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.hack//Outbreak - Staff Review

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Comments

  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (TwinBahamut @ Nov. 12 2003,07:59)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (DevilMayCare @ Nov. 11 2003,18:47)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    And the 5 for originality is just harsh. Considering the .hack games are essentially unique in story and gameplay, what is required for a good originality score in this place?
    <span id='postcolor'>
    ..Heh..heh..hahahaha!

    That was a laugh? All of the seperate games are unique in story; as in..different? They all happen exactly right after one another; every single one happens right after the events of the last one. Although, you are half right with this statement; at least in my opinion; which isn't worth much. Sure, the .Hack games have interesting stories; I'll give it that. But the way you say it makes it seem like it drastically changes, when all the games do is build upon one another.

    ..And the gameplay, the gameplay. The main reason why I have not allowed myself to drag myself through .Hack//Mutation as of yet. It's terrible; as if you haven't yet read through my opinion. At first, it was bearable, but it borders on mediocrity, that, paired with the mediocore music, and the mediocore graphics, and the gorgeous character designs..I mean..uh..the mediocore translation..almost undo's everything the game has.

    Now, imagine all that mediocrity, priced at 50 dollars.

    Stretched and cut into 4 games.

    With no changes so far that I've noticed.

    I think that sums up my opinion quite nicely.[/quote]
    Complete and utter misinterpretation of my original post, combined with a rant... pleasant.

    What I meant was that the .hack games as a whole are very original. Sure, .hack//Outbreak nothing but a continuation of .hack//Mutation, which is just a continuation of .hack//Infection. Just the third part of a four part game.

    Doesn't change the fact that in terms of story and gameplay, there isn't really any other RPG on the market that is similar to them. The raw number of unique or very close to unique elements among the gameplay should be obvious. As should the fact that no one else has ever made a story at all similar to this one before in an RPG before.

    So, yeah, of course I think .hack//Outbreak should have something more than average originality. A game with average originality should be something like Legend of Dragoon, which had a lot of originality, but obviously ripped off a lot of ideas from other games recently made. Not something as creative as .hack.

    Also, I really have to disagree with the Low to Average difficulty stated in the Review, because maybe I have been out of the loop or something, but I haven't seen games as hard as this one for a while.

    But while the .hack games aren't exactly the pinnacle of RPGs, it is still extremely fun, with a lot of good reasons to enjoy playing. It really doesn't deserve a lot of the harsh language being thrown at it in the review and in this thread.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    ..But you didn't say the .Hack games as a whole, you just said, "Considering the .Hack games are essentially unqiue in story and gameplay." As in, seperate entities, the .Hack games, if you had not screwed up and put that, and instead put what really would have made sense if you had meant all of the games; which would have been best said as .Hack series, then I wouldn't have gone off on my post earlier.

    I don't see how I misinterpreted anything, I only see myself reading your original post, and because of the way it was worded, going to a swift conclusion. That is, or so it seem to me, your fault, and not any misinterpretation on my part.

    And my post most certainly wasn't a rant

    Rant (as a noun): Violent Or extravagent speech or writing.

    If that's how you interpreted my post, then you were very wrong. But hey! I guess I did misunderstand what you were saying (even if it is because your wording was a bit odd on it) with your original post, and since you also misinterpreted one of my posts, I suppose were even on that level.

    Oh..and you probably didn't read the whole review, just skimmed through it, and looked at the main scale. If you had read through it, you would've probably noticed the fact that Paul does say that the game is difficult sometimes; second paragraph.

    Another thing, Outbreak is the third game in the series. The idea is still original, but it starts to lose it's..it's..first "impact". That period of awe at the idea has long worn off; which was inevitabley sped up by the "mediocrity fest" Bandai thought would make an excellent series. It's not the mediocrity that's bad, it's the fact that they're satisfied with it, that they believe so many people will flock to it. That since Balmung (Finally..I admit I like him) is allowed to join the party, people will buy the same game, which, can easily be called the same game as the others except with a few new scenes, a few new characters, differently colored monsters, and a new town.

    I can almost assure you that the previous .Hack games got higher points of originality. I can't remember the numbers, but I know they were higher than a 5, and it's pretty understandable why.

