ANIME & MANGA - Review
10:12 - 3rd April 2013, by Matt Kamen

.hack//ROOTS

The newest upgrade to the popular online game The World is here, but for new player Haseo, it's a minefield of player killers and secretive guilds. Saved from a swift death in his first game by the mysterious Ovan, he joins his rescuer's Twilight Brigade and is swept up in a search for a rare item, one seemingly beyond the programming of the virtual reality.

So far, so .hack, then. Director Koichi Mashimo and writer Miu Kawasaki clearly strive to make this stand apart from earlier entries with subplots such as Haseo's sanity slowly disintegrating, but it still feels very much the same old story. The biggest problem with .hack, as a franchise, is that the throng of companies behind its creation have forced it to become a franchise, rather than building up something naturally. As it is, ROOTS feels like an insistence that no, really, this IS totally popular and wicked cool, rather than a necessary addition to the series.

It's entertaining enough, with a nice amount of action and surprisingly good animation from the notoriously uneven Bee Train studio - but, it's far from essential. The low price of the Anime Legends collection makes it more appealing for some bargain-priced entertainment though.

.hack addicts will enjoy this latest addition to The World, but for those yet to upgrade, this might be one expansion pack too far.
SCORE: 3.5/5
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