Name: .hack//G.U. Last Recode
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release date: 03.11.2017
Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
.hack//G.U. Last Recode is the remaster of .hack//G.U., a single-player action RPG from the PlayStation 2. Included in the pack are; .hack//G.U. Vol.1//Rebirth, .hack//G.U. Vol.2//Reminisce, .hack//G.U. Vol.3//Redemption, and a brand new Vol.4// Reconnection, that happens after the events of volume 3. As with the original game, .hack//G.U. Last Recode simulates an MMORPG.
I must admit I never played the original game, only heard about it, as well as the whole anime and manga series. I do like mangas, animes, and MMORPG’s however, and with this basis I sat down with .hack//G.U.
The story focuses on Haseo, a PKK (player-killer-killer), who hunts a player called Tri-Edge, who defeated Haseo’s friend Shino and left her in a coma in real life. Haseo later comes in contacts with others who wants to stop Tri-Edge. However, the reason for Shino and other players falling into coma IRL, is a far worse problem.
I don’t mind the story at all, it just feel a bit weak and too hidden. I understand that some of dramatic sequences are less dramatic when translated, but I never quite understood why it was so important to catch the bad guys. I mean, I am used to MMORPGs not having the best stories, but I usually get why I am hunting down some guy, but here I never did.
Unfortunately, the graphics are only so-so. The textures for the environment are not good at all. The original game was on the PS2, and the environmental textures still has that look. The characters are luckily a lot better looking though. They still have a bit of an unnatural way of running, but it’s not that big of a deal.
The cutscenes on the other hand, looks amazing! They’re not necessarily true to life, but they have a style and feel that is continuous throughout the game. Talking about the cutscenes, I want to mention the subtitles, whether or not you play the game in Japanese or English, I seriously suggest you have the subtitles turned on, because it has loads of funny writing that is true to how people chat on MMORPGs.
I found the gameplay to be the game’s best feature, with the computer screen for “real life”, where you can check anything from news, to forums, to emails, as well as going back into “The World”. Another very cool feature is the way you select what world to travel to from the main hub. This you do by combining three words, where the game makes a world from your choices. Über cool!
When you’re in a world, either to do a quest or to just whack monsters and gaining XP or going loot-hunting, the game acts pretty much as any other normal RPG. Even though the game felt quite like a button-mashing game in the beginning, I am glad to say I needed to get more tactical as the main story progressed, and I got access to harder enemies.
I honestly don’t have very much to say about the controls. It is pretty standard for an RPG, although it felt a bit weird to have X as the main attack button, and triangle as the menu button. The steering was a bit too sensitive for my liking, with Haseo often running around in circles when I didn’t have the joystick exactly straight forward.
I haven’t felt the need to replay the game, yet anyhow. That being said I played little else than the main quests, so I still have loads to do when it comes to sidequesting. I do doubt I will play it again though, as I don’t feel like the story is that good, and it’s not like it’s changing each playthrough. Another reason why I’m not going to replay it is the fact that it is a really long game. Even with me pretty much rushing through the game I used about 100 hours. Yes, you can reply to emails different ways, but it never felt like that had any consequences, so personally I am not going to play this through more than this once.
Even though I didn’t care much for the story, I did have fun playing the game. Yes, the graphics could have been better. Yes, the controls was pretty standard. But the gameplay was really good! It had that MMORPG feel to it, even though it is single player I caught myself thinking “I better log in to check if I have any new emails” and that the game was able to make me think that is quite impressive. That being said, I think you either have to have played the original game/watched the anime if you are gonna have a great time with this game, or maybe if you’re really into that MMORPG feel. While the PS2 version must have been good, the remake doesn’t quite make enough of an impression to stay in my game library for more than this one playthrough.
The graphics are not current-gen
Replay Value: 4/10
Total Score: 5.5/10