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Author Topic: .Hack  (Read 3014 times)
Pmayo
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« on: July 11, 2012, 09:23:06 AM »

This was a series I never played, but I remembered when it came out, and thinking the concept sounded very cool. I also remember the reviews being mixed, and they only got worse as the series went on. It looked fun though, kind of like a solo phantasy star online with a more in depth story?

So was I missing something great? Or did I luck out in avoiding it all these years?
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Aeolus
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »

You haven't missed out on much. To sum up the first series at least, they took one game and stretched it out across four full priced disks. From what I recall of the second series they tried to actually implement improvements over the titles but they were minor at best and not really worth the triple price of a normal game. The concept was neat at the time (i.e. when the first part of the first game came out) and a lot of work was put into the setting but A) other games have since done the same concept but better (like so many actual MMOs these days as well as games like FFXII which was offline FFXI), and B) getting into the plot is a fool's errand outside of Japan since that's where the majority of the supplementary material is trapped and unless you're a major fan it's not worth the effort to look up.

And when I speak of supplementary material, I speak of a couple of anime, a number of manga, a movie, as well as a few other games (and the series is rather self referential to the point where the previous game brought in protagonists from all over the series at the time and with just the material that made it out into the US you would be hard pressed to recognize even a third of the cast).

The only real reason why I can think of anyone would want to get into it now is because of the early/mid 00's ascetic of what an MMORPG would look like (or more accurately, the prediction of this decade's MMO ascetic which, unless you count the Phantasy Star series, was pretty far off from the mark).
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 01:23:07 PM »

Aeolus pretty much summed it up perfectly. I loved the first game when I played it, although I felt a bit lost as to what was going on sometimes and by the second game I was getting a tad bored and by the time I got to the fourth I was wondering why in the world they stretched this out to four games and why in the world the trading item system took soooo long to accomplish well.
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Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 03:02:37 PM »

I too am guilty of not seeing this series through.... I indulged the first two way back when and really enjoyed them, but never got back to the series.... It bothers me too as I dropped major coinage to complete the collection and have all 7 of them sitting on my shelf, every so often subtly beckoning me.... Any-hoo from what I did experience I'd have to say I am of the "not bad for its day, but there are certainly better choices to commit my time too" pursuasion now....

However, Aeolus really got me thinking now.... if one were to want to enter the universe of .hack, what we be the best order of operation...? Anime first? Manga? Game 1, then anime? I mean how does the anime work out? Is it prequel narrative for any of the games or a retelling of the games themselves? Depending on the case, does it suffice to watch it then jump into one of the latter titles? If anyone knows I'd love to hear.... or is there just so much media I should google/wiki it and get my ducks in order from there?
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Pmayo
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 03:38:00 PM »

Yikes. I did not realize you had to indulge in multiple media to understand the story. The general idea that its anything like phantasy star online still intrigues me (I LOVED that on the dreamcast) but I am not sure I am willing to commit the time to really get everything out of it. is the combat any good?
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Akanbe-
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 04:48:53 PM »

Yikes. I did not realize you had to indulge in multiple media to understand the story. The general idea that its anything like phantasy star online still intrigues me (I LOVED that on the dreamcast) but I am not sure I am willing to commit the time to really get everything out of it. is the combat any good?

I don't think you have to go that far.  I watched a little bit of the anime and i thought it was pretty boring.  I don't recommend it.  I believe some of the anime are just a retelling of the games with probably some changes here and there (but maybe not).

With the first set of games, I never got past the end of the first one.  Didn't really have much interest, however .Hack//GU was pretty decent I thought.  I played through them all and enjoyed it for the most part.  volume 1 of .Hack//GU is interesting enough to buy and try if you're looking for an entry point.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 07:46:22 PM »

I wasn't particularly fond of the first .hack series, since you're basically paying full price four times for what could have very easily been one game. I heard the //GU series is better, though, but I haven't played them.
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Ashton
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 01:30:24 AM »

.hack games were generally boring as shit, because they took the narrative for one game and spread it out among three or four, with pointless padding and inane gameplay.

The fact that people are harassing Namco Bandai to continue to bring this series over stupefies me.
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Agent D.
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 01:53:50 AM »

.hack games were generally boring as shit, because they took the narrative for one game and spread it out among three or four, with pointless padding and inane gameplay.

The fact that people are harassing Namco Bandai to continue to bring this series over stupefies me.
I think trying to say your name five times fast would stupefy anyone, nyuck nyuck.

But yeah, .hack was a silly game based on a silly anime...or vice versa, idk, it was crap on both ends. The only cool thing was the music in like 2 areas. I had more fun on my trip to Blockbuster Video to rent it than I did playing it.
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 01:58:09 AM »

But yeah, .hack was a silly game based on a silly anime...or vice versa, idk, it was crap on both ends.

It was both. SYNERGY!!!

Yeah, that approach didn't seem to really catch on.
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Agent D.
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 02:02:11 AM »

But yeah, .hack was a silly game based on a silly anime...or vice versa, idk, it was crap on both ends.

It was both. SYNERGY!!!