    ..And the gameplay not being unique to anything on the market at the moment. Am I the only one who played the first few battles of .Hack//Infection and thought, "This is just a dumbsed-down version of Kingdom Hearts." And indeed it is just that, it's battle system masquerades as unique by adding some annoying functions that are unfortunatly unneccasry because, it seems, none of the other characters has the since to heal themselves when near death. Or Elk might, perhaps out of shyness, just stand around and not cast a thing until I, once again, open up the damned chat menu to tell him to do so even though he IS a Wavemaster. At least, in Kingdom Hearts, your other party members had the sense to attack without me having to tell them to do so. At least, I could set the characters commands before battle so I didn't have to do it in the middle of a skirmish (which can break the flow of everything so easily).

    ..In story, as I've said, you've got me. Nothing has ever touched the fact that someone could try a simulated MMORPG in the near future before as a setting; or so I've heard. But in the gameplay, I'd rethink it a small bit. The dungeons? Just regular old dungeon crawling, I enjoyed doing all that more in Legend Of Legaia then with the borish music in .Hack...except in those snowy areas, with the castles that sound all haunted and everything. Lord knows why I like that area's theme so much..

    I suppose, even I'm hopeless sometimes.

    *Sigh*
  • bebop007bebop007 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (DevilMayCare @ Nov. 12 2003,19:45)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (TwinBahamut @ Nov. 12 2003,07:59)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    And the 5 for originality is just harsh. Considering the .hack games are essentially unique in story and gameplay, what is required for a good originality score in this place?
    <span id='postcolor'>
    ..Heh..heh..hahahaha!

    That was a laugh? All of the seperate games are unique in story; as in..different? They all happen exactly right after one another; every single one happens right after the events of the last one. Although, you are half right with this statement; at least in my opinion; which isn't worth much. Sure, the .Hack games have interesting stories; I'll give it that. But the way you say it makes it seem like it drastically changes, when all the games do is build upon one another.

    ..And the gameplay, the gameplay. The main reason why I have not allowed myself to drag myself through .Hack//Mutation as of yet. It's terrible; as if you haven't yet read through my opinion. At first, it was bearable, but it borders on mediocrity, that, paired with the mediocore music, and the mediocore graphics, and the gorgeous character designs..I mean..uh..the mediocore translation..almost undo's everything the game has.

    Now, imagine all that mediocrity, priced at 50 dollars.

    Stretched and cut into 4 games.

    With no changes so far that I've noticed.

    I think that sums up my opinion quite nicely.
    Complete and utter misinterpretation of my original post, combined with a rant... pleasant.

    What I meant was that the .hack games as a whole are very original. Sure, .hack//Outbreak nothing but a continuation of .hack//Mutation, which is just a continuation of .hack//Infection. Just the third part of a four part game.

    Doesn't change the fact that in terms of story and gameplay, there isn't really any other RPG on the market that is similar to them. The raw number of unique or very close to unique elements among the gameplay should be obvious. As should the fact that no one else has ever made a story at all similar to this one before in an RPG before.

    So, yeah, of course I think .hack//Outbreak should have something more than average originality. A game with average originality should be something like Legend of Dragoon, which had a lot of originality, but obviously ripped off a lot of ideas from other games recently made. Not something as creative as .hack.

    Also, I really have to disagree with the Low to Average difficulty stated in the Review, because maybe I have been out of the loop or something, but I haven't seen games as hard as this one for a while.

    But while the .hack games aren't exactly the pinnacle of RPGs, it is still extremely fun, with a lot of good reasons to enjoy playing. It really doesn't deserve a lot of the harsh language being thrown at it in the review and in this thread.[/quote]
    ..But you didn't say the .Hack games as a whole, you just said, "Considering the .Hack games are essentially unqiue in story and gameplay." As in, seperate entities, the .Hack games, if you had not screwed up and put that, and instead put what really would have made sense if you had meant all of the games; which would have been best said as .Hack series, then I wouldn't have gone off on my post earlier.

