Sword Art Online Fans Should Be Ecstatic Over .hack//G.U. Last Recode

With games in the "stuck in an MMO" genre being surprisingly rare, the upcoming .hack//G.U remaster is an intriguingly different take on the genre that SAO fans shouldn't pass up.

While Sword Art Online was what popularized the "stuck in a deadly MMORPG" genre, those who are more familiar with the culture knows that .hack was the first multimedia series that brought the idea to life (and those even more familiar with the culture knows that the original Sword Art Online web novel came before that, but nobody really talks about it anymore).

Despite having a very similar premise to Sword Art Online, .hack never managed to take the industry by storm. Most attribute it to the series' confusing overarching story that spans light novels, manga, anime, and games. However, that's no reason to write off the upcoming remaster. The games have their own self-contained story, and it's quite unique compared to the other MMO anime settings out there. 

While many have dismissed these MMO-themed anime as more ripoffs, they all explore different concepts. Log Horizon, for example, focuses more on the politics of the new world. Overlord, on the other hand, focuses on a person trying to establish and consolidate a territory in the world. Re:Zero explores how horrible living in such a world actually can be, while Konosuba spoofs all of the above. Every single work of this genre has brought something new to the genre.

While the themes of identity, escapism, and friendship that are prevalent in the genre are still present, .hack explores the idea of artificial intelligence and how it reacts to the players. In other words, the focus is almost the polar opposite of Sword Art Online -- which focuses instead on how the players react to being trapped.

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Another reason you should check this game out is the fact that despite the genre taking place in a video game, there is a surprising lack of video games for these series. Sword Art Online is the only franchise that's received a video game spin-off series, and it's only available on the PS4 and Vita. 

It's Much More Than Just One Game

Much like the Kingdom Hearts HD Remixes for the PS3 and PS4, the .hack//G.U. Last Recode compilation contains multiple AAA games for the price of one. It comes with a rebalanced combat system, a previously unavailable collection of cutscenes, and new beginner friendly features. The sheer value of such a collection makes this the perfect point to jump into the series. 

The .hack series has been out of the public eye for a decade now. This remaster will bring it two generations forward, and the newest generation of gamers will get to experience the first foray into this setting. Fans of SAO should definitely check this out.

If you want to keep up on news about this game, check out Bandai Namco's official YouTube channel for the latest information about this game.

Published Jul. 3rd 2017

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