.Hack//OHR, much like Veteran RPG and OHR Battle before it, started out as a community/collaborative-based game with high hopes of success and promises of great things. Setu’s project was hyped up a good bit on the forums when it first started out, but things grew a bit stale as time progressed on. It seems as if the author’s heart was in the right place, but the passion for making a potentially awesome, collaborative game died out a short while after the idea was initially mentioned.
I haven’t played any of the commercial .Hack games, but I’m going to assume that it is similar to Setu’s game. The world of Hack is essentially an MMORPG simulator in an OHRRPGCE game. The idea itself is awesome, and if executed properly, would make an excellent game in my opinion. Just because an idea would make a good game doesn’t mean everyone is equipped to handle the task though. For instance, such an idea would likely require an extensive knowledge of plotscripting. Unfortunately, scripting is used very lightly in Hack, and it shows from the very beginning. There’s only so much that one can accomplish through light plotscripting and tag usage, and I don’t think that it alone would have been enough to make this game what it needed to be in order to succeed.
When you “log in” to the game, you begin in the “Root Town”, where you can interact with other players online. You can invite them to join your party, trade with them, or just chat like you would in any any other online game. These other “players” are actually avatars of other people “playing” the game with you. Most of them are even members of the OHRRPGCE community itself. After walking around town some, you are free to buy items from the shop, or go out into a “field” via the “Chaos Gate”. The Chaos Gate acts as your gateway to other areas in the game, or “zones” in an MMOG. Once out in the field, you can zone into other sub-zones to fight monsters to gain items, money and experience, or you can go to the end of the zone and enter a dungeon. The game ends after something goes wrong in the first dungeon and you “crash” the area. After a brief dialogue between a band of villains and yourself, there is nothing more you can do in Hack//OHR.
It’s a shame too. This game is over six years old now and could have been a neat game if the right people were involved. I think that Setu wanted to make it happen, but after delving into the idea a bit, he realized that it was a little more than he could handle himself. Again, the sheer amount of scripting needed to pull something off like this would probably make most people choke. I commend Setu for trying to make it happen, but I don’t think it would have worked out as planned under his command. As it stands, Hack is just another incomplete game that should have never been released to the public so prematurely.