Yeah, that approach didn't seem to really catch on.
You're telling me, I'm still trying to figure it out in FFXI....owait.
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TASTY!
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 02:12:01 AM »

However, Aeolus really got me thinking now.... if one were to want to enter the universe of .hack, what we be the best order of operation...? Anime first? Manga? Game 1, then anime? I mean how does the anime work out? Is it prequel narrative for any of the games or a retelling of the games themselves? Depending on the case, does it suffice to watch it then jump into one of the latter titles? If anyone knows I'd love to hear.... or is there just so much media I should google/wiki it and get my ducks in order from there?

.hack series fictional chronology

.hack//Sign -- Anime series of 26 episodes, 2002-'03
.hack//Infection -- PS2 RPG, 2003 (North America)
.hack//Mutation -- PS2 RPG, 2003 (North America)
.hack//Outbreak  -- PS2 RPG, 2003 (North America)
.hack//Quarantine -- PS2 RPG, 2004 (North America)
.hack//frägment -- Online Action RPG, 2005 (not released outside of Japan) / An online and offline RPG that uses the engine from the .hack//Games. It allows players to create a character, form a party in a text based lobby, join Guilds, and adventure in "The World".
.hack//Liminality -- OVA series of 4 volumes, 2002-'03 / This series is directly related to the .hack video game series for the PlayStation 2, with the perspective of Liminality focused on the real world as opposed to the games' MMORPG "The World".
.hack//Legend of the Twilight -- Manga series of 3 volumes, 2002-'04
.hack//Roots -- Anime series of 26 episodes, 2006
.hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth -- PS2 RPG, 2006 (North America)
.hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce -- PS2 RPG, 2007 (North America)
.hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption -- PS2 RPG, 2007 (North America)
.hack//Link -- PSP Action RPG, 2010 (not released outside of Japan)
.hack//Quantum -- OVA series of 3 volumes, 2010-'11
.hack//The Movie (aka ".hack//Beyond The World") -- CG anime film, 2012
.hack//Versus -- Fighting game included on the Blu-Ray release of .hack//Beyond The World


Official site: http://dothack.com/

There's also an online novel called ".hack//Bullet", no idea what's that about or what place takes in the chronology.

Also believe me when I say that I didn't listed everything from the serie, there seem to be a bunch of mangas in the franchise floating around. Some are tie-ins with the games, others continue the story from either an anime, movie or OVA and others are an adaptation of the source material.

Is kind of a mess if you ask me.
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Aeolus
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 02:39:49 AM »

I too am guilty of not seeing this series through.... I indulged the first two way back when and really enjoyed them, but never got back to the series.... It bothers me too as I dropped major coinage to complete the collection and have all 7 of them sitting on my shelf, every so often subtly beckoning me.... Any-hoo from what I did experience I'd have to say I am of the "not bad for its day, but there are certainly better choices to commit my time too" pursuasion now....

However, Aeolus really got me thinking now.... if one were to want to enter the universe of .hack, what we be the best order of operation...? Anime first? Manga? Game 1, then anime? I mean how does the anime work out? Is it prequel narrative for any of the games or a retelling of the games themselves? Depending on the case, does it suffice to watch it then jump into one of the latter titles? If anyone knows I'd love to hear.... or is there just so much media I should google/wiki it and get my ducks in order from there?

You're probably better off googling/wiking it since there's a lot of ground to cover and much of it is stuck in Japan. But if you're hell bent on getting into the series the first quadilogy would likely be the safest bet in terms of understanding the basic set up/plot. I say this because while the GU trilogy is superior gameplaywise you're going to be missing out on the whole deal with its lead protagonist. You'd have to at least go through the GU prequel anime 'Roots' to see the whole main character arc for GU's MC and that only covers his incarnation as that particular character (because just like real life characters in the series can have multiple player characters, although only one at a time). To get the lowdown on GU's MC's previous PC you'd have to go through both the original quadilogy's prequel anime 'Signs' as well as at least the first game of said quadilogy (incidentally there are 'Signs' characters that show up by the fourth game and of course, you've going to have to slog through that boring anime to get the lowdown on them). Thankfully you don't have to go through the other anime that made it out of Japan 'Legend of the Twilight Bracelet' nor its manga adaptation. I think the same applies for the light novel series that came out but I'm not sure, but there is a manga version of GU so you'll probably want to go through that. And that about covers the stuff that came out of Japan, have fun with the language barrier and the blind idiot translations for the rest of it.

Or don't because the series just isn't worth it. A lot of it is disconnected anyway so there isn't a real need to slog through most of it (and you will slog if you go anywhere near the pre-GU content).

E:F;B.
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Hathen
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 02:44:23 AM »

Of the stuff you can find Stateside, the only worthwhile installment of the franchise, in my opinion, is .Hack//SIGN, and that tends to be an acquired taste given that it's a very slow-moving show. The games were pretty much all mediocre. Same with Legend of the Twilight and .Hack//Roots.
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Bleaker
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 10:48:04 AM »

I played the first GU game, got a little bit into it. It was interesting, but not enough for me to stick with the series long term. I think that was mainly because I was 11. They seem cool though, if I could find them cheap I'd probably get them.
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