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.hack//Outbreak - Staff Review

Amish_ChiefAmish_Chief MemberFull Members
edited December 2003 in Latest Updates
.hack//Outbreak - Staff Review

I really don?t know what to say. ?This series looked amazing to begin with, but time has not treated it well at all. ?While I will not take the harsh position that some board members have regarding the series, I must say it has been an incredible ripoff. ?Should Bandai (and they?d better) release all four titles in a packaged boxed set, then this will be something to look forward to. ?Until then, rent if you?re really *that* curious. ?I know how quickly 15 hours of gaming can go for lots of people.

You may commence with the flames.
«1

Comments

  • Options
    edited November 2003
    I think most of the .Hack fans around here know my stance on this "series". ?I was actually pretty close to jumping on the hype badwagon before Infection was launched. ?Luckily the less than perfect reviews, and the promise of having to drop $200 to get the entire game's worth of plot, swayed me. ?I played the game for a bit on a friends' rental and overall I thought the combat was unimpressive. ?The story at the time intrigued me, but that was before I saw the abbyssmal anime and decided to just ignore the games alltogether.

    I still think it's funny that so many people fell for Bandai's genius marketing ploy. ?I hate to be a guy who tells you so, and then says "I told you so" but I did...
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (LiQuid|Juravial @ Nov. 11 2003,00:55)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I think most of the .Hack fans around here know my stance on this "series". I was actually pretty close to jumping on the hype badwagon before Infection was launched. Luckily the less than perfect reviews, and the promise of having to drop $200 to get the entire game's worth of plot, swayed me. I played the game for a bit on a friends' rental and overall I thought the combat was unimpressive. The story at the time intrigued me, but that was before I saw the abbyssmal anime and decided to just ignore the games alltogether.

    I still think it's funny that so many people fell for Bandai's genius marketing ploy. I hate to be a guy who tells you so, and then says "I told you so" but I did...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    That depends. But I do enjoy the game series, hype or no hype.
  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Ah, it was a cult thing to begin with. ?The 'Part X' on the front of the box should've been the first clue that it was gonna be an all-or-nothing deal, but what can you do.

    For my part, I view it as a flawed, but decent game sweetened a little by one of the better concepts and plot workings I've seen this year. ?At the very least, I find it a great deal less pretentious (the game, not the marketing) than most RPGs to date. I'm big on that.

    (Which I suppose makes it ironic that I attempt to write fanfic for this, among others, but that's another beast altogether...)
  • DarshuDarshu Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Personally I love this game and anime in all it's incarnations. I don't see why people dislike a game such as this and put crap like say, FF6 on a pedestal and worship it as a religious icon.

    Honestly I don't think I remember RPGamer giving out a fair review in a long, long time. Too much bias here methinks...



  • sniffysniffy Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    I bought the first game, and while I like simplicity, I do not like emptiness. .hack is in many ways a game series without a soul. It is one long game stretched into 4 parts, and very pricey. Just think, for the price of all the games, you could have bought a game system!

    I could see people paying $50 for the first game, and then get a voucher for the next game, which contains a voucher for the next game....etc...but buying each game at full price when your name is not Hilton, Trump, or Rockefeller is painful indeed.
  • ASVASV Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Darshu @ Nov. 10 2003,18:11)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Honestly I don't think I remember RPGamer giving out a fair review in a long, long time. Too much bias here methinks...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    By what do you judge fairness? If you mean, we don't give all the games you like high marks simply because, then I agree, we're not fair. On the otherhand, if you mean we give good games a bum rap just to spite people, then you're very wrong.

    Our reviews system currently has about 10 active staffers, all of which have a broad and highly differing stance on many subjects. Just because the one of us that reviews a game doesn't agree with you doesn't mean that we're being unfair. It just means that you're seeing one persons semi-professional opinion on the matter. If you'd like to send me some of your reviews to print to contrast our own, then by all means, do. Otherwise, try to realize that your views don't necessarily shape those of all RPGdom.
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Darshu @ Nov. 11 2003,02:11)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Personally I love this game and anime in all it's incarnations. I don't see why people dislike a game such as this and put crap like say, FF6 on a pedestal and worship it as a religious icon.

