As a staff reviewer for RPGamer, I took on the
task of trying to review all of the .hack titles, which proved to
be an expensive and ultimately annoying task considering the limited
gameplay in each of the titles. Given the initial closure of the plot in
the first four games of the series, I was surprised to hear of at least
two new additions to the .hack universe. One of these titles
was playable: .hack//Fragment, and it is slated for a November
23rd release in Japan. While the title itself does look solid and ready
for release, its gameplay elements honestly reminded me of more of the
same, which is not necessarily a good thing.
"...if Bandai can show that it can make
the jump to a true MMO...then maybe this series is worth a revisit."
Like almost all demo games available at
conventions of this nature, gameplay time is extremely limited, though I was able
to roam through town and try out a few battles. As such,
.hack//Fragment looks at first appearance more of the same of the original
titles. Diehard fans of the series (and myself, as I logged at least 80
hours into the first four games) will be happy to know that character
data can in fact be imported into the new game, so all that time you
spent with Sora and company in the original series will not be put to
However, like all the other previous titles, there
is the option of starting from scratch with base characters, and this
should suit fine for anybody trying out the series for the first time.
After glancing at the main desktop (a staple of all .hack titles
to this point), it would appear there are a few extra features enabling
online play as well, something hinted at in previous Bandai press
releases. Sadly, this feature was not live at TGS, but it would be
interesting to see how Bandai would implement it in the near future.
After my extensive experience with the first four
games in the series, I remain a humongous cynic when it comes to most
things .hack. Nevertheless, if Bandai can show that it can make
the jump to a true MMO instead of a farce-MMO like the rest of the
series has been so far, then maybe this series is worth a revisit. If not,
I'd stay away from this one for the time being, unless more information
comes out in the near future.