Anime

Getting lost in .hack//G.U. Vol. 2 Reminisce

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What more could be said of Reminisce? It continues the story from Rebirth by answering some questions alongside giving more unanswered questions and consists of a deeper story than that in Rebirth. I suppose its due to Reminisce being the middle part of the G.U. trilogy, but Reminisce manages to pick up where Rebirth left off in such a fine fashion. Also, some of the tweaks made in Reminisce were problems players had in Rebirth. That isn’t to say, that both games are faulty and flawed by nature, they’re very enjoyable in their own respect. Of course, odds are any person immersed in the .hack world would enjoy these games mostly because of the heavy mythology invested in both the anime and the games, but this doesn’t mean the occasional JRPG player wouldn’t enjoy it. Heavy mythos aside, .hack//G.U. Vol. 2 Reminisce is enjoyable with a few problems.

 

Understanding the mythos behind the .hack//G.U. world is somewhat of a huge qualification since the game is no different from the anime in such a respect. Without going off on a tangent with spoilers, the most that can be said is much of what was left unanswered from Rebirth is answered in Reminisce. With some new cliffhangers and what if moments that are answered in the game’s final chapter. At its core though, Reminisce is a hack’n’slash action RPG with an emphasis on stringing combos to weaken an enemy’s defense in hopes of unleashing a powerful skill attack with some foes providing a nice challenge to Haseo and company. Unlike Rebirth, Reminisce introduces the "on the fly" system where Haseo is capable of switching between his Twin Blades, Broad Sword, and Scythe, the newest introduced weapon in Reminisce. Other weapons Haseo has are the Lance, Blade, and Guns, and executing a super move on whichever particular weapon is ready to unleash a powerful attack; also, Haseo can also use a new divine awakening in Reminisce alongside the beast and demon awakening forms he’d assume in the original. Some new sidequests where Haseo is required to use the steam bike, the modern equivalent of the Grunty (oh how I loved them in the original .hack games) in G.U.

 

 

There’s no denying how often Reminisce manages to throw so much information at your face that you may be overwhelmed with felicity or confusion as to what’s just happened. After all, there’s a lot to the story, its many occasional fillers and the main arc where you’ll often at times feel lost. This isn’t to say that the story is very confusing or completely poorly written. Rather, the game bombards you with new information that makes wonder whether you’re still doing a quest that’s part of the main story arc or just a filler. The game purposely leaves you on this sort of narrative cliffhanger, and whether or not that is a strength or a flaw in itself is up to you. The best way to digest what you’ve seen is to not bother progressing further in the game since everything comes too fast at an uncontrollable pace considering the game is chalk full of emotional moments between the characters themselves and any given situation. Yes, you will feel for some of the characters which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

Aside from the slight graphical polish found in Reminisce as well as some tweaking of the battle system where moving around didn’t seem so coy and the occasional slowdown in battle wasn’t made obvious; its lengthy emotional narrative and immersive world aside, .hack//G.U. Vol. 2 Reminisce is no different than .hack//G.U. Vol. 1 Rebirth. The World’s environments and dungeons are the same with a few new dungeons varying from their former, and the side quests offer tons of time consuming aspects to them. Of course as with the previous saga of the .hack games, the main strength of this current saga, the G.U. saga, is its story and how all the events from the previous title are vital to the events of the current title. In traditional .hack nature, you can upload your save data from the previous .hack//G.U. game to not only carry over your levels and items but to also make the game a bit more challenging, at least in terms of fighting the monsters who are challenging, and a bit less repetitive by having you grind to get to where you were assuming, of course, you chose not to upload your previous game data or just started a new game. In doing so, you’ll also receive some nifty items as well as some gold to get your started and a visually stimulating movie.

 

Overall, though, Reminisce, much like Rebirth, is a title for the fans who not only understand and are immersed in the game’s mythos but also enjoy the game’s overall story. Should anyone new to the .hack//G.U. games be curious to know whether to start off with Reminisce or start from the beginning with Rebirth, odds aren’t in your favor as you’ll need to play the first part to understand what’s going on in the second part lest you choose to read a summary of the first title, which isn’t highly recommended. This is just one of those games where the occasional "you don’t need to play the first one to understand what’s going on in the second one" doesn’t cut it as a good excuse; and even though Reminisce does offer a nice refresher to the key events of Rebirth, it doesn’t do justice in explaining almost everything. It may be repetitive in gameplay and environmental design with a few polished areas and newer areas, but what game doesn’t get repetitive after awhile?

Rolando