    I don't see how I misinterpreted anything, I only see myself reading your original post, and because of the way it was worded, going to a swift conclusion. That is, or so it seem to me, your fault, and not any misinterpretation on my part.

    And my post most certainly wasn't a rant

    Rant (as a noun): Violent Or extravagent speech or writing.

    If that's how you interpreted my post, then you were very wrong. But hey! I guess I did misunderstand what you were saying (even if it is because your wording was a bit odd on it) with your original post, and since you also misinterpreted one of my posts, I suppose were even on that level.

    Oh..and you probably didn't read the whole review, just skimmed through it, and looked at the main scale. If you had read through it, you would've probably noticed the fact that Paul does say that the game is difficult sometimes; second paragraph.

    Another thing, Outbreak is the third game in the series. The idea is still original, but it starts to lose it's..it's..first "impact". That period of awe at the idea has long worn off; which was inevitabley sped up by the "mediocrity fest" Bandai thought would make an excellent series. It's not the mediocrity that's bad, it's the fact that they're satisfied with it, that they believe so many people will flock to it. That since Balmung (Finally..I admit I like him) is allowed to join the party, people will buy the same game, which, can easily be called the same game as the others except with a few new scenes, a few new characters, differently colored monsters, and a new town.

    I can almost assure you that the previous .Hack games got higher points of originality. I can't remember the numbers, but I know they were higher than a 5, and it's pretty understandable why.

    ..And the gameplay not being unique to anything on the market at the moment. Am I the only one who played the first few battles of .Hack//Infection and thought, "This is just a dumbsed-down version of Kingdom Hearts." And indeed it is just that, it's battle system masquerades as unique by adding some annoying functions that are unfortunatly unneccasry because, it seems, none of the other characters has the since to heal themselves when near death. Or Elk might, perhaps out of shyness, just stand around and not cast a thing until I, once again, open up the damned chat menu to tell him to do so even though he IS a Wavemaster. At least, in Kingdom Hearts, your other party members had the sense to attack without me having to tell them to do so. At least, I could set the characters commands before battle so I didn't have to do it in the middle of a skirmish (which can break the flow of everything so easily).

    ..In story, as I've said, you've got me. Nothing has ever touched the fact that someone could try a simulated MMORPG in the near future before as a setting; or so I've heard. But in the gameplay, I'd rethink it a small bit. The dungeons? Just regular old dungeon crawling, I enjoyed doing all that more in Legend Of Legaia then with the borish music in .Hack...except in those snowy areas, with the castles that sound all haunted and everything. Lord knows why I like that area's theme so much..

    I suppose, even I'm hopeless sometimes.

    *Sigh*[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    to speak much is one thing, to speak well is another
    \"We're about to stage an attack on technology worthy of being chronicled in an anthem by Rush!\"
  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    To make a one sentence post is one thing, to not add a shred of any worth to the conversation is another.


    ..I'm planning on renting Outbreak, and seeing whether or not it's worth my time or not. But only after playing through Mutation..ugh, what happened to the localization? The voice actors are still good, and the Japanese option is rereshing, but there seems ot be a few sentences.

    P.S. If you were actually complementing me, then thanks. But my sarcasm alarm was going off..



  • bebop007bebop007 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    i'm just a smart ass by nature, while i did you use your quote, i was aiming at all lengthy posts in general. your arguments are quite accurate and i do agree on several points you make, i thought you made a very good point on the battle system being quite similar albeit mediocre in comparison to kingdom hearts. i thought that the originality never came into question, because i view all four parts as one game, not four seperate ones, so in my opinion, it would be better to comment on the game after quarantine is released and critique the entire story instead of the individual parts. i'm not saying that .hack is the end all be all of rpgs, but it has its finer point, and those shouldn't be overlooked. and a series shouldn't take all of the blame for the shortcomings on one part, i didnt much care for FFVIII, but it hasn't hindered my interest in the FF series. but you are right mutation was a weak game.

    p.s. i do have a very sarcastic nature, and sometimes my sarcastic and genuine sides get intertwined, and while i may say sarcastic things, i never mean them in a mean spirited fashion, only in jest.



