.hack//G.U. Last Recode (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 12.06.2023

Review for .hack//G.U. Last Recode on Nintendo Switch

.hack//G.U. Last Recode is a compilation of action RPGs that were made on the PlayStation 2. It is mostly known for being the sequel series to .hack//IMOQ four-parter, but the .hack franchise is more than that. It is a complex web of varying media that spans several anime, books, audio dramas, manga, and even a card game. It is a cavernous rabbit hole to dive into, and once one gets invested in the premise, it can be hard to escape it. With .hack//G.U. Last Recode, the team at CyberConnect2 aimed to make a complete G.U. experience that contains most of Haseo's journey as he gets caught up in a bizarre mystery that leads his in-real-life friend into a coma. Compounded with added content and improved technical features, could this remaster become the definitive entry point into the series?

Ryou Misaki is an average high school student who lives a boring life. While playing the hottest MMORPG, The World R:2, he discovers there is more to the game than meets the eye. He may be a boring student in the real world, but in the MMORPG, he is Haseo - an adept rogue - and it doesn't take long before his optimistic outlook on life is completely supplanted.

A mysterious "player-killer" on the loose within The World R:2's architecture becomes a great threat to every player; those who encounter it are put into a coma in real life. When Haseo's friend, Shino, comes into contact with the enigmatic entity, her fate becomes the catalyst for the ensuing epic mystery that is about to unfold.

Screenshot for .hack//G.U. Last Recode on Nintendo Switch

At first glance, .hack//G.U. Last Recode seems like it is going to be a plain action RPG that happens to use many MMORPG-like flourishes to make it seem like a simulated online experience. The standard action-RPG combat is only a small piece to a much grander tapestry. The fact is: .hack//G.U. Last Recode is more than the sum of its parts and has more in common with a visual novel at times.

Granted, it is a visual novel that presents itself as an online experience. As Ryou, expect to read his emails, browse the web for information, and look deeply into simulated message boards. The World R:2 is a major aspect of the game, but be prepared to engage with a separate module that involves a lot of reading, and even some video watching, too.

Screenshot for .hack//G.U. Last Recode on Nintendo Switch

The simulated webspace that was created for .hack//G.U. Last Recode is very fleshed out. Players can even check out news reports and find out all kinds of details that make the experience feel immersive. What makes it all the more convincing is how it evolves and changes as the story unfolds. Some posters in forums will act a certain way, and their behaviours can be spotted in The World R:2.

There is a lot of interesting character psychology going on in the story and reading between the lines in how gamers will be able to parse rich details in personality. All of this is for making .hack//G.U. Last Recode feel more real. The stakes couldn't be higher, and the premise was completely original at the time before Sword Art Online came around.

The .hack project is a massive and all-encompassing media franchise, and newcomers trying to get into .hack//G.U. Last Recode will find themselves lost at first. There is a lot of information to take in during the first several hours. Understanding terminology, how The World R:2 works with the password system, and that "logging off" is sometimes how to progress the story is necessary. This isn't like Kingdom Hearts where characters can freely explore or exist in a tangible 3D environment. Some avatars have people behind them with day jobs or school to attend. Going into this game requires players to understand that .hack//G.U. Last Recode is aiming to recreate an MMORPG experience to tell its story.

Screenshot for .hack//G.U. Last Recode on Nintendo Switch

When not reading posts or articles, expect to run around some very basic environments in The World R:2 and get into the hack-and-slash combat. .hack//G.U. Last Recode is set in 2017, but the game originally came out in 2006 for PlayStation 2. The combat is very much a product of its time, which must be taken into account.

Cyberconnect2 did a very poor job at predicting what games would play like in 2017. Performing special attacks cues a menu that pauses the action - something that would be impossible to happen due to the real-time nature of MMORPGs. Haseo can "command" party members, which is a clever way to give some more control in battles. Haseo will gain more abilities as the story develops, and it will all come with cheeky terminology to give it a convincing MMO flavour.

Screenshot for .hack//G.U. Last Recode on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

.hack//G.U. Last Recode is a remaster of PlayStation 2 games... and it shows. The resolution is crisp and razor-sharp, but there is no hiding how basic these character models are. Lead characters fare best, but most NPCs are hopelessly devoid of detail or articulation - typically stuck with frozen expressions, too. On Nintendo Switch, .hack//G.U. Last Recode runs a perfectly stable 30 frames per second. The new bonus chapter is an epilogue where gamers can find out what has happened to all the characters that they have grown attached to. It is a welcome addition and lasts a few hours, but is ultimately unnecessary.




Bandai Namco


Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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