.hack//G.U. vol. 2//Reminisce Preview

We spend a few hours in The World as we check out an English-language version of this MMO-themed action RPG.

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Currently scheduled for release in North America next month, .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce is the second installment in Namco Bandai's .hack//G.U. trilogy, which launched with the release of Vol. 1: Rebirth last year. If you enjoyed that game, there's a good chance that you're eager to get your hands on this one, import your save data, and continue your adventure. If you're not familiar with Rebirth or didn't particularly like it, it seems reasonable to assume that Reminisce isn't going to do much for you, since it picks up where its predecessor left off and appears to add very little to the formula.

Like all of the previous .hack games (this isn't the first trilogy), Reminisce takes place inside a massively multiplayer game titled The World. Specifically, Reminisce takes place inside The World: Revision Two--a lawless fantasy world that has become something of a haven for player killers (PKers). The situation has worsened as Reminisce gets under way, because for reasons unknown none of the players in the world are able to log out and are, in fact, living in the game rather than at their keyboards. The game admins are unable to offer any explanation for this peculiar bug, and so groups of PKers have taken to slaughtering any player crossing their path--figuring that they'll be returned to their normal lives by killing those responsible for the inconvenience. You'll assume the role of Haseo, a player-killer killer whose brief but eventful history in the world is detailed in a lengthy intro movie for those of you who didn't experience it for yourselves in the first game.

Most of the characters you'll meet are well aware of the fact that this is just a game.

Although .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce doesn't feature online support of any kind, the game does a reasonable job of making you feel like you're inside an online world with other players. In other words, the non-player characters that you'll encounter have wildly varying personalities and, for the most part, they don't come across as people that you'd want to "group" with in real life. There are players who have clearly been spending more time in the game than in their real lives, regardless of the current situation; there are players who will go out of their way to help others; and of course, there's at least one player who regularly feels the need to explain that she is in fact a man--scaring off any would-be cyber-suitors.

Much of your time in the early stages of the game will be spent either watching lengthy, conversation-heavy cutscenes or walking around and talking to other players in an attempt to get information. Warp points afford you a quick and easy way to move around in and between areas, and as a level 40 character you'll also have access to a steam bike (it vaguely resembles a motorcycle) from the outset, though its handling leaves a lot to be desired. It won't be too long before you're able to get into some combat, thankfully, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to go up against lower-level adversaries to familiarize yourself with the controls or to farm for items before you attempt any of the missions that are mandatory for the story to proceed.

When attempting missions you'll be able to group with up to two other characters, and you'll be able to control their actions to some degree by selecting play styles for them. To date the only characters we've grouped with have been a healer and a fighter, and both have performed their roles admirably without any assistance. The onscreen interface during combat is reminiscent of that in turn-based role-playing game battles, but all of the combat takes place in real time, with only brief pauses in the action when you activate certain special moves. You can also pause the action at any time if you feel the need to swap out weapons and armor pieces or use items such as health drinks, holy potions, revival medicines, and caramel sauces.

The combat is real-time, and you'll rarely need to use more than one button early on.

The majority of the battles that you fight will take place in dungeonlike areas where you're attempting to complete specific objectives. Those that we've played through to date have taken the form of numerous small rooms that only can be traveled between using warp points. Because the warp points invariably work in only one direction, the areas occasionally have a puzzlelike feeling about them--challenging you not only to fight your way to where you want to be, but also to figure out the route. Enemies tend to meander around these areas in small groups, and will attack you on sight if you don't manage to beat them to the punch with a well-timed surprise attack. At the end of each area you'll be graded on various aspects of your performance, including how many of the enemies you killed, how many of them you were able to spring surprise attacks on, how many treasure boxes you found, and how many environmental objects you destroyed.

It's clear that you won't need to have played .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth to enjoy .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce, though you'll certainly have an easier time figuring out its storyline if you have. We look forward to bringing you more information on the upcoming game as soon as it becomes available.

