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Martin the Warrior
February 14th, 2003, 12:17 AM
I was going to post this in the "Upcoming Games" thread, but since .hack//SIGN also needs a place to be discussed, might as well make a .hack centered thread.

Last Tuesday was the release of the first .hack PS2 game, .hack//INFECTION. The game is set immediately after the events of .hack//SIGN-- you take on the role of a young boy who was convinced by a friend to try out the massively popular online game "The World". The World is what's known as an MMORPG-- "Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game". Players all over the world log-on via a VR-headset and take on the role of an online persona, able to explore towns, dungeons, and team up with other players, doing whatever they want. There is no goal to "The World" other than having fun, everyone plays it differently. It's supposed to be the ultimate video game.

As the game starts up, you're prompted to enter a User Name and a Character Name-- the User Name is, presumably, what you'd log in under while the Character Name is what others in The World will know you by. The default Character Name of the main character is "Kite". Upon entering this, you're taken to the "desktop", where you'll start the game every time you continue. There are a few different options you can select here, including "Data" to save your game, but the three main areas are "The World", "Mailer", and "News". "News" contains information on the latest releases of the company who runs The World in mock website formats-- inluding some you need to "scroll down" to finish reading. "Mailer" is where you receive e-mail from other players, a few of which you can send pre-written replies back to. Finally, "The World" takes you to the main screen of the actual game.

On that screen you're given three options-- "Login", "The Board", and "Quit". "Quit" takes you back to the previous screen, "Login" takes you to the actual game, and "The Board" takes you to The World's bulletin board system which contains a plethora of posts, rather accurately mimicking an actual VG board, explaining the mechanics of the game. Throughout the game you'll be required to check the board to get new keywords and other tips-- there's even a bit of intrigue as one of your posts is mysteriously deleted.

Now, though, it's time to actually log on to The World. As your charactar materializes by the Chaos Gate (the main way to get from place to place within The World), your friend calls out to you. Instead of the small-statured boy Kite's used to, he finds himself talking a rather large swordsman. Inside The World, Kite's friend is the well known player "Orca of the Azure Sea" (those who have seen the first episode of .hack//SIGN on CN may recognize the name). Orca is a legend among players. He quickly begins explaining the mechanics of the game to Kite, then says they should head to a field. There are three type of game areas-- root towns, which have Chaos Gates, shops, and other players, and which are the only way to move between servers and access levels.... fields, which are large open areas with enemies, springs, and the entrances to the last area... the dungeon. In the dungeon your goal is to get to the deepest level where a Gott Statue holds a rare treasure.

After explaining combat basics, Orca prompts you to enter the field's dungeon. Inside, Orca is shocked to see a mysterious white-cloaked girl being chased by a high-level monster-- which shouldn't be in the beginner area he'd chosen to acquaint Kite with the game. As they proceed, the duo return and the girl gives Orca a book. No sooner does that happen when the monster attacks Orca and, to Kite's surprise, kills him (of course, being killed in The World simply means you have to start over from your last save... usually). The book the girl had given Orca then gets absorbed into Kite, who blacks out. Something went wrong, though-- in real life, Orca's user fell into a coma. Convinced that The World holds the answer to his friend's predicament, Kite continues to play.

It isn't long before he finds himself teamed up with another World newbie, Black Rose, who drags him to a level far beyond their abilities to survive. There, another legendary player-- Balmung of the Azure Sky (Orca's partner)-- appears battling an infected monster like the one that attacked Orca. At that moment, the book-- "The Book of Twilight"-- takes over Kite, turning his clothes red. A mysterious bracelet appears on Kite's wrist and he's suddenly able to perform a Data Drain-- rewrite the code of the monster, reducing it to a less-potent state. It's the same skill that sent Orca into a coma. Upon seeing the technique, Balmung is suspicious of Kite, but ultimately lets him go. Kite is even more confused, but no less resolved to find out what happened to Orca. And so the adventure begins.

As I've explained most of the game mechanics already, I'll just run through a few key thoughts now.

Combat is basically a button masher, as you simply attack with X. Tapping Triangle or Square freezes the battle to allow you to select text from a menu-- skills, items, or magic spells from Triangle, issuing commands to party members from Square. As in Kingdom Hearts, you only control the main character. It can be tedious at times, especially in dungeons, but the plot of the game overcomes this shortcoming.

The graphics are incredible-- while backgrounds can seem bland at times, characters themselves are stunning and some of the Data Drain effects are incredible.

While the music isn't quite as good as that of .hack//SIGN's, it's still above average and sets the mood well.

All in all, this is something RPG fans have been waiting for on the PS2. I'm not even done with it and I'm already looking forward to part two, .hack//MUTATION. As an aside, playing the game and learning the mechanics of The World makes watching .hack//SIGN far less confusing.

