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Dot Hack Vol 3: Redemption

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Written by Vividbreeze on Wednesday, August 29 2007

After waiting so long for the end of The World to come, I finally received mail from Namco Bandai. I excitedly opened up the envelope and to my surprise it was .Hack/GU Vol. 3:Redemption. This final episode of .Hack will be released early next month. It has been said that the final installment of pseudo MMO single player action RPG series promises to deliver new abilities, characters, and souped-up battle system. Well, now that I have the game in hand, let’s see if this promise comes true. I’ll try my best to not spoil this final experience for you.

For those who have not familiarized themselves with the .Hack trilogy, I will briefly summarize the events for you. Logically, I will commence at the very beginning, with Vol.1:Rebirth. This volume really initiated the trilogy with a roar. This volume in particular, takes you into a more darker voyage playing the role of a cynical, vengeful protagonist. His name is Haseo, the “Terror of Death”, a player-killer killer in the World. The World .Hack’s online game within a game. Anyway, back to the story. In this game, players will interact with the real world and virtual world. Haseo is befriended and then betrayed by two players. Haseo is saved right before he gets killed . From then on, Haseo dedicates himself to becoming the best player-killer killer in The World. Haseo’s friend Shino has been put into a real life coma by the ultimate player killer, Tri-Edge. Haseo then, spends all his time finding Tri-Edge to take his revenge and investigating why many players go into comas by when playing the game.

Consequently, .Hack/GU Vol.2: Reminisce picks up where Rebirth left off. Haseo discovers that he and his friends are not able to log out of the game. He sets out to discover the secrets of the World while saving is real-world friends in the process. Basically, you will see a lot of the scenes from the first volume just like the title states. Well, that’s enough history for a day, moving on. In .Hack/GU Vol.3:Redemption also starts where Reminisce leaves off. Haseo discovers a shocking revelation. Old enemies have returned and even some friend have turned against him. Unfortunately, the mysterious evil that resided only within the confines of the virtual world, is now causing cataclysm in the real world. Combat and exploration are also essential in this volume as they were in the past. Namco Bandai mentions that a total of 22 characters will be available. 10 are unlocked at the beginning of the game. Unlike the first games, you won’t get stuck with characters you prefer to strangle than go on an adventure with. You will come across many familiar scenes. However, Redemption does include two new towns and a couple new dungeons.

Moreover, Haseo immediately gains access to new features as soon as the game starts. He has now been named “The Holy Palace Champion” and also has access to Advanced Guild Home in Breg Epona, which is an industrial city in the clouds. He is able to immediately exchange items for money. He will also receive more emails and requests from his friends to help them out in any way necessary. Furthermore, Haseo receives new abilities, which help him upgrade his weapons, destroy Player Killers, and destroy the coma induced virus. One of the new abilities is called the Avatar Awakening. It is a modification of his previous skill. With this ability he can strip items known as Virus Cores from monsters. Then, with the Virus Cores Haseo can upgrade his combat abilities and strengthen the weapons that he holds. However, Haseo must have a full three member party to awaken this ability due to the fact that it draws power from each player, and also there morale must be filled.

Ultimately, I did find the volume more enjoyable. Redemption cuts through yawn-inducing philosophizing filler and gets straight to the point. For what it’s worth, that is a big plus for me. The combat was really enjoyable too. During battles your party will act on their own and you are open to use your own weapons to inflict damage. It is easy to start combinations and the use of your weapons. For example, the dual blades allow you to add additional damage to your strikes by pressing the X button at the end of the attack. Haseo’s power gauge slowly refills above his head allowing him to trigger stronger blows, and he can even change his weapon mid strike. Seeing how Haseo starts this volume at level 93, we can surely expect him to slash The World apart as his skills and weapons strengthen. With new enemies, with more steam bike parts and missions, new cards for the Crimson VS card battle game, and the final course of the Arena battles I’m sure that no player would want to log out of .Hack/GU Vol.3: Redemption. No matter what faults many of you have seen in the past, .Hack still holds strong through the years. With many fans in the waiting, Redemption gives all a curiosity worth waiting for and their promise of a better game has been fulfilled.


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