Discussion

30 comments
lahoor
lahoor

hack//G.U. Vol.1 baeutifull fair but now i dont now this game baeutifull

EmiHinata
EmiHinata

It's official; the release date is May 8th (see official G.U. forums). As for review... thing is about them, take them with a grain of salt. People tend to forget, just because they're professional reviewers, it doesn't mean their opinion is the ultimate, best opinion. It's an OPINION. For instance, IIRC, Gamespot gave Final Fantasy XII a 10/10... but I hated it and think it deserves a 2/10. It's an opinion, and differing opinions should be weighed before deciding on a game, if you want to use reviews.

bigdaddycain
bigdaddycain

all the game stores that i go to have it in there computer as coming out later like around the 29 so but we will just have to wait an see i will be happy as long as it comes out before june i don't really want to wait any longer but it could also be the thing like with the arc the lad collection when it came out that they just keeped pushing it back over an over again by the time it came out it was like a year later from the original date. ps. the guy that did the reveiw should learn to like these games more before he does another one of this type.

EmiHinata
EmiHinata

Biased? They sound like they're enjoying it enough... And, the date isn't official, though the official PS2 site has May 8 as well as many other gaming sites, including ALTIMIT CORP which is licensed by Bamco. It sounds like it's a good estimate, but not official.

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

I also feel that GameSpot isn't entirely being fair to the GU series, but you do have to remember that each person will always have a certain bias to them. Heck, that's what a (p)review is - judging whether a game is good or not based off of your own personal tastes and experiences. I just think it would have been good if they had someone that actually enjoyed the first GU game doing this.

needinfo1
needinfo1

is the release date real? because bandainamco hasnt announced anything so this is basically a lie

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

It seems to me that GameSpot is being very unfair with GU as a whole. All in all, the new series isn't bad at all and it's certainly a vast improvement over the original formula. Maybe Volume 2 will have enough added content to merit some marginal degree of greater positive feedback.

bloody_nagel
bloody_nagel

the preview is suck, i did play the first part and it has some completely different plots.

bigdaddycain
bigdaddycain

this is bull justin makes the game sound like total crap an the third one already does have a release date its like 10/10/07 some thing like that an its not one of those stupid rumors go to a company owned game store like game crazy of ebgames or even game stop an they should have it in there computer system i went to game crazy i already preordered it

WMRose
WMRose

I can't wait to finally get leveling. I just didn't like the level 50 cap on the first game, reached it 3/4 way through. Only a few months to go.

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

MUST..........BIDE.......TIME..........man, I hope the third one will come out this year, I seen the Japenese cover and Haseo looks even better then the demonish version on the cover of this one, I say it'd be cool if they made a MMO(new one) , for the PS3, and bring it over to North America

bigdaddycain
bigdaddycain

omg i just can't wait for this one i have played them all so far an the second installment of games is just so much better then the first four

Thiago-d2
Thiago-d2

There was no metion of the first game anywhere! I have no idead what to think about it, but it does look cool.

Slash_out
Slash_out

So great... I can't wait. 8 may? hooo man !!!

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

good to know it's coming out soon, but has there been any mention of a release date for the third one?

DirkVDV01
DirkVDV01

Looks promising, but the first game wasn't really my cup of tea. Just tried it at a friends house, didn't have to urge to get it after trying it...

warnexus100
warnexus100

looks good :) i still have infection to beat X_X

meowww
meowww

its the GreatestHack i ever play , its a great one

BrUnOdeFeNiX
BrUnOdeFeNiX

I never play one game of Hack, Is it awesome?!

Gundam_Fan
Gundam_Fan

At least we got some more info on the upcoming game.

-Jad-
-Jad-

Bravo! Finally its coming to the states onsummer. :)

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

hmmm, i think i might start the new version ... and see how good it really is

mashruralam
mashruralam

.hack/sign. the name is form the anime show

Night_Frost
Night_Frost

Yay, can't wait, just when the story got interesting it cuts out, darn cliffhangers

ODDFLAME
ODDFLAME

What a stupid name for a game.

Meowth
Meowth

Excellent! Looking forward to this one...

FinalsoulX
FinalsoulX

o yeah! i hope it dun disapoint me