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.hack//G.U. vol.2: Reminisce review

Second volume in trilogy arrives too late and offers little for fans

Pros

  • Excellent character designs
  • References to the anime series
  • Intriguing premise

Cons

  • Lengthy cutscenes
  • Repetitive dungeons
  • Stale combat

Lengthy cutscenes, repetitive dungeons, and a general sense that Namco Bandai was drip feeding us one complete game split into three volumes, undermined our enjoyment of .hack//G.U. vol. 1: Rebirth. Over six months have passed since that game released, and fans who've been patiently waiting for .hack//G.U. vol. 2: Reminisce may be disappointed with this tardy and underwhelming follow up that offers too much of the same.

Reminisce continues to follow the story of Haseo and his investigation of AIDA, a deadly virus responsible for putting players of a futuristic MMORPG, "The World," into real life comas. The intriguing cyberpunk infused premise - which charges you with playing a game about a character that%26rsquo;s playing a game - has always been .hack//G.U.%26rsquo;s strongest point. From your in-game desktop, you'll respond to emails, troll forums, check the news, and log into %26lsquo;The World%26rsquo; as you play the role of an online gum shoe.

But the predictable and disappointing list of "seconds" in volume two muddies Reminisce%26rsquo;s otherwise unique presentation. Expect to see a second Root Town, a second Guild Hall, a second shop for upgrading your steam bike, and a second job extension for Haseo. While you%26rsquo;re at it, expect to wonder why these miniscule additions couldn%26rsquo;t have just been added to the first volume.

Fans of the various .hack anime series and manga should be pleased with the addition of the "Crimson VS" card game to your desktop. You%26rsquo;ll start with a small collection of cards, featuring characters and monsters from the .hack//Sign and .hack//Roots anime shows. As you win matches, you%26rsquo;ll receive more powerful and rare cards to add to your collection. Unfortunately, there%26rsquo;s little player interaction with the card game, as all matches are played out automatically.

The highlight of the game%26rsquo;s new features is Haseo%26rsquo;s second job extension, which grants him the power to change weapons during combat on the fly. Once acquired, you can shred up enemies with your giant scythe one second, before carving through your foes with an over-sized chainsaw sword the next. This new ability adds some much needed depth to the game%26rsquo;s X button mashing battles, but again, you%26rsquo;ll wonder why this feature couldn%26rsquo;t have just been included in the first volume.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionMore real-time combat in the world-within-a-world that makes up this series' unique MMO setting.
Franchise name.hack
UK franchise name.hack
PlatformPS2
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating
Alternative nameshack, dot hack
Release date:8 May 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:PS2
Genre:Role Playing
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