.hack, Part 1: Infection

Posted by staff | Posted in Role Playing | Posted on 14-09-2010


  • It’s the year 2010, and the most popular game ever is the World, a massive action/RPG game that connects people around the planet. When the newbie named Kite sees his friend Orca killed in the game, he finds Orca is left in a coma in the real world. Kite digs deep into The World to discover the reason why.
  • Join up with a small group of hackers who are fighting to solve the mystery of The World
  • Enter the real world and explore the mystery via message boards, e-mails, and online updates
  • Once you’ve found the clues you need, you’ll be able to explore The World more thoroughly — killing monsters, exploring dungeons, and trying to keep an eye out for virtual strangeness
  • Comes with a 30 minute anime DVD disc which details the events happening in the real world as people react to the video game coma phenomenon, adding true depth to the story.

Product Description
.Hack: Infection is an offline role-playing game that takes you into a new dimension of gaming — it’s a game within a game!Amazon.com Product Description
A 14-year-old boy named Kite is invited by his schoolmate Orca to play the online game The World. While playing the game, both Kite and his friend are attacked by an unknown monster. As a result, Orca becomes comatose in the real world. Despite his friend’s condition, Kite continues to play, believing he… More >>

.hack, Part 1: Infection

Comments posted (5)

I normally don’t do many reviews, but those posted here about this game so far don’t really do it justice.

Dot Hack is the newest installment of the next generation of RPGs: live-action combat sequences, intricate plots, and complicated gameplay. You take the role of Kite, an eigth grade boy trying to discover why the online game “The World” caused his friend, Orca, to go into a coma. Split between the gaming world and “the real world” (which is represented by Kite’s desktop), Dot Hack allows you to email in-game players, keep up with the news, and follow threads in an expansive message board that probably is the most creative way I’ve ever seen a game present its own instructions. After working your way through Kite’s desktop, you then play Kite’s character in “The World” (think a very big game-within-a-game).

“The World” is not unlike the Everquest style MMORPGs of today. You form groups, you trade with other players, you visit dungeons, you fight monsters, you find special items, and so on. Your parties rotate given who is willing to play and who is not; if you are friendly to your favorite partners, for instance, they will more than likely team up with you when you catch them online. Given that the game is entirely computer-based, this well-done simulation bettered my original expectations.

The game has its weak points, as well. Kite’s character’s class is not chosen, which is frustrating to those (like me) who find some of the other classes far more interesting. Also, the name-generated playing fields have the feel of those old-style random dungeon crawls for the PC. This gets old quick, but the well-done cut scenes and fields that actually advance the story are just enough to keep the game spinning in my Playstation.

Gone are the basic turned-based games with simple storylines; as a longtime veteran of RPGs, I appreciate and welcome this change. The innovative gameplay and absolutely fantastic storyline of Dot Hack (and its anime counterpart) has me looking forward to the rest of the series. Four stars.
Rating: 4 / 5

I have played the japanese version of this game and it is indeed very good. The game-in-a-game concept and execution is amazing. The graphics are wonderful and the music isn’t bad either. Playing the game makes your feel like your really playing online in another world. The storyline is interesting, though slightly confusing. The only problem with the game is the completion time. This is the first “episode” in a series of .hack games and as such, the game is very short. It took me 19 hours to beat the game and the ending left me hanging and feeling quite unfulfilled. You should take this into consideration before buying the game at full price. $$$ is a lot of money for a 19 hour game. I suggest renting this game first to see if you like it… of course you’ll probably beat it before for you buy it… ^-^
Rating: 4 / 5

One of the problems about reviewing this game is that it is hard to decide what it is that you are reviewing. Is it the total concept of game, film, manga, and TV series? Or one fourth of a game? Or any of the above. The reason this is particularly perplexing is that of all of the above, the game it the only thing that falls a bit short of expectations. It isn’t at all bad, just ‘ordinary.’

