscenely difficult boss, in a level 100 area. Every trick must be pulled simply to get to the boss. But with so many characters to do so, it may not be that difficult for experienced players.

The sounds are great, the graphics are as good as they always have been, gameplay is as good as always, but there are some flaws to this game. For one, it is still as repetitive as always. But the one thing that would make someone stay away from this game is the sheer amount of Virus Cores needed to progress. At one point, roughly 50 Virus Cores are needed, requiring hours of sidetracking simply to progress. But if one can get over this, the game will be great.

With all that said, I give the game a 8/10. While as great as always, that is also its problem. However, most people can get over that. The graphics are no FFX-2 or the sound either, but this game is the way it is for a reason. And if people are still buying it, and if you are reading this, then something must have sparked an interest.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/28/04

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