As an added bonus, the game comes with a DVD containing part one of the .hack OVA, .hack//Liminality. The OVA is set in the real world and shows us what that players of The World go through in their regular lives rather than their activities inside The World. The OVA is 45 minutes and the DVD contains both a dub and a sub track, as well as a few extras. The remaining three parts of the OVA will be released with the remaining three games.

And there you have it.

Darkhood_343
February 14th, 2003, 06:25 AM
Martin
As an added bonus, the game comes with a DVD containing part one of the .hack OVA, .hack//Liminality. The OVA is set in the real world and shows us what that players of The World go through in their regular lives rather than their activities inside The World. The OVA is 45 minutes and the DVD contains both a dub and a sub track, as well as a few extras. The remaining three parts of the OVA will be released with the remaining three games.
OVA's come with it? *celebrates* And it sounds like an interesting concept, focusing on the players rather than their virtual selves.

I need 20 more bucks to get it and the stupid store don't have it! I should sue or something! But I also wanna get OOT and Master Quest for GC. For some reason, the store is selling it for 10 bucks rather than making you pre-order Wind Waker...

MoonShadow
February 14th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Martin -- I'm planning to start a .hack site and may I use what you wrote here on the site?

Darkhood_343
February 14th, 2003, 09:44 PM
Your gonna make a website Moon-moon? Give me the URL once it's up. It sounds like a kewl idea. Hey, maybe we could affilite...

MoonShadow
February 15th, 2003, 01:26 PM
Yes, darky, to all "questions". ;b Anyway, I would appreciate it if you get rid of the glowing text though, because once I leave this computer in my dad's office, I will not be able to view it. I'm also thinking about starting a Hikaru no Go site or One Piece site, though I'm not sure which. I'm going to see if my dad can bring me to the bookstore today so I can pick up some chinese manga.

Martin the Warrior
February 15th, 2003, 03:44 PM
MoonShadow
Martin -- I'm planning to start a .hack site and may I use what you wrote here on the site?

So long as...
[list=1]
Proper credit is given.
It's not altered.
A link back to www.longpatrolclub.com is provided with the text.
[/list=1]
....then, sure! Go right ahead. Be sure to give me the URL when it's done. ;)

A few things about the game I forgot to mention-- like FFX, it makes heavy use of voice-actors. Unlike FFX, however, you're given the option of listening to either the English voice-actors or the Japanese voice-actors. Naturally, I prefer subs and always choose that when there's an option (the lone exception being in the case of Tenchi Muyo!). Plus, there's a character voiced by Maaya Sakamoto, so that's an added perk. In any case, it's a rather nifty feature.

MoonShadow
February 15th, 2003, 04:40 PM
Thanks Martin! :)

Darkhood_343
February 19th, 2003, 02:47 PM
Moon-mooon
Anyway, I would appreciate it if you get rid of the glowing text though, because once I leave this computer in my dad's office, I will not be able to view it.
Ok, consider the glow gone. But what do you guys think of the banner? Was it better last time?

MoonShadow
February 20th, 2003, 09:53 AM
I like this one better, though get some content up! ;)

LadyBeelze
February 22nd, 2003, 03:11 PM
cool moon-moon, a hack site? tell the link when you get it up, i'd like to see it too

Darkhood_343
February 22nd, 2003, 10:44 PM
Moon-moon
I like this one better, though get some content up!
Geez, I know, but I have SOOOOO much to put up. IF you want me to put up content, then tell me what tro put up. Oh, and sorry I didn't take the glow away, I'll do it now.

LadyBeelze
February 23rd, 2003, 08:48 AM
*stares at glowing banner for forever*

oooooooooooooo 0.0

MoonShadow
February 23rd, 2003, 06:22 PM
Well, I have changed my mind about the .hack site, because I thought that if I was going to put one up, then I should play the games, which I probably won't be able to. However, I'm hoping to put up a Shonen Jump site, which I'm currently working on the content.

Anything dark-dark. Anything. Ask Darkyhood, Video Games, anything.

I had a dream about .hack//SIGN. ^.^* I dreamed that the ending would be really ambiguous, and I thought, "Oh, so you have to buy the video games to find out what happens next." Heh... heh..... Wonder what Tsukasa is doing in the real world....

TwinBlade Shortsword
August 25th, 2004, 05:13 PM
Well i have mutation and infection chaps trying to get the last two

Cheesethief
August 26th, 2004, 12:35 PM
i have to say, i saw some good and bad reviews for .hack. i wont buy it, not because i dont like it, but because it seems a bit strange to me, since i dont get online rpgs (i know its not online...but i still dont like the concept) anyway, if it cost a tenner or something, i would buy it. my money is preciousssss. ;)

Felldoh
August 26th, 2004, 06:44 PM
I plan on getting the series eventually... I just got other more important things to buy first.

TwinBlade Shortsword
August 26th, 2004, 07:11 PM
don't forget about the dvd that comes with each games chaps, wot wot