    Honestly I don't think I remember RPGamer giving out a fair review in a long, long time. Too much bias here methinks...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Since when did reviews become fair and objective? Such a review cannot humanly exist.
  • KhisanthKhisanth Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    I dislike all the implications in the review of us who actually enjoy the series being idiots for "buying into the hype." I personally like the games. Yes, the battle system gets repetative. Yes, some of the quests are pointless and time consuming. But i feel the story makes up for it. I dislike the idea of a review being written by a person already predisposed to hate the game.

    On another note, I love the .hack//sign anime. It is a well done show with an intriguing plot.
  • Options
    edited November 2003
    To those complaining: Stop.

    You knew Bandai was going to release the games like this from the beginning. They've been out for HOW long in Japan now? And they mentioned it HOW many times in the initial announcements? If you think you got "cheated", you've no-one to blame but yourselves for not reading the information available before making a purchase. Personally, I'm quite happy with the second volume, which I own, and borrowed the first from a friend. I'm planning to buy Outbreak and Quarrantine, when they come out.

    And for those who missed it... There are coupons in the Mutation manual that get you a discount on Outbreak and Infection. Hope you didn't assume you wouldn't need that and threw it out or something!
  • ShadowcatShadowcat Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    It is slightly anoying to drop all that money just for what basicly amounts to one game...but then again I'm stuck on it. I love the plot amd the gameplay isin't that bad...LOL
    FFXI Character name: Shadowneko Server: Quetzalcoatl Main Jobs: lvl 76 THF, lvl 95 Summoner, lvl 39 Dragoon
    FlOzXvF.jpg
    My VAPS Entry,
  • SolonSolon Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Darshu @ Nov. 11 2003,03:11)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Personally I love this game and anime in all it's incarnations. I don't see why people dislike a game such as this and put crap like say, FF6 on a pedestal and worship it as a religious icon.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    The answer lies within yourself, because you sort of did the exact same thing just now.
    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Speaking of which, why don't you send one in Solon? You and I seem to have some similar tastes in RPGs. smile.gif
  • SolonSolon Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MeoTwister5 @ Nov. 11 2003,05:24)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Speaking of which, why don't you send one in Solon? ?You and I seem to have some similar tastes in RPGs. smile.gif[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Ah, but my Outbreak review has been up all week.. tounge.gif
    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"It is slightly anoying to drop all that money just for what basicly amounts to one game...but then again I'm stuck on it. ?I love the plot amd the gameplay isin't that bad...LOL[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I hear that, but you do have to admit that when you take it all as one, it'd be a bit thick to put on one game, to say the least. ?Figure 15-20 hours per part, maybe 10 if you're quick (which you'd really regret come Outbreak, IMO, if you're not keeping up in levels) - adds up to somewhere between 40 and 80 hours. ?The $200 for one game comment is a tad off; if anything it'd be closer to $100 (at least as far as sum total of gameplay is concerned - yes, the plot's another matter, but let's not pretend Bandai has the market cornered on unfinished stories).

    But I ramble. ?Quarantine's the one to watch, but I can honestly say I don't feel especially tricked or cheated out of my dough thus far. ?Which is easy to say after coming down off a *real* MMORPG and realizing I've spent $300-something on a single game with nothing really to show for it, so .Hack might just look better by comparison. ?Eh, whatever, they made their sale smile.gif
  • Ashy PhoenixAshy Phoenix New Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    As has been discussed before, the .hack series presents itself as one game spanning through many plot twists and subtle changes. Although admittedly some of the plot twists were kind of like "D'oh!" the story remained engaging, if not relatively frightening in its "what if" properties.

    As a series, as a complete story, I think it can be viewed as one of the most ambitious undertakings recently - after all, it challenges the system. I think that point has not been represented properly - it is quite an achievement indeed that they were able to make a decent series about emulating a relatively new phenomenon, at least as an entry into pop culture. So although the series didn't hold me all the way through the second installment, I believe its innovative and daring path should be taken by more gamemakers.

