.hack//G.U. Rebirth - Review

As a past fan of the .hack cartoons and games, when I heard that a new game in the series was coming out I couldn’t help getting excited over it. And not only was a game coming, there was also a new Anime show that tied in with the game, explaining in detail what happened just before this game starts.

One of Haseo’s “eye-candy” slashing attacks

After reviewing the slightly above mediocre Anime, I waited for the game’s release, which was released on the same day as the eagerly awaited Phantasy Star Universe (a bad move, in my opinion). And with Final Fantasy XII coming out at around the same date, it’s no wonder that hardly anyone spoke of this game. After finishing it… I have to say that it comes nowhere close to Final Fantasy XII.

Storyline

Certainly one of the worst elements of this game is it’s story, or should I say, lack of story. Though the concept is very interesting: you are a player in an MMORPG, the story hardly seems to get anywhere. You spend more than three quarters of the game going to random locations in an attempt to save the main character’s close friend which fell into a coma after confronting a weird enemy.

If I took the story apart, I’m talking about the key elements, and put them together, I very much that they’d add up to more than two hours. I’ve seen more (and better) story development, in the 3 gameplay hours I have in Final Fantasy XII than in the entire “Rebirth” game. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the game is that bad (unless you prioritize story telling over actual gameplay).

And to make matters even worse, the pretty good story that the Anime that preceded hardly gets mentioned in this game. Which is a shame really. If they had focused a bit more on what made the Anime a bit special instead of endless “getting nowhere” tasks, I might have given the game a much better rating.

Offline MMORPG

The one aspect in which the game exceeds itself is in mimicking an online roleplaying game. When you go to a town you’ll see dozens of NPCs running around, going to shops or just chatting together in groups. Over the story you’ll meet dozens of nice, and irritating players, just like in real MMORPGs!

Gameplay

The gameplay was obviously one of the main focus of this game. Compared to the former games, in which you just mostly had to bash you’re “X” key on the joypad, this one’s difficulty is much greater, and unless you’re at a much superior level, compared to your enemy, you have to use various different tactics for approaching the different types of monsters you encounter.

With some monster you can just dash in and attack. But most of them you need to wait for the proper occasion to strike and make good use of your defense ability. It ends up being an addictive experience, and that is what will (mostly) drive you to finish the game.

However… it isn’t all good. Despite having a decent variety of monsters. Most maps require that you kill the same types of monster 5 or more times, thus it ends up being a repetitive task sometimes, and quite annoying when you’re facing some of the harder types of monsters.

Bottom line

I went to a few gamesites, to see if there were any important aspects of the game I could have missed, however, there weren’t any. The game is exactly what I described: a fun, yet repetitive hack-and-slash roleplaying game, with an interesting concept, a weak storyline and endless boring middle quests in between.

I give this game a slightly worse rate than the Anime because of the very poor job they did with the storyline.

My rating: 3.0 out of 5 – if you see this game next to Final Fantasy XII in your game store, don’t hesitate in getting the later. Unless you’re getting two offline RPGs.

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