Bandai's pseudo-MMORPG series .hack will soon wrap up in Japan. The fourth and final installment, entitled .hack//Absolute Encirclement, is set to hit their shelves on April 10th. Meanwhile, American gamers are still waiting for the second game in the series, .hack//Malignant Mutation, which will release in May.
Most of the noteworthy changes in this game will be seen in battle. The system is said to include some new attacks, as well as the ability to switch characters. In addition, our hero Kite will obtain the final bracelet called "drain heart," which allows you to use a forbidden ability to shoot over 2,000 draining attacks at a stretch.
Among things that won't change at all, as you probably guessed, is the general gameplay concept of a simulated MMORPG. And since the games must be linked, the story will obviously pick up wherever part 3 leaves off. You can also expect the cast to remain mostly (if not entirely) the same through the series, as evidenced by this image picturing the entire cast of .hack//sign, which is the 26-episode anime prequel to the video games.
The game will also come free with the fourth DVD in the .hack//Liminality series, called Trismegistus. The game will go for a suggested price of 5,800 yen (about $42), and should be available in the U.S. in November.