If you grew up like I did, as a child of the 90’s who loved anime, you probably had at least a passing interest in .hack//Sign, an anime that was (and you’ll see a theme here) way before its time. If you have any interest in Sword Art Online, watch .hack//Sign. It’s better in every way and has the same core ideas.
Insert hipster emoji here.
But I digress.
Last weekend, the only thing I did was play .hack//G.U. Last Recode. I couldn’t bring myself to stop. It’s a game, much like the previously mentioned series, that was before its time.
While I can only speak for the PC version of the game, the graphics for each of the three G.U. games in this bundle are lovely updated. The FMV (or full motion video cutscenes, for those that remember what those are) were also redone to today’s standard. I’m in absolute love with the way this game looks. In a comfortable 60 frames per second, this game also plays like a dream.
Speaking of gameplay, however, I will say that these games (all three of them) tend to reuse assets often, particularly reusing in-game areas, often leading to things feeling repetitive. I will try not to fault the remaster for this, however, as it was the limitations of the PlayStation 2 hardware for which these games were originally released.
And, please, play this game with the Japanese audio. Do yourself a favor. While you will recognize a lot of the English voice cast if you enjoy anime, I find it very…bad. Loud, obnoxious.
But, yet again, I digress.
There’s an immersion element to this game that I haven’t seen repeated. The fact that there’s a “desktop” where you can check “news,” “forums,” and “email” made this game feel more real to me. When a friend walked in while I was playing while I was sitting on the “desktop”, she asked me how I made my computer “look so pretty.”
The story is (and yes I’m saying it again) was ahead of its time. It’s a story about people in a MMO (think World of Warcraft) and the ethics within that game. While I do believe that story might take itself a little too seriously at times, I always enjoyed it.
In short, if you had a passing interest in .hack before, try Last Recode. You won’t regret it.