.hack//G.U. Vol.1 Rebirth

[b]Yes

Yes!

Come On!

COME ON!

I’M RIGHT HERE! [/b]

SKEEEEEEEEEEEITH!!!

I love the sound of that scream.

I am very pleasantly surprised. Contrasting with the lukewarm feeling I got from both FFXII and Valkyrie Profile Silmeria, the improvements made in the not-that-popular .hack franchise are notable.

As much as I adore the first four games, I understand completely why people generally ignore them. Unless you really like the story, going through five billion identical dungeons hardly seems like a very interesting task.

Is //Rebirth better in that sense? Partially. There are now only three designs with colour swaps for the dungeons, which is very little even if they look a lot better than their predecessors. There are variations within the stages, such as all-field areas or all-dungeon areas, specific objectives in each camp and some more, but it can still get monotonous after a while.

Thankfully, since you spend a lot less time in dungeons, and when you do, there are actual things inside to keep you distracted, you feel the monotony a LOT less.

The battle system was improved, though not THAT much. It’s dynamic and it looks better, and though there are a few changes some may not like, the weapon-specific skills and Haseo’s ability to switch between two weapons (After doing a special quest) adds enough variety. Battles are FAST, so it really requires your full attention. You definitely can’t fall asleep slamming the attack button like before anymore.

Speaking of looks, the cinematics are awesome. It doesn’t have the holy-shit-it-looks-almost-real polish of FFXII, partly in purpose since it’s supposed to be much more of an anime design, but the visual effects and the much improved bunch of techno glowing shit on screen make for very impressive scenes. Once again, a major factor is the constant dynamic feeling of everything that goes on.

The story still feels the same as before. You are thrown in there without knowing anything and you slowly put pieces together by yourself until it all fits. Not that you will be too much closer to knowing anything by the end of this volume, even if I do have a very good guess on Tri-Edge by piecing together bits of this game and //Roots. The ending really leaves you pumped for the next installment.

Speaking of which, DON’T WATCH //ROOTS. I was tempted to make a thread on the anime forum just to scream about how goddamned awful it was. There’s relevant info in there, but it can be summed up in about five minutes. And people thought //SIGN was slow.

The characters are still charismatic, and for the nostalgic, there is even a 100% certain comeback. Too bad it’s not precisely the one I would have chosen. You can probably guess who it is.

Haseo deserves a special mention though. It’s nice for once to see not a hotblooded cheerful moron, but a true hotblooded psycho. Okay, maybe not. He’s just moody most of the time, though not enough to be a complete Squall-type asshole, and he has some seriously awesome Albedo moments. He’s generally pretty cool, and nothing like the moron in the anime.

Finally, the voice acting is very good as well. I’ll admit Atoli is a wee bit too damn squeaky, but the rest are fine.

Basically, if you never played .hack, give it a shot. If you hated the last ones, at least try it out. If you liked the previous games, you’ll absolutely love this.

I’ve been enjoying thsi game as well, it’s quite an improvement over the last series, ESPECIALLY in the battle style.

Right now i’m slowly getting everyone maxed and ready for vol .2! I can’t wait!

Ive heard and seen it in action. I must say Im impressed. Compared to the previous .HACK, it actually seems captivatingly fun and energentic. Im one of those few who actually gave a toss about the four volumes but they bore me now. So Im going to pick this up as soon as I finish Star Ocean ^^

Right after I finish FFXII. By the way SE, would you care to give some details about ROOTS? I watched 11 episodes or so, but I can’t stand to sit through it. If not, its cool :slight_smile:

Sure, these are the important parts:

[SPOILER]Sakisaka, B-Set and the Purple Sora Wannabe all quit early. The Brigade is disbanded by Shino when Ovan disappears (His character is captured by Yata and Pi actually because it was abnormal).

Tri-Edge is selective with his victims. For example, he faced Phyllo, but after checking him out, he just left without Data Draining him or anything.

After Shino’s “death”, Haseo entered a special quest in an area called the Forest of Pain to get stronger. This quest was NOT organised by CC Corp so Yata and Pi (Who were previously disguised as Naobi and Ender) keep an eye on it. At the end of the quest was a giant red statue that was turned over, hanging from the ceiling with it’s head towards the ground, asking for his daughter. The two people who won got different things: Taihaku from Icolo answered the statue politely and got an uber weapon, Haseo told it to fuck off and not waste his time, so he was warped back to the beginning, his character now level 133 with super weapons and shit. Taihaku says that Haseo “might have been the only one who truly cleared the event, but if that was the reward, I am relieved I didn’t get it”.

From this point on, Haseo is even more psycho than normal, but he calms down after being Data Drained and leveled down by Tri-Edge.

Haseo starts hunting PKs at random because he thinks Tri-Edge is a PK. Eventually, he is ambushed by a hundred angry PKs at once but still wins, earning him the nickname Terror of Death.

On other news, Tawaraya changes character to another called Touta, Tabby (With Touta’s help) forms a guild dedicated to healing players, but then quits and begins to study as a Nurse in real life (You’ll see the remnants of her guild in the game as the Medic Union), Phyllo turns out to be an old man with cancer that was just spending his final days playing and finally dies (That was pretty sad, I liked him) and Tawaraya/Touta quits as well and goes study abroad (He’s a college student).

The end of //Roots can be seen in the game, except for a few parts:

  1. During a totally pointless scene, Tri-Edge is seen fixing some broken data.

  2. Haseo actually never sees Tri-Edge kill Shino. He just gets there when she is vanishing and assumes it was him because of the Sign (The mark of three slashes that Tri-Edge supposedly made on all Lost Grounds).

  3. When Ovan escapes from Yata, he appears in Hulle Granz Cathedral (Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground) at the same time Shino is entering. He is trying to contain whatever is in his arm… bah, his title “The Rebirth” is pretty much clear on what is on his arm. He screams “No!” when he sees her, everything goes black, and then things switch to the scene where Haseo finds shino half-vanished.

  4. Ovan is latter attacked by Tri-Edge, but he wins. He actually kills Tri-Edge without anybody knowing, but then it just revives. Whatever he used was in his giant arm, along with a bunch of flowing black AIDA spots.

  5. Ovan whispers to himself after talking to Haseo: “Get stronger… strong enough to defeat me”

  6. At the end, besides Tri-Edge, you can see two more figures resembling zombified characters: One that looks like Orca and one that looks like Balmung.
    [/SPOILER]

Gah, stupid connection.

Oh… wow. Thanks, SE. You saved me 6 hours :smiley: Thanks a bunch, man :slight_smile:

I saved you a lot more than six hours. Seriously, it was THAT bad. //SIGN is DBZ in comparison, at least they actually showed five to ten seconds of actual action back then.

Hell, some of the characterization in //Roots even contradicts //Rebirth. For example, in the parts that overlap between the end of the anime and the beginning of the game, anime Haseo is seriously insane, whereas game Haseo is just pissed off.

By the way, I had forgotten to mention two things:

The music is EXCELLENT. The style is the same as in the first agmes (techno mixed with church choirs), but the quality is much better. I love it.

Death Grunty owns. Still not as good as the good ole Elvis Grunty, but the again, nothing can ever be as good as Elvis Grunty.

Very good game. I beat the game in 4 days (24 hrs of work to beat for me).
I’m sad now that I have to wait til Jan before I get the next game. I’m tempted to browse gamefaqs simply because I want to know what happens next because the ending was such a drop off (in a good way). I think I’ll try to hold off looking at the second volume on gamefaqs so playing the game when it comes out is more enjoyable…