About This GameLog back into the .hack//G.U. trilogy and return to “The World,” as Haseo tracks down Tri-Edge in .hack//G.U. Last Recode, now with enhanced graphics, improved gameplay, and brand new modes!
This collection includes all 3 original .hack//G.U. titles, Rebirth, Reminisce, and Redemption, all fully restored and remastered. As well as an all new exclusive 4th Volume: .hack//G.U. Reconnection.
• 15 years of .hack – Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the beloved global cross media franchise that first released in 2002
• Fully restored – Graphically enhanced gameplay and cut scenes now in 1080p and 60fps
• Improved system features – Enhanced battle balance and game pacing to provide an optimal experience for new and old fans alike.
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 940, 3.0 GHz / Intel Core i3-2100, 3.10 GHz
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Radeon HD 6870, 1 GB / GeForce GTX 460, 768 MB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 40 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX compatible soundcard or onboard chipset
Two things I want to point out:
1) I find the price pretty fair as it is 3 (or 4 if you count the newest one, not sure how long vol 4 is) games into one.
2) People in the forum are saying this is a copy of SAO, I just want to refer those people to re-watch the intro. This game is being released as the 15th anniversary of .hack, which means the original .hack series goes all the way back 15 years ago. On the otherhand, SAO is from 2009 (light novel)…so yea…
Intro to .hack//Franchise
For those unfamiliar with the .hack (or dot hack) franchise, I’ll start with a basic, spoiler-free introduction. Dot Hack is a now 15 year old multimedia franchise with books, graphic novels, anime, and games, regarding a fictional MMO known simply as The World. This franchise started in the early 2000’s, just following the early days of MMOs, inspired by titles such as Ultima Online and Everquest, successful MMOs before World of Warcraft popularized the genre in a more mainstream level.
Each entry in dot hack tells a self-contained story about the fictional MMO and covers topics pertinent to online interactions, online indentities vs. real identities, identity politics, virtual reality, social media, urban legends, and so on. Very forward-thinking for a series conceptualized in the early 2000s. Each entry is also fairly self-contained, not necessarily requiring someone to pay attention to every book, game, anime, or movie to understand the one they are currently on, although consuming more of the franchise does paint a wider picture. It’s kind of like Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear franchise in that way.
On to .hack//GU: Last Recode
This game is a remastered package of .hack//GU, a trilogy of action RPGs for the Playstation 2 console. It is the second series of games in the .hack//Franchise but this is an ideal package to start with. The reason why is that it contains a series of ‘Terminal’ videos that explain the events of the first game series, so while it’s not a replacement for sorely needed remasters or remakes of those games, it’s a great alternative to ponying up $200-300 for that series, as it’s been long out of print. The videos covering the first games are not necessary to watch for .hack//GU but it provides some extra context and lore for those who care.
As for the game itself, from my experience so far it is a competent port. Not a lot of options on this PC version, but it runs well at seemingly a locked resolution of 60 frames per second, ideal for any high-motion action game. The graphics are way better and less muddy than the PS2 originals, although obviously polygons are still obvious, especially on rounded objects. The style of the graphics are in a cel-shaded style, however, so that aspect has not aged as poorly. You can jump into any Volume you want, including a new 4th Volume created specifically for this remastered set. There is also a parody mode I have no experience with yet, but it allegedly contains spoilers and is not meant for anyone who hasn’t completed the games.
The gameplay of .hack//GU: Last Recode is a story-driven action role-playing game, framed as an MMO. You have ‘servers’ which function as hub towns and another parameter to keep in mind for dungeons. Dungeons are accessed through key words acquired through your player character’s emails, the message boards of the world, or story events, and the dungeons generated with the key words change from server to server, so trying the same word combination in different servers will give you different dungeons to complete.
The Server hub worlds themselves are filled with shops, quests, events, and NPCs that roam around as if they were player characters in an MMO, and you can trade with them. A lot of effort was made to try and immerse you in the idea that you’re in an MMO. The combat in dungeons is honestly very simple; one attack button, a block button, and skill triggers. It plays out like a basic brawler with repetitive combos. Do not expect depth of gameplay akin to Dark Souls. Dungeons are generated with differing objectives, but honestly from my memory it’s just different floor layouts of maybe 3-5 specific types of dungeons with different aesthetic tile sets as you go along to at least change up the visuals from time to time.
