.hack//G.U. Last Recode Review (PS4)

Despite its less-than-easy to say name, .hack//G.U. Last Recode is easier to get into than it is to get its name to roll off of your tongue. It’s great to finally experience them for the first time, especially after hearing so many good things about them over the years.

 

In the virtual MMO world of The World, you play as Haseo as he searches for the elusive Tri-Edge who put his friend, Shino, into a coma. Yes, yes, I know we’re all a little tired of the “if this happens to you in this virtual world, then it happens to you in real life”, but .hack was among the first games to do it, and it does it very well. Upon finding Tri-Edge, Haseo’s high-level account finds itself reset to one after a grueling battle in which he stood no chance, and so begins Haseo’s journey to re-level up and become worthy of defeating Tri-Edge.

 

last recode review

 

There are four games included, with the final one being a brand new experience to wrap up this game’s story once and for all. They’ve aged well and look pretty great, especially for what’s mostly a bunch of jazzed up PS2 games, and Bandai Namco has certainly not remastered it carelessly.

 

The environments can sometimes feel barren and the running about dull, but I don’t expect them to go back and re-create the game. Tightening up the experience would be nice, but not something that I expected from this remaster. It looks and feels nice to play, and the games are still able to captivate today – and that’s enough. As with most JRPGs though, much of it relies on the player to enjoy the characters and narrative, and this isn’t quite as gripping as the likes of many Final Fantasy and Persona games.

 

Last Recode Review

 

Taking place inside an MMO, it’s obvious that the games sport MMO-inspired gameplay. If you’re used to the likes of the Sword Art Online games then you’ll pick up .hack easily, and it appeals to the part of me that enjoys deviating from the main plot to tackle various side-quests. Control your character as you hack and slash your way to victories, sprinkling in abilities and items to ensure that the job is done efficiently. It’s responsive, but it didn’t engage with me quite as much as I’d expected it to. I did enjoy being able to preemptively attack and initiate battle, though.

 

Randomised dungeons means that there’s plenty to do, although why you would want to spend hours upon hours in them is beyond me. Randomised dungeons here means that you’ll be exploring repetitive areas and fighting similar enemies, and it’s a cool concept which isn’t well-executed here. Gameplay does improve with each installment though, so once you’re past the first game then you’re able to experience the best of what the collection has to offer.

 

last recode review

 

Yuri Lowenthal gets around, and Haseo is one of his earliest notable roles. You’ll recognise the likes of Steve Blum, Johnny Yong Bosch, Wendee Lee and Erin Fitzgerald and many more as you play, and I can’t fault the voice-acting in the .Hack series.

 

The voice-actors and actresses involved may have improved since then, but they help to bring the world of .Hack to life wonderfully. The soundtrack is solid too, if not quite as grand and sweeping as I’ve become accustomed to in JRPGs.

 

last recode review

 

.hack//G.U. Last Recode is worth your time, especially as you get four games for the price of one with this collection, and each title is a strong effort. It’ll keep you occupied, especially during a period where there aren’t many new JRPGs out. For everyone’s sake though, we can just refer to this collection as Last Recode rather than .hack//G.U. Last Recode, right?

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