While formed from the interesting concept of a virtual gaming world gone psychotic, what .hack//Infection really is a dungeon based adventure game comprised of hack-and-slash travels through levels to get treasure. The classic RPG with a bit of a twist, it starts when Kite, a new player, is introduced to ‘The World’ by his friend Orca. On their first outing to a dungeon, Orca is attacked by a mutated monster and permanently loses consciousness. It is up to Kite, and the friends he makes to try to find out what is really going on.

Script is pretty minimal, especially when compared to the story lines of FFX or Suikoden III. Essentially, e-mails or board postings trigger events and supply the code names of playing fields and dungeons. Kite assembles a team of three and goes to each location for information. A fair amount of time is spent leveling up in order to be strong enough to accomplish the next task. To facilitate this, the player can compose his own keywords or even have a playing field generated for him at random. There is room for considerable variation, but the fields aren’t really all that imaginative.

Despite a pretty face, the game engine is dated, and the game interface is a bit inconsistent. The same key doesn’t always to the same thing. And it can take a lot of controller actions to run a real time battle. All in all, the game is entertaining, but not compelling. Character design is excellent though. Hopefully, future parts will extend playing capabilities.

The accompanying film DVD is called .hack//Liminality (volume 1). It is the story of Mai Minase, whose boyfriend is demonstrating ‘The World’ to her when they are attacked. He too loses consciousness for the duration. She meets Junichiro Tokuoka, who seems to have had something to do with the game originally, and is now investigating why people are permanently losing consciousness when they play. I wish I could take more time in this review to discuss this DVD, because it is excellent. An interesting plot, nicely drawn with interesting characters. I can see buying the games just to get the film DVD’s.

Overall, the game is the weakest part of the .hack package. But I don’t want to give the impression that it is bad. It simply doesn’t live up to the overwhelming hype so far. I found it quite playable as a traditional dungeons oriented game. With three more chapters to go this could change in a flash, and I am too curious not to continue. I think you will find this true for yourself as well.
Rating: 4 / 5

I am a big fan of RPGs and animes. I am a HUGE fan of Final fantasy rpgs too. While waiting for FF 11 to come out, I saw this game in a magizine. It looked pretty good, and Bandai is a familiar name. When I bought this game, it was confusing at first, but I got the hang of it fast. The concept is really interesting, playing a game of a person, who is also playing a game. It is really different from most rpgs that I hav played, which is turn based battles. I personally like these battles better,where you can run around during battles. This game was fun, and very interesting. It also makes you feel like your actually playing an online game, (like certain players being in the towns at different times, and also your teammates are sometimes not logged on, so you cant put them in your party every time you play.) I think there is only one weakness in this game. It only took me 15 hours to beat. FF games take about 50 or 60 hours. In all, I think this game is good for people that love rpgs, animes, and games with good stories. I can’t wait for the next installment of this 4 part game to come out.
Rating: 5 / 5

I know I’ll get lambasted for writing this, but let’s put it out there. This is NOT a great game. While a great story is certainly an important component to a great game, there are other essentials which must be present as well.
So, let’s talk about the good first. .hack has a good story which should keep the gamer quite interested. You play as a another video game player who wishes to play the MMORPG “The World”. Invited by another friend who then mysteriously vanishes (and in fact falls into a coma), you must determine the who’s and why’s behind this mystery. Along the way, you will meet up with other players who will help you in your quest as you hack your way further into the mystery that is “The World”. I was quite interested in the game myself, and will certainly purchase the sequel to see its continuation.
Now for the bad. The gameplay …. Essentially, you call up these “friends” of yours to walk through repetitive dungeons with little graphic splendor, each time trying to find a statue at the bottom which will reward your party (i.e. you) with items. Hooray. While the story kept me going, the gameplay is far from inspiring, reminiscent of the doldrums of “Dark Cloud” or the likes. I know that MMORPG’s are like this, but somehow, I never really felt that I was interacting with real people, which is obviously the hope of this simulation.
I think that most RPGers will like this game, solely based on the story. However, be warned – this game isn’t for everyone, and at fifty bucks, you might be quite disappointed. Buyer beware!
Rating: 3 / 5

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