E3 2006: The word on .hack
05.10.06 - 8:46 PM

The Bandai Namco booth featured a playable demo of .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth this year. I had a chance to play the game and speak with some of the staff working on localizing the title.

My first question: will the US see a release of .hack//FRAGMENT? The answer was a resounding no.

However, the first volume of the planned G.U. trilogy is looking great. I'm not only referring to graphics; the gameplay is exciting and fresh. The game features a refined battle system that is both deep and accessible. Switching weapons mid-battle is now easily done (and is sometimes required for battles). The lead character, Haseo, can ride a motorcycle around the map and begin battles by crashing the cycle into a monster

Haseo is touted as a PKK: Player-Killer-Killer. The story goes that when Haseo first started playing in "The World", some PKs tried to take him out. This annoyed him, so he grew in power and started taking out these virtual bullies. However, Haseo's real quest is to determine the cause of the problematic comas (real-life, not "The World" comas). Yes, it's similar to what happened in the first series, but this time Haseo is also plagued by haunting memories of Kite (the original series' protagonist).

Bandai Namco is promising a solid 40 hours of gameplay in the title, or (their words) "as much as the first four games combined." We at RPGFan are glad to see that they are dealing with the first four games' most serious issue: repetitive games in a series.

The staff also described G.U. as "darker, epic, and more intense" than the original games.

A generic date of "Fall '06" has been announced for the US release of Rebirth. Expect more news, previews, and a review as the time draws nearer from us at RPGFan.


Patrick Gann

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