Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. 70
    Vol. 1 still has bouts of incredible monotony, but with the increased speed of the battles and graphics that don't induce nausea, it makes for a fine -- but not really great -- role-playing adventure.
  2. If you're a fan of the first four games, .Hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth should make for an interesting twist on the formula you know and love. If you're not a series fan, then this game won't change your mind.
  3. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Rebirth is certainly more fun than its predecessors--whether that will last for the next two games remains to be seen. [Dec. 2006, p.142]
  4. 60
    The entire franchise starts off with a very clever notion that’s then buried under layers of boring, familiar ones.
  5. But as far as sound investments go, buying up Final Fantasy XII, Suikoden V, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Dragon Quest VIII will get you a lot more bang for considerably less money -- you might even have enough left over to go grab one of the oft-overlooked Shadow Hearts games.
  6. The dungeons are repetitive and graphically butt-like, the combat is unimaginative, and you rarely experience any sense of satisfaction.
  7. 80
    Though sometimes slow and laborious, .hack//G.U. Vol.1 Rebirth is a well thought out update to the series, and is a welcome addition to the growing dot hack family.
  8. The action and plot are both intense and well-woven, as well. The cutscenes are lengthy and numerous, but don't really wow you. And the weird distortion of reality heralds back to a much-missed adventure hey-day where the plot mattered more than simply looking pretty.
  9. Rebirth makes some minor improvements on the familiar formula, but it's still hampered by repetitive, tedious gameplay and a story that never seems to get anywhere.
  10. 70
    A solid effort - it has some problems, but it's also got a lot of charm and intrigue going for it. The theme, visuals, and music will pull you in, and the story and wealth of options available to you as you play will help keep you hooked.
  11. In the end, playing .hack//G.U. Vol. 1//Rebirth is like drinking fine wine from a plastic sippy cup. It has a compelling story and premise, served up with repetitive dungeons and stale battles.
  12. If they continue to improve the series as they have this time around, the final two installments of .hack//G.U have the potential to really make their mark in the RPG genre.
  13. What .hack//G.U. throws at you is a brisk (well, compared to most jRPGs), well planned, somewhat clever but ultimately a bit generic romp through a MMORPG that resides in a unsettling futuristic world that you only view through electronic windows.
  14. 50
    When making a video game of any kind, it's important for the developer to keep in mind gameplay. Rebirth lacks this rather core element, which makes it hard to recommend despite solid graphics, great sound, and a much improved battle mode.
  15. netjak
    Unparalleled graphics, improvements to the combat system and a longer gameplay experience don’t completely make up for a weak storyline and other annoyances, but the result is still solid.
  16. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The combat is still simplistic, but choices like team-based super attacks, plenty of cool skills, and your Chosen One special powers mix it up. [Dec. 2006, p.119]
  17. Play Magazine
    It's time to dive back in if you're already a citizen, and if you're not, gain access to the gaming world's most compelling simulated cyber space. [Nov. 2006, p.76]
  18. PSM Magazine
    While definitely not ground-breaking, fans of anime and the ".hack" series will most certainly enjoy this. [Holiday 2006, p.82]
  19. 82
    Regardless of how the series pans out, as a stand-alone title .hack//G.U. Vol.1//Rebirth is a fun title to play, especially if you're stuck with a PS2 while everyone else spends big money on the next-gen consoles.
  20. It's fascinating the game goes to such lengths in the narrative and it is this that keeps the .hack//G.U. interesting. It's a little open-ended as it's the first in a series of three games, but you can continue to play other levels after the story ends.
  21. One-third of a complete game, and it really feels like it. Despite the fairly large variety in things to do, all of it feels like setup for something that is going to happen later on.

Awards & Rankings

#98 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2006
#31 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. TodC.
    Dec 19, 2006
    I think that the gameplay has improved from the first 4. However it is geared more towards fans of the .hack series.
  2. Feb 12, 2018
    For me, this is one of the bests J-RPG of PS2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Feb 21, 2017
    .hack has freedom. You can beat em up, try to find the best items, etc etc. I think it's fun in its own limited ways.
    This game has a lot of
    .hack has freedom. You can beat em up, try to find the best items, etc etc. I think it's fun in its own limited ways.
    This game has a lot of content. I spent the first half hour just reading the in game news and forums.

    PvE is simple mash em out. Just a few repeating tactics usually end up winning you the fight.
    PvP in the arena is a bit more fun. If you are leveled evenly against an opponent, I even lost one fight just to the right type of opponent. I had to learn from my mistakes. Likewise, one can overcome higher leveled opponents by developing tactics on the fly.

    Excellent work on:
    Can skip cut-scenes, but at the end, they make sure to let you know exactly the important things you need to do. They have this "memoir" menu item to help you navigate.

    You constantly have to "log out" to read your email to advance the story. Yet in game, there are examples of instant voice messaging. I know why they had to do it from a technical perspective, but they just should have gutted it out and made a better way than having to "log out" of the world only to read an email that says "meet me immediately!!!"

    Major Flaw:
    A simple narrative, animations, and probably the voice acting caused a serious lack of choices for the player.

    You basically aren't allowed to play solo the main story, but at least the PvE and PvP are difficult enough to incentivize you to have a party.

    There is this major build up to the first big battle. I felt fairly invested in the characters and story. I built up my character to be strong, however when the big battle came, the plot didn't take into account that I was way more powerful than my opponent.
    It assumed they'd kick my ass. This pattern repeated a few more times and became annoying. They had animations and voice acting locked in, so one just have to live with it.
    I would have rather fought out these battles to the end without the crutch they assumed I'd need to lean on.

    Final fun note:
    There is a new type of battle that I'm guessing was introduced in "G.U.". You see hints of it early on and they do a good job building up to when you finally get to participate in this battle.
    I really liked this part and it was far and away the best part of the game.
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