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.hack//Roots #2 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Friday, 07 November 2008 00:00
.hack//RootsWe're only on the second disc, and at looks as though Ovan believes he's got what he needs to track down the Key of the Twilight - although TaN are hot on the Brigade's heels, as ever, and they're making efforts to persuade at least one of our heroes to switch sides. So just who has the upper hand..?

5 - Distrust
Tabby's not taking having been PK'd very well - she barely lasted two hits before being killed, and that sort of defeat simply isn't fun. Sakisaka may have an idea about who the culprit was, but with no proof - Tabby can't really remember what her assailant looked like - there's little they can do. Meanwhile, other players who have had connections with the Twilight Brigade are being approached and asked awkward questions, while Haseo decides to pay a visit to Gord, another player who may have been PK'd by Tabby's killer - and soon gets to meet her himself...

Pondering possibilitiesHaseo loses interest

6 - Conflict
It's amazing how a few rumours and some misinterpreted events can skew someone's views - and Haseo's on the receiving end of it, with Tabby and Shino convinced he's switched sides to TaN. Haseo having thrown a strop at Tabby asking about the rumours hasn't helped his case, either, and now he's found himself out on his own. While he fumes over the way the Brigade are doubting him, though, the other members of the guild are trying to work out if he can still be trusted. Can Haseo prove his innocence - or could he even be bothered to? Meanwhile, Sakisaka has also been approached by TaN about switching sides - will he jump ship himself..?

Thinking hardTabby suffers Bad Stuff

7 - Intrigue
Sakisaka finally decides to have nothing more to do with TaN - he's chosen his side, and is going to stick with the Twilight Brigade. Not that that prevents him from getting in trouble with Shino - she'd specifically ordered him not to attack anyone he met on the mission, but that's exactly what he did when faced with the Player Killer. But with TaN members becoming far more active, and the Twilight Brigade apparently being specifically targeted, do they have any option but to fight? Amidst all this, one member of the Guild is noticeable by his absence: Ovan. Shouldn't the leader of the Guild be taking more of an interest in the problems his comrades are facing..?

Spot the Bad GuyMysterious mark

8 - Starting
Do the strange patterns that Haseo and the others have been finding have anything to do with the Virus Cores, or are they something else? Either way, they same to have abilities attached to them that make them dangerous - and when investigating further, Tabby and Sakisaka soon find themselves in trouble, while TaN's Player Killer chooses just that time to pay Haseo a visit. Meanwhile, Ovan has a new rival on the scene - he's out to prove himself to be better than Ovan, and what he lacks in skill he's making up for with enthusiasm and confidence...

Hey, he has eyes under there...Meanwhile, back at TaN...

As you'd expect from anything .hack, there's a lot of talking on this disc - but this time it's talking that's interspersed with a reasonable bit of action, and a few hints at darker things to come. Somehow, up to now I'd missed the ominous, shadowed character in the opening credits (looking mostly like Shugo from .hack//Legend of the Twilight, but I doubt it's actually him). That character makes his debut in the series on this disc, in a very short scene that tells you nothing other than that there's a new threat that will have to be dealt with at some point. That point isn't now, though - we're still dealing with the rivalry between Ovan and TaN, and being hauled along on the trails of both groups while they try to achieve their goals - which we're still very much in the dark about.

And that's very much Roots' big failing - it relies too much on prior knowledge. The series is linked to the latest incarnation of the .hack video games, which haven't been released in the UK, so that line of information isn't available. Having seen .hack//SIGN and .hack//Legend of the Twilight gives the background of Aura and the Key of the Twilight - enough to help, but still not quite what the series seems to expect. If you came to this series cold and didn't understand the significance of the Key of the Twilight, I think you'd be pretty much lost as to what it's all about - and that's a big failing.

Despite that, though, there's just something about the series that manages to keep me interested, even though I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it. I'm not hugely drawn to the characters, the main plot is in some ways a rehash of SIGN, and the pacing is all off - and yet I'm still watching, still enjoying the character interactions, and not yet feeling the urge to switch off that I used to get from SIGN. Perhaps there's hope for the series yet. Still not what you'd call exciting, though, and more of a rental prospect than a purchase prospect.

Rating - ***

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