Well this is the second and final part of my overall review of G.U. This also heavily includes Roots because of how tightly bonded with G.U. it is. I will direct all comments about G.U. to this post unless it specifically talks about a character, which will go in the first half of the review, or about Returner, which will obviously go there.
Iâ€™m not quite going to say as much as I did in my â€œWhat .hack Means to Meâ€ post here: but truly, G.U. was great. There were so many things that were all mingled together, everything mixed together made his just amazingly enjoyable and I loved it. The game was truly made by the characters, the story, and how everything came together.
The characters were one of the things that made this amazing. I wonâ€™t talk much about this here at all, considering I have a separate post just or that, but really the characters and their interaction made things great. The one thing that makes G.U. as good as it is, to me at least, is that the characters had flaws and from that they were made interesting. They all had problems getting along with each other and had different kind of relationships with each other, all of which just added together to become interesting. At times it was more interesting o find out what was going to happen between to characters then it was to actually see what was going to happen next, and that alone is just great.
One thing that I always compare G.U. to is of course IMOQ. And one thing in particular are the antagonists. This is what amazes me the most, especially by comparison. In IMOQ, the enemies were really just seemingly mindless and faceless monstrous creatures. They were effectively the phases and Cubia. However in G.U. a majority of the game was focused on human antagonists, which just adds so much more to it. Really I couldnâ€™t care less about monsters. There is no way that it makes you feel for them; there is no seeing it from the monsters point of view. However in G.U. the enemies had motives and for the most part where understandable. Ovan was doing everything for the better good yet appeared to be an enemy at first, but was always mysterious. Just thinking of him as a bad guy was a difficult view because it could go so many ways. Just by having him be a point of interest instead of some monster and creature you donâ€™t really know places so much more detail and conflict into the story and characters, it just blows IMOQ out of the water, and really most of the other installments. Really, not even comparing it to other .hack there are few stories that use this, which is a shame. Not to say that the focus is always n monsters, but it is generally on bad guys who you donâ€™t know. In G.U., especially Ovan, was an antagonist that was seen as a good guy as well as bad, which really just adds whole new layers of interesting.
Of course, the main part of G.U. is also the story. No itâ€™s hard to say overall what the story really means, seeing as it took all these games and a prequel to really play it out, but really I thought it was great. The main thing that I’m surprised about is how dark it is. Yes sure Ovan didnâ€™t actually die. Thatâ€™s shown for sure in Returner by the fact thatâ€¦well, they show him. And even in the game Haseo says he feels like Ovan isnâ€™t gone, but that doesnâ€™t mean the story isnâ€™t still dark and deep, serious and interesting. Just the simple fact that there was an issue of someone giving their life or at least putting themselves at serious risk was great. The scene in which Ovan activated rebirth was great, as it was him risking himself for the sake of Aina. Even not referencing what happened to Ovan it was great. There was always the drama about what was going on. Nothing was clear cut, there was not white and black, good and evil, it was all gray. Things were constantly a mess and there were continual scenes of people grieving and when emotions were running high. That by itself makes the story great, not to mention anything to do with Ovan.
I do have to talk about the actual ending of the game. I heard a couple of people complaining about it, and I just donâ€™t understand it. I thought it was done great. Someone complained about the final part of the game not being about AIDA. So what? That doesnâ€™t make it bad at all, thatâ€™s just a statement. The AIDA wasnâ€™t supposed to be the overall focus, which became obvious when they revealed what the focus was. AIDA was there to get Ovan to eventually use Rebirth, and that is what then caused for Cubia, and so on. I thought the overall story was great as it focused really on the characters. AIDA was faceless and didnâ€™t have a history with everyone, Ovan on the other hand did. Sure the final boss was Cubia, but everything happened because of Ovan which is much more interesting then the story just being that AIDA groups together and makes a huge creature and you fight it, Ovan helping you out in the end, which is really where it would be left to go if they didnâ€™t have there be a different problem. I thought it was done well, the use of AIDA in the story was great as it caused for problems to happen, and then was the overall drive for Ovan, him wanting to cure his sister of it.
Overall, I think Roots and G.U. are the outstanding examples of all of ht .hack installments, mixing in amazing character development and interaction with story. The story follows along the path that previous .hack installments did yet really seemed to bring a much darker and deeper, really a more interesting, story to everything. It all just seemed to fit together and just Roots and G.U. by itself has proven to be epic just standing alone, and matched with everything else it transcends that as well. Really, to put it simply I loved G.U. I thought the story and ending was great and everything that leads up to it was amazing. This isnâ€™tâ€™ to say itâ€™s not without flaws, but they donâ€™t hinder my impression or thoughts on this game, or more importantly, the story.