Based on the CyberConnect2 HIT GAME, now will be released in a CG Movie!
The Movie will be placed in the storyline of each .hack//G.U. games trilogy. The story follows Haseo, a player in the online MMORPG called The World:R2 at first depicted as a PKK (Player Killer Killer) known as the "Terror of Death", a former member of the disbanded Twilight Brigade guild. Haseo encounters Azure Kite (believing him to be Tri-Edge and blaming him for what happened to Shino) but is hopelessly outmatched. Azure Kite easily defeats Haseo and Data Drains him, reducing his level from 133 to 1 and leaving him without any items, weapons, or member addresses. He is left with a mystery on his hands as to the nature of the Data Drain and why Azure Kite is in possession of such a skill.
Eventually Haseo gains the "Avatar" of Skeith. Acquiring the ability to call Skeith and wield his abilities, such as Data Drain. With Skeith as his strength, Haseo begins the quest for a way to save Shino.
He is seen seeking out a PK (Player Killer) known as Tri-Edge, whose victims supposedly are unable to return to The World after he PKs them. Haseo's friend, Shino, was attacked six months prior to the events of the game by Tri-Edge, and the player herself, Shino Nanao, was left in a coma.
First of all, I´m a german and this is my first english written preview, so please bear with me if I made some spelling-/grammar-mistakes^^
Just to have said it in advance, I finished all three .hack//G.U. games, so it´s not like I´m not familiar with the story itself. I had high expectations, but I sadly got dissappointed.
They tried to put the story of each game in 30 minute-parts. Since the games itself had a play-volume of 12-18 hours per game (don´t remember exactly and can´t check it because my PS2 is broken), you can guess how extremly it got cutted...
The arena battles that were essential
in the games are only shown as flashbacks for around a minute. The story itself strays from the game after the last scene that belongs to "G.U. Rebirth". From here on, everything focuses at Atolis and Ovans story-parts; other characters that were involved with the story (like Sakaki) won´t appear.
They used the ingame-movie grafic for this movie. It looks cool and awesome in the action-scenes '(especially phase-battles), but terrible at the "chatting-scenes". And in the end, as a GC movie, it´s measured at Final Fantasy anyway, and here, .hack//G.U. trilogy can´t compare at all.
After hearing the "Gentle Hands" remix of the trailer, I thought we get more cool remixes, but I hoped too much. Still, the music fits very well, esspecialy the fights.
My biggest part to complain about.
Most of the main-characters aren´t even shown, and the story focuses totally at Haseo, Atoli and Ovan.
Instead of the cool PKK style that Haseo had in the game, he only has that mad side shown in ".hack//roots", and seems like a little kid very often in the first half, Atoli isn´t even half as fun to watch since she has not much air-time in the first quarter, and Ovan´s calm attitude is nowhere to be found.
Enjoyment and Overall:
If you played through the games, even with that changes you´ll do nothing wrong with watching the movie at least once. If you never even played the game you may do better to ignore it, since they left so much out and made a speedrun through the story, so that it´s hardly understandable at times.
I only recommend this to fans of the ".hack//G.U." - Universe, the others will just ask "what the hell was that about?"
I had high hopes for GU trilogy. The games were loads of fun and the game story line was one of the best since SIGN and the first quartet. I was a tad skeptical that they would be able to capture the dynamic of the GU story in a one 90 minute film and boy was my skepticism right. In short .hack//GU Trilogy is made for those who have played the games and not for those who haven't. If you watched Roots but haven't played GU I would suggest not watching this movie.
The story is of
course based on the GU trilogy of games for the PS2, the immediate sequel to .hack//Roots. And this film is supposed to be a film adaption, or so I thought. In reality GU trilogy is an expensive and choppy recap and abridgment of the GU Story, made entirely for those who have played the games. Unlike most, I understand the difficult task of adapting medium into film, so naturally I wasn't expecting a 100% loyal adaption, but I was expecting that this film would make sense to a person who has never played GU. It doesn't, it's like watching ".hack//GU abridged" only with out the humor and jokes of the Abridge series that litter YouTube today. It was appalling how quickly and pathetically this story jumps from one scene to another, no exposition is conveyed, no character development is conveyed, nothing, it's as I've said a million times by now, an over the top and over expensive recap of the GU. It was as bad as the writing in Blade of the Immortal.
