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.hack Part 1: Infection (PlayStation 2) artwork

.hack Part 1: Infection (PlayStation 2) review


"The following is a completely true story. "



The following is a completely true story.

Our hero stepped up to his mighty Playstation 2, disc in hand. He placed it into the tray and closed the lid with a refreshing shoomp. As he pressed the power button on his black gaming hardware, the game loaded up as always.

Today, Espiga was delving into The World.

Such is the name of the false MMORPG that our hero's adventure was to take place in. He started a new game, and was given the choice to select his name. Entering in "Espiga," the story opened, and he met the character whom he would be controlling. A character named....

...Kite. It didn't matter that our hero clearly just named him Espiga.

Thinking this to be some sort of mistake, our hero reset his game. He entered his name again, making sure to select OK after entering in "Espiga" for the name, just in case something went awry the first time. The story opened, and our hero once again met the character whom he would be controlling. A character named...

...Kite.

Well, crap, our hero said to himself. For no matter what you name your character in this MMORPG that isn't an MMORPG, you will always be called Kite. Once Espiga was over this initial shock, he proceeded through the impressive opening narrative, with surprisingly adept voice acting for an American release of a Japanese game. Our hero was introduced to Kite's best friend Orca, who was defeated by a mysterious monster and then attacked with a strange ability. In the real world, the person playing as Orca fell into a coma because of this attack. Determined to find the source of this monster and to find a way to wake Orca up from his coma, Kite steps back into The World and begins his search for answers. Our hero began his search in the first town.

It was a beauitful town, with canals, fountains, and beautiful architecture abound. Wow, Espiga exclaimed. These locales are actually quite detailed and nice looking!

That's when he entered a field.

Fields are areas in which dungeons and monsters reside. In order to get to a field, one must first put together a combination of keywords the player is given. This combination results in your destination. You'll then warp from the town you're in to the field you're headed to.

The towns are gorgeous. The fields are hideous.

Our hero stepped out onto the field, and was taken aback. The land was completely empty, aside from a few monsters here and there, the entrance to a dungeon, and a couple landmarks of non-interest. It didn't help matters that the muddy, washed out textures made the lay of the land look very unappealing. Hoping this was just a one-time occurrence, Espiga traveled to several other lands, and found exactly the same situation, only with frighteningly more powerful monsters.

Nearly every one of these monsters is a pain to fight, too. Espiga had very few options with which he could fight. Attacking is simply a matter of pressing the same button while locked on to the enemy, and using special abilities requires a trip to the menu screen, which pauses the game and breaks up the action. To make things worse, some enemies are vastly overpowered and make the player use Kite's Data Drain ability, which significantly lowers the enemy stats, but also drops your earned experience to a single point. Our hero later found out that data draining was a requirement to get through the game as data drained foes drop keys called Data Cores that he had to collect to get into protected fields.

These protected fields were no more exciting than the last. However, Espiga continued to trudge through the story that starts off great but quickly loses steam, going from field to field, caring very little about the bland, lifeless characters that would join his party.

And when he was nearing the end, something miraculous happened! The story began to pick up, and our hero was having a fun time, indeed. But then it was all over. It ended up being nothing but a short, boring, ugly game. It was over a mere 20 hours or so after it began. For an RPG with a story that takes place over 4 installments, this is inexcusable. Our hero shut the game off and walked away sadly, remembering he had to write a review for something. He chose this game.

Espiga thought to himself, perhaps if I write it in the third person, it'll make this game seem more epic and exciting than it really is!

It didn't work.

Rating: 5/10

espiga's avatar
Community review by espiga (July 18, 2007)

Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.

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Meet Espiga.

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