A new take on an old formula
The .hack series has a lot to offer in the ways of unique personalities and opportunity for growth for the characters throughtout the series. You also have a bunch of unlockables like cutscenes, background art and soundtrack songs. The unlockables are unnesscarry unless of course you're a perfectionist. You also can upgrade your weapons either by purchase, trade or throwing it into the Spring Myst in select fields. The ability to avoid battles is also very cool which cuts down the frusration. The addition of a bonus DVD with an anime episode and lots of extras is a big plus for anime fans or people who just want to learn more about the backstory.
A dungeon crawler is still a dungeon crawler no matter how you slice it. There are only seven or eight different field types and four dungeon types so there isn't a lot of diversity. Also, a simulated MMO should at least give you the option to create your own avatar our customize your weapons which it doesn't. Also several of the duties in the game like collecting and acquiring unlockables will require you to do backtracking, A LOT of backtracking. My last gripe is the fact that you could be possibly be ganged up on 7 to 3 like I was is totally unfair in my eye.
The Bottom Line
Fans of the previous anime series .hack//Sign will definitely pick this up regardless of reviews, that's a given. Also, pending my compliants this still a breakout series that isn't called Final Fantasy. Even skeptical should at least give it a look.