The music score which was amazing in the games was all but dropped from the film. I barley heard any of the great themes from the games by Chikayo Fukuda. Tomoyo Mitani the vocalist did provide some nice vocal tracks of course, but they pale in comparison to her tracks in the games. The music is far and few between and silence is used way over the top.
The Japanese acting in this was beyond dreadful. Expressions and grunts were over emphasized and frankly the English dub track in the games is much more pleasing than in this. As this has no dub I had to rely on the fansubs and my own imagination to hear the voice cast I liked. The only plus to the Japanese acting in this case was that Endrance didn't sound like the tormented artist like he did in the English dub of the game. Most of the time you hear overly dramatic grunts and sighs and yells.
The 3D graphics are however rather good. They look much like the cut scenes in the game and the action is spectacular almost to the level of Advent Children. However there were several bad facial renderings and really silly expressions. The director did allow the camera to move, when I was fearing the action would static and uninteresting. The action scenes are great and they would be perfect for an AMV.
Overall GU is just plain horrible. It was made for those who have played the games, and one 90 minute film simply would not do it justice. CC had a great opportunity to make and interesting movie based on the games. Instead they made it into a long and expensive recap. They should have made three 2 1/2 hour movies to fully tell the story in depth, and to even make it remotely interesting. If you are thinking of watching this, don't waste your 90 minutes you'll be horribly lost and confused. Play the games instead.
The .hack animated series is certainly something that is difficult to understand if you haven't played the games. Even after watching all the .hack anime series, I still sit there, and go:
.hack//G.U. Trilogy is one of the more confusing ones. Watching this reminded me of watching Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children; never in my life have I played a Final Fantasy game, and I can say that actually with some shame.
STORY: The typical story line of the .hack series; something within The World is causing players to go into a coma. I can't really remember much from Roots, since I watched that in 2008, but
I'm thinking Trilogy goes into further detail about this 'AIDA' infection that's spreading in The World. This is something that probably shouldn't be watched if you haven't watching Roots, or played the games, since the movie actually goes straight into where Shino is 'PK'd'. Regardless of lack of .hack information while watching this, I felt that the story was still deep.
ART: I didn't actually read the description of MAL on Trilogy until I was just about to watch it. The CG was a biiiiiiiig turn off, well, that is when you compare it to something like the Final Fantasy merchandise. I realize that the CG style was probably supposed to be similar to the .hack game graphics but either way, the lack of detail made me want to cry. Haseo's face just did not look right compared to the design in Roots, but for some silly reason, all the other characters looked fine. Some parts of the movie were well animated, but overall, it just seemed like average CG animation. I did however liked some of Haseo's psycho facial expressions, along with Tri-Edge's.
SOUND: Congratulations to myself! I've finally realized where most of the sound effects and sound clips in DJ Sharpnel's 'Terror Of Death' are from now. Even though it was pretty obvious by the song's title, and I never picked it up while watching Roots. ANYWAY. Sound as always in the .hack titles is lovely, actually I've already forgotten what they sound like since this review has been written two days after watching Trilogy.
CHARACTERS: Main complaint with the .hack series is the ridiculous seriousness of a characters, obsessed over a game. If you find out it's going to harm your actual physical self, then stop playing it immediately and not try to live up to the saying 'curiosity killed the cat'. I honestly have no idea who the crap is Atoli, and what kind of relation she has to Shino and the other characters.
The reason why I gave this a 7, rather than a 6 (would actually be 6.5) was because of one particular scene. This would be the scene with Haseo and AIDA Atoli in the classroom. Oh. My. God. Animation, design and emotion looked like it had been carefully thought out well for this scene, I'd have to say it was mind-blowing. I even had a want-to-cosplay moment when I saw AIDA Atoli, despite the complexity.
Moving on, this is definitely something for the .hack fan, especially someone who is a fan of the games. I must stress again once more, not to watch this, along with the other .hack series, without having a robust knowledge about the .hack world and/or already having played the games.
While I love the .hack games, I've never been able to play the .hack//G.U. games for PS2 (they are pretty expensive games these days). I feel that the movie rushed through the three games without really explaining a lot. I felt a little confused as to what was going on, but if I played the games I probably would have understood.
The CGI animation in the movie was great and I found it fitting to the story. The characters were animated beautifully and it did make me think of the PS2 era. The appearance of a certain boss creature from the
original .hack made me pretty happy.
I liked the voice acting and I preferred these characters over the ones from the original .hack video game series. These characters make me really want to get to the source material for the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie but I wish that the movie was split into three parts so that it didn't feel rushed.