    Side note here, MUDs are NOT MMORPGS....hehe....my friend keeps saying they are but...no, not as MMORPGS are represented today they aren't. tounge.gif And hey, at least .hack is better than sitting around muddling through the barely playable Suikoden 3 tounge.gif Be gentle, Suikoden fans...
  • Amish_ChiefAmish_Chief Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Khisanth @ Nov. 10 2003,22:06)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I dislike all the implications in the review of us who actually enjoy the series being idiots for "buying into the hype." ?I personally like the games. ?Yes, the battle system gets repetative. ?Yes, some of the quests are pointless and time consuming. ?But i feel the story makes up for it. ?I dislike the idea of a review being written by a person already predisposed to hate the game.

    On another note, I love the .hack//sign anime. ?It is a well done show with an intriguing plot.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    What a...lively discussion.

    All things considered, I most certainly am not predisposed to hate the game. ?If anything, the low (as some readers here are interpreting it) score is a reflection of my very high expectations for the series. ?Take a look at these links:

    http://www.rpgamer.com/event/e3-2002/impressions/imp-dothack.html
    http://www.rpgamer.com/features/0902-mostwanted/1-dothack.html

    You can also take a look at my previous two reviews for Infection and Mutation:

    http://www.rpgamer.com/games/hack/hack/reviews/hackstrev1.html
    http://www.rpgamer.com/games/hack/hack2/reviews/hack2strev1.html

    As an attendee of E3 2002, you can rest assured that the .hack series looked incredibly promising. ?To respond to Ashy Phoenix's post, it was (and still is) an ambitious effort. ?Infection was one of the first games to enable a quick switch between Japanese and English audio, and the plot is magnificent. ?I've seen all 26 episodes of .hack//SIGN, and Key of the Twilight is one of my favorite anime tracks to date.

    The relatively low score is one of disappointment if anything. ?But I'd also like to point out that under Points of View's scoring system, 5 is average. ?Had I really hated this game, it would have gotten an even lower score. ?But it didn't, and I'm still willing to give it one last chance. ?We'll see when Quarantine comes out.
  • Options
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Honestly I don't think I remember RPGamer giving out a fair review in a long, long time. Too much bias here methinks...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    What a bunch of crybaby crap. ?If anything RPGamer needs to be commended on NOT tilting their reviews on a 5 to 10 scale like nearly every other gaming media source on the planet. ?An above average game gets an above average rating (6-8). ?Whereas other gaming news sites and magazines feel compelled to hand out 9's and 10's like there's no tomorrow, when RPGamer rates a game so high it's usually something to be remembered. ?Go browse www.gamerankings.com, and you'll see some really mediocre games all get marks in the 80-90+ percents, and some real pieces of trash getting marks that SHOULD denote an "average" game... ?RPGamer is one of the few sources I know that doesn't rate on a tilt. They aren't here to make sure every game you likes gets a 10 and every game you hate gets a 1.
  • Options
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"And hey, at least .hack is better than sitting around muddling through the barely playable Suikoden 3 tounge.gif ?Be gentle, Suikoden fans...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    lol, I thought the same way as you, at first, which is why it took me so long to play it. But once you get used to the play mechanics, it's not as bad as you think. It also seriously has one of the best storyline presentation I've almost ever seen (in my opinion, although Xenogears and Chrono Trigger give it comp, of course). But even being the physcho Suiko-fan that I am, don't worry, because I don't believe in attacking other people about their opinions wink.gif

    Oh yeah...ahem...this is a .hack forum thing, isn't it? Well, I enjoyed the first game, but after I realized there would be 3 more to come, I stopped buying them because here's how I figure it: Once they all come out, and are out for a while, I'll be able to get the rest of the series used for like $20 apiece. *shrugs* works for me smile.gif But to each his own with this series, really...

