Have you ever loved someone? Have you ever spent time with someone, and as soon as the hang out is over, you want to go and hang out with them again? You go to sleep thinking about them. You dream about them. You wake up thinking about them. And for a moment, regardless of how long it might be, maybe two days or a month or half a year or five years, you think to yourself, “This is it.” This is the happiest you’ll ever be. They resonate with me. They understand me. This is the deepest connection I’ve ever had, maybe it’s the deepest connection I’ll ever have. That’s how twelve year old me felt when playing .hack//G.U., and for a moment I think about how foolish that seems, of course there’d be better games afterwards (Kingdom Hearts II, Tales of Abyss, Tales of Vesperia, Persona 4&5, Dragon’s Dogma), but that was my start.
Vol. 1//Rebirth was the first JRPG I had ever finished by myself (I never finished a Pokemon game until DPP). It was the first time I carried a game and a PS2 memory card around to keep playing as I travelled from my house to my dad’s house or to my best friend’s house. And at twelve when I was starting to feel teenage angst and general edge-lord-ism, this game was here for me. I cruised through “online” cities on a steam bike, crawled through dungeons, won tournaments, saved an “online” world, understood a purpose. The game dealt with themes of anger and angst that I could relate to, and truly, I must thank this game. It kind of set my being into motion, and if you know me well, I guess you can blame this game. Sorry.
If we’re to deal with overplayed and should-be-banned tropes, I guess this game would be my manic pixie girl, but like the anti version. I didn’t come out of playing this game extroverted. I didn’t make new friends. I just started to understand that I liked games more than I liked people. Earlier when I played video games, they were social events, but Vol. 1//Rebirth began my late night solo binging. I’d refuse to go out because I wanted to play Vol. 1 and eventually Vol. 2. My grades tanked from a 4.0 to just general honor roll, and for a solid while, nothing mattered to me outside of those games. I did post game stuff. I maxed out Haseo and fought doppelgängers and searched for the best gear. I mean…I just loved this game, but after a while the games suffered from scratches and became unplayable. I wanted to buy new discs, but they were expensive (they range from $60-100 each). And as the console generations progressed, I kept wanting to go back and play .hack//G.U., but I couldn’t.
Eventually during this current console generation I saw a slew of remasters and hoped that maybe .hack//G.U. would be a remaster, but as years went by, my hope died out…until about a week ago. During E3 I was going through the interwebs after press conferences and found out that the .hack//G.U. series was getting a remaster called .hack//G.U. Last Recode. And then three days ago, Bamco (Bandai Namco) graced us with an announcement trailer, and I’ve been hype and crying and shouting ever since. There are even rumors that it’ll come out this year, which if it does, 2017 will be the best year for me in a while (yes, my life doesn’t take much for a year to be great. Most of them are bad.).
So in the trailer there are little hexagons of cutscene clips, both to say to new fans, “Hey isn’t this cool?” and to the older fans, “Hey! Remember that stuff?” But the most interesting part is the end of the trailer where we see Haseo in a new form, and boy does it look kind of cool. And though I know we’re getting extra game content, seeing a new form makes me wonder how much extra game content we’re getting, because usually Haseo gets a new form once a game, so will this be like half a game’s worth of content? Will this be Haseo’s true 4th form because the Xth form is a cheat? (I’m getting real nerdy).
Other than that, the other features seem to be: 1080p and 60fps, movement speed has been upped (woo. I mean. I love the game, but exploring from level to level hurt sometimes), they’ve increased damage output for the game (also good because sometimes fights can last a while), they’ve reduced the hitstop so the battle doesn’t feel so slow as you hit enemies (another beautiful improvement). Bamco and CC2 (Cyber Connect 2) are making all the correct steps in making a remaster and I can’t wait to play the game once more (three more times and any weekend I’m bored). And now as I’m a twenty four year old, no longer twelve, and my taste has matured, I can go into the game knowing that Alkaid is the b e s t g i r l. I leave you with a fine ho-diddy I can’t wait to hear again in the remaster. Later days.