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.hack//G.U. vol. 2: REMINISCE - hands-on

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Five months have passed since the release of .hack//G.U. vol. 1: Rebirth, and fans have been waiting patiently for hack//G.U. vol. 2: Reminisce to go through the process of localization before it makes its way to the states this summer. The game follows Haseo – a brash PKK (player killer killer) in an online role-playing game, ‘The World’ – as he continues his investigation of AIDA – a mysterious virus responsible for putting his friend Shino into a coma.

Don’t expect any major changes to Reminisce’s pacing and core gameplay from the original. Playing Reminisce still feels like you’re riding on rails as you’re guided by incoming emails with quests and repetitive dungeons from one cutscene to the next. What you can expect, are just enough new features for to warrant continued interest in the game’s novel cyberpunk infused story.

Fans of the anime series should be pleased by the introduction of the ‘Crimson VS’ card game, which has been added to your OS’ desktop. You’ll start with a small collection of cards, featuring characters and monsters from the .hack//Signs and .hack//Roots anime series. Decks consist of one general and three unit cards. Each general has different levels of charisma, attack power, and hit points. If your general has a high level of charisma, you’ll be able to afford to fill your remaining three slots with the most powerful unit cards which can aid your general in battle. However, generals with low charisma tend to have higher hit points and attack power, making them stronger and tougher. The match ends when once a general’s hit points are reduced to zero.



Above: Stronger unit cards are more likely to eliminate your opponent’s units and survive to aid your general

Unfortunately, that’s about all there is to strategy in Crimson VS as battles are calculated automatically. Once you’ve learned the mechanics and assembled your deck, you’ll have to logout and return later to find out how you fared. As you play more games you’ll earn booster packs containing additional unit and general cards, allowing you to refine and rebuild your killer deck. Despite being rather simple and hands-off, Crimson VS is a lot more fun than reading faux forum posts or news regarding Reminisce’s world-within-a-world. Still, you can’t help feeling a bit cheated when you wonder why developers couldn’t just include this feature in Rebirth.

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