The player Orca (CV: Yasunori Masutani) invited his classmate to play The World together with him, and that’s how Kite (CV: Sayaka Aida) started playing the massive multiplayer online roleplaying game. But soon after Kite joined, Orca loses his consciousness while playing the game after being Data Drained and Kite gets involved with trying to save his friend and during his journey he meets more friends, such as Mistral (CV: Atsuko Enomoto) and BlackRose (CV: Masumi Asano), online and gets involved with several mysterious characters, among them a girl called Aura (CV: Maaya Sakamoto).
It’s important to remember this game is the first part of a series of 4 where you an either jump right into the story regardless of which game it is, or play them one by one. With that in mind, the story doesn’t end at the end of the game. This is the part where the game The World is infected. Where Kite is infected. You could see it as something like that. I love the story that’s going on to bits in this part where Kite starts his quest to save his friend.
The characters are good. There’s a proper back story to Kite as he has a reason for his quest, and the characters around him have different personalities and reasons to play the game. The voices are horrible in English (I’m playing PAL version as the European I am) and I haven’t played it again with the original Japanese voices (yet).
The gameplay is much like playing any MMORPG, but fewer options for chatting. You can talk with characters in-game, but what they say is naturally limited to a few lines. You can choose your party yourself and either go to fields of your choice or ones that will get the story going. I like grinding, so I spent a lot of time just getting Kite’s level up and getting equipment to give to Kite’s friends. The Puchigusos (grunties) are ridiculously fun to feed too, to get various types of them. I made a Noble one at the first try.
To complete the game you need to talk to and trade with a lot of the characters. You will unlock new music, movies, and other features in the Books of Ryu, which you get by using Data Drain. I haven’t completed the game yet, but have beaten it so I could go on to the next game if I’d like.
The battles are in real-time and you can use different strategies in your party, tell you party members to do this or that, choose one to heal as you and another fights, use skills or magi. Skills and magic depends on what class you are (you always play as a Twin Blade, since that’s what Kite chose when he created the character) and what equipment you use. The only thing I didn’t like is that if some enemy casts a spell on you, you can’t move and hence not dodge it. Sucks, but you get used to it.
The graphics are good considering the era the game’s from. I could even say it could be compared with similar real MMORPGs of today. I didn’t notice any glitches, but the again… there are times where things in this game are supposed to glitch, so it might just have been hard for me to notice.
I absolutely adore the music by Chikayo Fukuda. It’s very electronic in sound and out of the soundtrack in the .hack series, the original game series has the best music in my opinion. It just fits the game perfectly. That being said, there are this field theme and field battle theme that pisses me off every time I end up in a field with those.
Without any need to say it, this is one of my absolute favourite games. I wish I one day can play a real MMORPG like this one.
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