If there’s two things that make this game (and usually, the entire franchise is strong in these regards), it’s the story and the music. If you read my summary of the franchise, the story part wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. It holds up pretty well with the topics and themes presented in the plot of these games becoming more and more relevant over the years. Again, I must compare the story to Metal Gear. Specifically, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, except with less pseudo-politics on a national scale. The music is very well-composed and catchy in GU, a large improvement over the soundtrack in the original dot hack games in my opinion. Not as stellar as the soundtrack for the first anime, .hack//SIGN, though, but it fits the action of the game well.
If any of what I have said sounds appealing to you, I would say that this package is worth the price of admission as it is at $50. Previously, the games were only on PS2 with no ports to other systems, and physical copies long out of print and produced in limited numbers in the United States, where I live. Saying that, before this I was only ever able to get the first two volumes, and a complete set nowadays of the physical copies would set you back over $100, WITHOUT the extra volume, Terminal videos recapping the original (also rare) $300 .hack//Games, new stuff like the Parody mode, difficulty options, and upgraded visuals. All that said, you could argue this is a way to get roughly $400 value of previously hard to acquire content at the much cheaper price tag of $50. Although I would still very much like it if Bandai-Namco and CyberConnect2 would just invest in remaking the original dot hack game series already.
If you’re on the fence, I would say wait for the eventual steam sales to take their course until you feel ready to take the plunge. This series has a long history and can be overwhelming for newcomers, so buying it on a sale is much less of a risk if you are unsure. As a fan of this often-ignored franchise I would definitely reccommend everyone to give it a try eventually. This franchise is especially fun to people with experience or interest in games and their development, tech, and AI, even if the series often takes creative liberties with the subject matter.
Vol. 2: Beat the game- 25 Hours. 100%- 38 Hours.
Vol. 3: Beat the game- 22 Hours. 100%- 45 Hours.
Vol. 4: Beat the game- 3 Hours.
Total: Approx. 112 Hours.
Again, I’m a veteran, so if you’re new to these games and want to go for 100%, you should probably expect 120+ hours of playtime across all 4 volumes.
(You may notice my actual playtime is higher, I played through Vol. 1 a second time on release for a stream.)
A few comments, take them as you will:
-Except in certain instances, characters’ mouths do not move when they talk.
-There are a few very minor glitches and I have experienced the occasional crash while playing; not nearly enough to stop me from continuing.
-The previously-limited-edition Terminal Disc is included, which will help bring you up to speed on the lore and the story of the original series for new players, and expand on the existing lore for veterans.
-The trailers claim to have taken the various improvements made in Volumes 2 and 3 and applied them to the first game. This is only partially true; some features from the 2nd and 3rd Volumes are still not present in Vol. 1, such as the improved combo mechanics of the twin blades or better charge attacks of the broadsword, or, perhaps most importantly, the quick-switch mechanic.
-Some of the Bonus Content cutscenes (Terminal Disc included) are not updated to HD, and are displayed in a small window within the game. This does not apply to the cutscenes seen throughout the games themselves; only the extra ones you unlock at the end.
-The game’s EXP, Skill Points, and Attack Power have been rebalanced to provide a much smoother leveling curve. This version, therefore, is much easier than the originals.
-Features a "Cheat Mode" that allows you to play through the story at max level. Considering the point above, this is mostly inconsequential, as you will rarely have to grind in a normal playthrough anyway.
-Textures and models still look decidedly old, but passable. The lighting engine and cel-shading go a long way to help this.
-The game was made for the PS2, as such it is meant to be played with a controller. It does support DirectInput, as well as all the modern controller APIs.
-Keyboard controls can be re-mapped, but mouse and controller cannot.
-There are 6 new BGMs (available in Vol. 4) and a total of 31 new Backgrounds (Throughout all 4 volumes) that can be used to customize your ingame Desktop. The original Desktop Backgrounds are not updated to the new widescreen format, and are letterboxed in order to maintain their original aspect ratio.
Volume 4 is EXTREMELY short, and many of the features of the first 3 volumes are missing. It is entirely focused on the story, with the only side-content being one final dungeon after beating the game. Its story and presentation are decent, but because of the short runtime it falls flat in my opinion.
The game also features "Parody Mode", a series of cutscenes from the games with edited dialogue. It’s probably the best new addition in Last Recode, to be honest.
All-in-all, I think this collection has been well worth my $50 so far, if only for the first three volumes.