    \"We're about to stage an attack on technology worthy of being chronicled in an anthem by Rush!\"
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Bebop, a skill that would much benefit you.l

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE" some obnoxiously long post[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    then your comment.


    Thus saving posting a gigantic thing for one line and being more obnoxious then what you are attempting to comment on.

    Dracos
  • bebop007bebop007 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    I'll admit to being fat, lazy, ignorant, insensitive, hypocritical, and sarcastic, but obnoxious is a new one for me. Guess I'll have to get used to that one.
    \"We're about to stage an attack on technology worthy of being chronicled in an anthem by Rush!\"
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Nov. 12 2003,08:59)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If I make one game that is totally original, it deserves a 10 in originality, right? ?What if I make a continuation to that game that uses the exact same system? ?Does it deserve the same 10 for originality? ?What if I make another? ?Or another? ?What if I make fifty games all using the same system/setup/continued storyline? ?Do they all deserve a 10 in originality because they are part of the same totally unique series?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    But the .hack games aren't spinoffs. ?The series was always designed to have exactly four parts, which together tell a story (though that story isn't exactly complete, since there's also the anime and manga, but that's irrelevant). ?In a way, you could consider all four games part of one large game. ?Would you criticize the third movie in a film series that was always supposed to be a trilogy because it only continues the story of the previous movies?

    Edit: Also, notice how people are also getting roused up about the graphical changes being made to the second Episode of Xenosaga, a pre-planned series like .hack, saying that the changes would ruin the continuity. While I don't know if you're one of those people, this seems to prove yet again that you can't please all of the people all of the time.



  • bebop007bebop007 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    I'm glad someone agrees with me
    \"We're about to stage an attack on technology worthy of being chronicled in an anthem by Rush!\"
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Metacod @ Nov. 14 2003,19:14)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Nov. 12 2003,08:59)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If I make one game that is totally original, it deserves a 10 in originality, right? What if I make a continuation to that game that uses the exact same system? Does it deserve the same 10 for originality? What if I make another? Or another? What if I make fifty games all using the same system/setup/continued storyline? Do they all deserve a 10 in originality because they are part of the same totally unique series?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    But the .hack games aren't spinoffs. The series was always designed to have exactly four parts, which together tell a story (though that story isn't exactly complete, since there's also the anime and manga, but that's irrelevant). In a way, you could consider all four games part of one large game. Would you criticize the third movie in a film series that was always supposed to be a trilogy because it only continues the story of the previous movies?

    Edit: Also, notice how people are also getting roused up about the graphical changes being made to the second Episode of Xenosaga, a pre-planned series like .hack, saying that the changes would ruin the continuity. While I don't know if you're one of those people, this seems to prove yet again that you can't please all of the people all of the time.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Wouldn't criticize it at all for that. What 'I' wouldn't bother to do was to rate it on originality. If originality is important to you above the other features of the story, then it would be notably that it's no different from the last game really. If it isn't (which it shouldn't), then the fact that one can say it's unoriginal compared to it's earlier parts, shouldn't be an issue. You shouldn't be expecting a high originality score for it at all.

    Anyhow, technically, yes, you do judge parts of a story for originalty if they are released as separate units. No matter if they are intended to be part of a cohesive and continuous whole, they still can be judged in that regard. And whether or not they are 'spinoffs' they'd still have to be judged against what's out there, including their previous tale.

    And you can't please everyone, but you can please a 'core' of those who are important. .Hack is not being sold to those expecting a completely original game every time. It's being sold to those who thought the first game was nifty and original and want to see another 2-3 just like it.

    Dracos
  • GhostGhost Member Full Members
    edited December 2003
    Man, a lotta posts to read through, and I haven't even played any .hacks. I like what little of the show I've seen though, and I'm infatuated with what I know of the concept and plot. Anyway, about this whole originality thing- this is purely based on what's been said under this topic so far, I haven't read the review in question.

    You wouldn't slice a movie up into three bits and then rate each bit on originality. You do this with a sequel maybe, or a spinoff definitely but not the next part of the same already planned story.
    ?How about a big, slathering "Not Applicable" for part twos and threes across the board? Just a suggestion...maybe not a workable one, I don't know. You RPGamer staff-folk are the ones who'd have to review around it I guess, so do what you like. Which brings me really to the main point of my post.

