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Basically, the theme of this Volume is “more.” There are more types of dungeons to explore, more characters, more enemies, more items and equipment, more bike parts, more quests, more towns, more marriage scenes, etc. If you liked the previous games and just wanted to experience a lot more of what you’ve been getting, then this delivers. If you were looking for a groundbreaking element to the series that would change the way you’ve been looking at .hack...well, uh...sorry.
My personal philosophy is that the story is told best as a single-player RPG that mirrors an MMORPG, and that CC2's formula and concept might be hurt if they attempt an MMORPG that ultimately fails. Then again, I don't know how long they can go on producing this sort of serialized content before people get fed up with it, even with the improvements made in the G.U. titles. Whatever the future holds, I will say this: the present is a good time for you to try out this series. Go on now, enter "The World" vicariously and see if it's worth it.
Only one question remains unanswered as Redemption draws to a close, and it is one that surely everyone has been asking since the moment the games were announced: Just what does G.U. stand for? We may never know for sure, but perhaps, like Haseo, we simply have a little growing up to do first.
Overall, whether you should get the game depends on a few things. If you can handle the still present repetition concerning dungeons and battles and slowdown in the battles, you're partly there. Story wise, it's really recommended to play through the other games to get the full gist of it and understand all of what's going on. For fans of the series though, .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption is a fine end to the series, and will no doubt satisfy those that have stuck with the story. The only sad thing is that the future of .hack is not concrete, and this might be the last game where you will play in "The World." There is a Grunty dance party, and really, isn't that what you wanted to see in the game? In the end, check this game out if you want to see quite an intriguing plot filled with interesting characters and outstanding music, and since the game was released close to what seems to be the end of great PlayStation 2 RPGs, it's a great finish that you should not miss out on.
A definite improvement over the original .Hack series of games, the G.U. series is rather good for something that defines progress. A fan of the series will not be disappointed, although a new player should likely buy the two other parts of the series before buying this portion. The recap does a splendid job, but it's no replacement for the experience of the full universe.
This series is quite possibly the biggest surprise of the PS2’s final years. While there was plenty of reason to believe this to be a typical, half-assed license game, the .hack//G.U. series is actually a quality group of RPGs, that fans of the genre who’re still reluctant to upgrade should check out. However, playing the first two //G.U. games really is a near-necessity for this game, both of which are actually fairly rare (though if you act soon, you can get the first two off Amazon for under fifty dollars). But keep in mind, it does end up being about eighty dollars for about an equal number of hours of gameplay (though, there still aren’t many games that actually last that long anymore). Either way, this is something worth checking out for people who still are committed to their PS2, or PS3 fans desperate for an RPG fix.
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The .hack series may not have the mega following of some other RPGs on the market, but the followers it does claim are loyalists, otherwise they would have never made it this far. This is a great thing to witness; people having such enthusiasm for a series and sticking around for several installments without really knowing where it is going. Redemption may not be the best of the best, but it has the markings of one of the strongest story driven RPGs out there. If you have been a fan from the beginning or one that was sucked in recently, Redemption will deliver on many of your expectations. For those coming in late to the series, you might want to start from the beginning before jumping into the final act.
This is the final chapter in the .hack//G.U. series. If you're a BIG fan, you won't be disappointed. But if you are new to the series, vol. 3 will leave you stranded in what you're supposed to do in the game.
The first game, Rebirth, showed loads of potential for the .hack series. Unfortunately, the follow-ups never capitalized on the series' potential, leading it to fall into the same trap as the first .hack trilogy. Gameplay is worn-down and dragged out for longer than it should have been. At times, it almost feels like the series was designated as a trilogy before the story was written. There's little doubt that fans who played through the first two games will probably want to see the series through to the end. Otherwise, .hack//G.U. Vol. 3// Redemption is something to skip.
If you want all your questions answered on how .hack//G.U. ends, then pick up Redemption. I have no doubt that the fans of the series will pick up Redemption to see how it ends, but I am positive that they won’t have as much fun as they have had in the past. Disappointing and uneventful, .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption wasn’t the last chapter I had envisioned for the series.
For casual observers of the series, there's obviously no sense in starting at this volume, given the game's reliance on story and the need to sucker the player into finding out what happens next. If you're a longtime fan, Redemption simply gives you more of what you want with no radical changes -- so in that regard, aficionados will likely be satisfied. Generally speaking, .hack has a neat idea, but the games just can't quite balance the concept with an action-RPG play style. Why not develop a fake MMO that's less of a chore than your average MMO? Maybe we'll see one when the inevitable third series rears its head.
Overall the G.U. series has had a lot of ups and downs. The graphics are solid, the music is wonderful, and the battle system is much improved. Unfortunately it has too much recycling of dungeons and events, not enough online gameplay, and comes off more as an interactive anime series than a video game series. .hack fans may not mind that, but the rest of us might be better off logging out of "The World".
Obviously, since this is third in the series (or more, considering there was another series of .hack games before this one), if you've never played a .hack game before, you won't know what's going on and goals and objectives will be unclear. And if you do follow the .hack series, you probably already have all the games, including this one, so you don't even need to read this review. The game is probably good for the fans, and bad for everyone else.
Of course, if you have to know what happens to Moon Tree, or love hearing the squeals and snorts of grunties, you know exactly what you're getting in Redemption and will be perfectly happy with it. Looking back, it's easy both to respect the series for its commitment to a high-concept vision and to deplore it for its refusal to evolve. Now that the seventh game in the franchise has brought the G.U. series to its finale, let's hope we can at last close the door on the nondescript gameplay at the core of .hack.
So, in closing, if you've already played, and enjoyed the .hack series, particularly G.U. (which is the better and more polished of the two), than you'll most likely enjoy this. Everything from a plot standpoint is wrapped up nicely, there's no real loose thread to mention, and you shouldn't be disappointed. Otherwise, I have no clue why you would even try to play this.
This is probably worth picking up for people who have sloughed through the series so far, under the assumption that if you've spent 300 hours trying to find out what the heck is wrong with "The World," it'll be worth another 50 to you to find out what ends up happening. Anyone who has really clicked with the previous games will find plenty more (of the same) to enjoy here. But for most gamers, there are just too many other RPGs out for the PS2 to justify picking up something as routine, and routinely mediocre, as the final edition of .hack.
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If they make a third .hack series, though, it’s going to fight an uphill battle, at least if Bandai insists on telling another huge, episodic story. Even G.U., at three volumes instead of four, wound up making too many demands of its players’ patience.
Spanning a video game tetralogy, two anime series, a number of manga issues, and now another game trilogy, the scope of the .hack world is absolutely overwhelming. There’s no reason to play this game if you haven’t played the prior two games in the trilogy. The fact that this series is divided up into three parts only adds salt to the injury. Where an ordinary RPG would give you 60-100 hours in a single release, this game forces you to buy one-third of a game at full price. Once you shell out for all three games, you’ve bought a full-length RPG at triple the typical cost. And, much like the .hack tetrology that preceded it, each game in the trilogy is exactly like the others. The only substantial difference between them is in the story. If you began the series, you are compelled to finish it. You have no choice. Otherwise, stay away.