(Edit: Updated to reflect my playthroughs of the second, third, and fourth volumes.)
Gameplay is 10/10. If you’ve played the Game on PS2 you can’t go wrong.
Oh and the Price is also a huge pro argument. For 50€ you’ll get 4 Volumes and each of those are 20-30 Hours long.
So feel free to put in atleast 100 Hours of Playtime to complete all 4 Volumes.
Soundtrack wise this Game is pure… heaven… Like… Sometimes I just stand still and listen to the music.
You can’t go wrong with .hack//G.U. Last Recode. Period.
I lent a buddy my original series games, and after he finished he wanted more. After some reluctance I let him borrow the entire GU series. I never saw them again. I assume he found out how much they were worth, I haven’t spoken to him in years either.
Now its been 10 years since I purchased Vol.3 and I am finally able to finish the story, better yet they came out with an entirely new game. I am very grateful they came to steam as I don’t own a PS4, I have been waiting for this for so long.
Originally the game(s) were released back on the PS2 each as their own seaparate volumes and this is a ‘HD remaster’ bundled up with the original 3 volumes + a 4th new volume that is basically a TRUE ENDING. At a 50% the game is a decent buy considering all the technical troubles you’ll have plus require the use of a mod. There is also no proper mouse support so a controller is a requirement to play the game. The game natively supports Xbox controllers with the available button icons and you’ll need to mod in PS buttons if you use a ps3 or ps4 controller.
To reduce the frequency of crashing you’ll have to play on fullscreen and also disable Tabletinputservices if you are on windows 10; I use windows 10 so i don’t know about other OS problems. You’ll also experience slow downs in certain parts of the game and apparently its caused by shadows, so leave it on the low setting or turn it off. The shadows don’t really affect the graphical fidelity of the game all too much for the most part.
The game for the most part does not have any grind aside from trying to get alot of copies of specific items and the END game dungeon, on volume 3, that has really special items that you might want copies of just for ego sake. It’s your run on the mill ARPG with main focus being the main story. Story in my opinion is pretty good and there is a decent amount of character interaction along the story, but will wonder why some characters act the way they do despite some very minimal interaction with them. If you decide to grind you’ll be overleveled compared to the story and you’ll end up with really easy fights. END game is similar to an MMO, you are OP because you reached the level cap and by then you should have the best gear.
Don’t buy the game full price. Bandai Namco needs to improve on porting their older games, This did not turn up like the train wreck that was a Tales of Symphonia, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. As of now Tales of Vesperia Definitive edition is slated for release by end of 2018. Let’s hope they don’t butcher this port because it’s collectively agreed to be the best Tales of game to date in the franchise.
Ever wanted to play an MMO game that isn’t quite an MMO but still has features like a good story and great characters? Then .hack//G.U. Last Recode might just be for you! This remaster of a classic series is like a wet dream for most people who played the original on the PS2, and understandably so since this series is absolutely amazing! For this review, I will go over the pros and cons of the game that I have greatly enjoyed thus far.
(At this point, I would say a joke like "LINK START" to get this review rolling since they’re both about MMOs, but that’s unoriginal at this point and SAO isn’t really good, so oh well.)
//In short, if you want a game with a great story filled with tons of emotion that’ll last for +100 hours, then I would highly recommend you check this game out.
>Your choices actually affect the real world
☐ Pro players
– – – [ Graphics/Animation: ] – – –
☐ Really bad
– – – [ Price/quality: ] – – –
Wait for sale
☐ Refund it if you can
☐ Don’t do it
– – – [ Requirments: ] – – –
☐ 90′ PC
☐ High end
☐ NASA computer
– – – [ Difficulty: ] – – –
☐ You just need 2 arms
☐ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☐ Hard (first few hours)
☐ Dark Souls
– – – [ Game time/length ] – – –
☐ Really short ( 0 – 2 hours)
☐ Short ( 2 – 8 hours)
☐ Few hours ( 8 – 12 hours)
Long ( 12+ hours)
– – – [ Story] – – –
☐ It doesn’t have
☐ Still better than Twilight
– – – [ Bugs ] – – –
☐ Game itself is one big BUG
☐ Bugs destroying the game
☐ Lot of bugs
☐ Few Bugs
☐ You can use them for speedrun
Nothing (I’ve seen)
– – – [ Others: ] – – –