Dot Hack G.U.


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8/8/2009

So lately I've been craving the original Dot Hack games (which I do not have anymore), so I'm going to purchase them all again. In the process of contemplating how awesome the original series is, I also got to thinking about how much the G.U series absolutely sucks. The newest series failed to recapture the feel of the original, failed to be an immersive experience. There a number of reasons why they failed to make a good sequel to the original, and I will now explain them in full detail. Keep in mind, however, that I never completed the G.U series- I stopped playing somewhere in the third game, after I discovered that my save file was corrupt. Naturally, I stopped playing then because I had absolutely no desire to play through it from the beginning again.

It's important to realize that what they did was rebuild The World from scratch-the look, the feel, the graphics, the menus, everything. Theoretically, this has the opportunity of providing a great experience for a sequel, in that the core idea is the same, but everything else is fresh. However, in the process of rebuilding The World, they forgot about all of the aspects of the original that made it so fun and so great. The completely new story, with new characters and such, wasn't such a bad idea (I don't care for the original characters that much) but what resulted was some characters that are much less interesting.

First, let us consider the most important (or what should be the most important) aspect of the gameplay: dungeon crawling. More specifically, the act of going to a Chaos Gate, inputting some keywords, and proceeding to beat the crap out of some monsters and get some loot. The first thing that I was sorely disappointed upon playing G.U was the fact that some locations don't even have dungeons. Instead you just fight monsters on the field, and perhaps defeat a powerful semi-boss monster for treasure. These levels are small, so there's no exploration involved whatsoever. You can't really call that dungeon crawling, at all. Then, in the locations that actually have dungeons, you have to deal with doors that you must open with a certain amount of Chim Chims. Forcing me to run around to capture Chim Chims is stupid and pointless. It detracts from the gameplay immensely.

Part of dungeon crawling is the act of battling monsters. This is yet another screwed up aspect of the game. Battling in G.U requires very little strategy. You will do the same thing in every battle- slash and hack. I'm sure that's great fun for some people, but it just got too repetitive to be interesting for me. The new battle mechanics do very little to make it more interesting- you have three different types of weapons, and you and switch between them anytime to do the most damage (certain weapons may be more effective to certain monsters), and you have special skill attacks that are different for each weapon type as well. It seems to me that this is their attempt at answering any complaints that the first series only allowed you to play as one class type. Well, they obviously didn't do too good of a job with that. I also remember that in the first series, you had to take into consideration element types of monsters and your attacks' element types, but this aspect of battle gameplay is completely gone in G.U.

So, to summarize, they butchered the fun in exploration and battle.

They failed to make it an immersive experience. Sure, they have the OS and the email system and the forums, but it just felt so fake to me. They over-complicated the design. They also somehow failed to make it really feel like an online game, which is extremely disappointing considering how well they pulled it off in the first series. Here, let's just say that I suck at explaining this aspect of my rantview. The game was not immersive, and I don't know why.

The tournament system is repetitive, has no challenge, and requires very little strategy. Every time, you just try to kill the leader of the opposing team to win. There isn't much else to it. You try to use your special skills as much as possible to beat the crap out of them. I wouldn't have minded participating in the Tournament as an optional sidequest, but forcing the player to do tournament battles in each game is stupid. It gets repetitive quickly, and for all I care, I'm doing the same battle over and over. There's really not much difference between them.

The Avatar battles are repetitive as well. Repetition is the name of the game. In the Avatar battles, you dodge lasers/stuff and shoot orbs. Some battles are more difficult, but you're still doing the same thing. There's no strategy here either.

In fact, that is the core issue with G.U. It is essentially an Action game. They cut out all of the RPG goodness that I loved, that I craved, in the first series. Avatar battling is a great little Action-y gimmick, but it gets old quickly.

I also can't forget to mention the horrible discontinuity problem I had when I started playing part 3. See, in part 2 there was this great quest for finding keys which you could use to unlock doors, fight bosses, and get special weapons as a reward. Perhaps I obtained two or three of the weapons, then proceeded to play part 3. After some time, I discovered that upon playing part 3, you are automatically given all of the special weapons, and there is no more finding keys, fighting bosses, etc. It's done with, gone. So, the game failed to be continuous, and it really ticked me off since I shouldn't have to play a specific game in the series to do a specific quest. The .Hack//Quarantine, the final game in the original series, has proven that you can fit plenty on that game disc (everything you could unlock in all of the games in the series, including the videos, is available on this game disc). There's no reason why a quest should be omitted from the next game in the series, it is simply counterproductive.

There was more stuff to rant about, but I can't think of anything else at the moment. Perhaps you'll see a Part II of this rantview later on.
2 Jan. 2018 || 2767 hits || Surfpup00@gmail.com
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