    -Daniel-



  • Matt1plus1Matt1plus1 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Congratulations on your 30th review, Solon! Keep up the good work.
  • RosewoodRosewood Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (danmanv @ Nov. 11 2003,00:47)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Once they all come out, and are out for a while, I'll be able to get the rest of the series used for like $20 apiece.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    That's the way I've been doing it too. I paid $50 for the first part, but decided getting the whole series brand-new wasn't worth it. Mutation is getting close to $20--it's in the $30 range new--so in a month or two it should be as cheap as Infection is now. Timely reviews aren't friendly to that philosophy, though.

    I appreciate the reviews here--they're of a much higher level generally than you see on, ahem, some other sites.
  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2003
    Honestly, I don't like this review at all.

    Not impartial enough. Talks way too much about outrage, promises not fulfilled, and how Bandai marketing has somehow tricked people. I don't agree with those statements, but even if I did, I would think that they shouldn't be in a review.

    And about the price... Considering the number of coupons contained in the game manuals, and the fact that an Anime DVD is included really helps negate that in my mind.

    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?
  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (TwinBahamut @ Nov. 11 2003,16:17)</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?[/QUOTE]<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.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (ASV @ Nov. 10 2003,19:57)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Darshu @ Nov. 10 2003,18:11)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Honestly I don't think I remember RPGamer giving out a fair review in a long, long time. Too much bias here methinks...[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    By what do you judge fairness? If you mean, we don't give all the games you like high marks simply because, then I agree, we're not fair. On the otherhand, if you mean we give good games a bum rap just to spite people, then you're very wrong.

    Our reviews system currently has about 10 active staffers, all of which have a broad and highly differing stance on many subjects. Just because the one of us that reviews a game doesn't agree with you doesn't mean that we're being unfair. It just means that you're seeing one persons semi-professional opinion on the matter. If you'd like to send me some of your reviews to print to contrast our own, then by all means, do. Otherwise, try to realize that your views don't necessarily shape those of all RPGdom.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Do be sure to tell me the day that the reviews here become fair and objective. Then I'll know when they aren't worth reading anymore.

    One reads a review for the opinion, the information contained, and the sense personality in the delivery. If one reads it for a reason other than to hear an opinion, then one is reading the wrong thing laugh.gif.

    Keep up the good work.

    Dracos
  • RivermanRiverman Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    This is a game I can do without.
  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2003
    </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"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (TwinBahamut @ Nov. 11 2003,16:17)</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?[/QUOTE]<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]<span id='postcolor'>
    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.

    Argh, I think I am going to have to restrain myself from flaming right now, even though it really is tempting. 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.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Twinbahamut: Just to examine your logic a bit...

    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?

    Or instead is it acceptable that one can demand some level of originality between games of the same series, and find it as a negative that a game is practically the same one as it's predecessor?

    Dracos
  • Slayer of GodSlayer of God Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Twinbahamut:

    If you don't like Paul's review, by all means, write you own. That's the beauty of the Points of View section.

    As for the series itself, while I am interested, I'd rather wait until they drop in price. Paying that much money for such short games isn't that logical to me. I agree with Paul in that they should release all the games in a collection, because I've got other RPG's I'd rather spend my money on(see= FFX-2).
    Within the spreading darkness, I pledged a vow to the revolution.
  • Crimson FlameCrimson Flame Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    The games weren't what I had been expecting, but I still liked them.
  • SilvermaneSilvermane Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    Bandai owns my money. tounge.gif Im such an addict to this series. They really souldnt have put anime and a RPG together. laugh.gif

    addict.JPG

    Im hopeless. smile.gif
  • bebop007bebop007 Member Full Members
    edited November 2003
    people often forget that their opinions are just that opinions. i does not matter how many rpgs you have played or how many years you have been playing them all carry equal weight in my view, but again this is just my opinion. i happened to enjoy the .hack games, and yes i do feel 50 bucks per game is a little high but its a little late in the game(no pun intended) to start complaining about it, just do what i do send in the 5 dollar rebate and trade in the previous .dot hack so the new one will cost half the price. speaking of time i could beat chrono trigger in no more than 15 hours ,side quests and all, but i still play it again and again, does .hack measure up to CT, of course not, but it was a very enjoyable game and thats all i really care about, but this is just my humble opinion

    i'm just stuck in a bad dream i can't wake up from-Spike Spiegel



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