    It is so silly to complain about a reviewer's biases. As has been stated (but not necessarily explained), a reviewer having an opinion is a good thing. The point is that gamers, like yourself, have emotions and opinions. That's why there's an "Overall" score on a lot of game review charts. Sometimes a lot of underwhelming individual aspects can come together in a game to inexplicably create a satisfying experience all told.

    Also, if a reviewer complains about some things in a game...what's it to you? Did you make the game? Have you been personally insulted? Even if you did, you can't expect EVERYone to like your game. Reviewers are often chosen for their refined (read: "finnicky") tastes and if they shred a game to poke at its tender bits, that's because they're doing their job. For instance, I practically worhip Final Fantasy VII, but I could pick apart its negative aspects for hours. I absolutely hated FFVIII but I could rave about its graphics, design, & cinematic execution. That wouldn't make me unbiased. My review would still say, "FFVIII was a huge disappointment" after I talked about the good stuff.

    All I want from a reviewer is a legible description of WHY they liked/disliked the game. That way I can *gasp!* form my own opinion. Also, if I'm really invested in whether or not a game is worth my time, I tend to read other reviews by the same AUTHOR (not just the same publication) of games that I've already played and have my own opinions about. Then I compare the review to my own opinions and values (if a reviewer says, "This game sucked! The breathing simulation barely played a role in combat at all!" then I'll probably see that as a good thing).

    It works in movies too. Review: "This was B-movie Hollywood action dreck." Me: "That's exactly what I'm in the mood for." / Review: "This movie was terribly boring. The depiction of navy life in the 1700s was way too realistic to be entertaining." Me: "That's a field of history which interests me. Sounds great." / Review: "I loved this movie, it had the great soundtrack of "Dirty Dancing", and the skillful weave of drama and comedy that made "A League of Their Own" such a masterpiece." Me: *pukes*

    See? So quit complaining/sucking up to the reviews/reviewers, and learn how to use the resources available to you properly.

    Oops, kinda turned into a flame there at the end. No offense to anyone, really. Sorry.
  • TheKookyboyTheKookyboy New Member Full Members
    edited December 2003
    ......What game doesn't get repetitive? Isn't that wherein addictive gameplay lies? Strange.....
  • GhostGhost Member Full Members
    edited December 2003
    Not necessarily, although I see your point. For one thing, if a game continues to evolve within its own parameters- via character building, or intense plot progression -then it may contain very little repetition. It's continually building, essentially a different beast each individual step of the way.

    But I think a well designed game can be repetitious without FEELING repetetive, and therein lies the challenge of the game-maker.
  • TheKookyboyTheKookyboy New Member Full Members
    edited December 2003
    A good point, but repetition can come with the evolution as well, forced to watch cutscene after cutscene furthers a plot, but the gameplay always suffers in retrospect. If an rpg is 40 hours, how much of that time is spent watching cinema?

    That's what I like about .hack, short simple to the point lets play. Never can go wrong there, lengthy cinemas should be awarded not handed out ever 5 minutes.

    That is repetition, that is the standard...unfortunatly
  • GhostGhost Member Full Members
    edited December 2003
    Hm. Point taken, and I agree that lengthy cinemas pack more punch when you have to work for them and they're used dramatically.

    But I'll have to respectfully disagree about the current norm. I haven't seen it get out of hand on the whole. Just in a few isolated incidents. But perhaps the fact that I'm piss broke and haven't had the opportunity to really play many current RPGs has had a hand in that.

    By evolution, I was more referring to character building gameplay, not just plot. Also, plot needn't be revealed in cutscenes. A character's death, an introspective monologue, even a conversation using the in-game engine can all have the same impact as FMV when utilized properly. Finding notes left behind, or scratches in a doorframe leading down a dark staircase can progress you through a story without a 10 min. cutscene.

    But still, by evolution I was referring to the gameplay itself. Final Fantasy Tactics is a good example of both evolving gameplay and skillful plot progression using the in-game engine.
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