Friday 1 December 2017

.Hack//G.U. Last Recode’s Convenient Area Word Dungeons

Have you ever been stuck at a point in the story of a JRPG and needed somewhere you can level up quickly but all the random battles are giving either too little EXP or are frustratingly difficult? I know it’s happened to me too many times. In .Hack//G.U. Last Recode though, this is an issue I haven’t experienced once, thanks to its convenient and forgiving dungeon creation system through Area Words that create custom dungeons tailored to the parameters of the words you used. Whether I’ve been under leveled or wanted to be safe before going into battle, .Hack//G.U. Last Recode’s innovative way to unlock dungeons both in and out of the story have been incredibly useful for leveling between story moments and I’m appreciative of how they’ve kept Last Recode both challenging, yet frustration-free.

In .Hack//G.U., Area Words are used to create dungeons and other areas based on the combination of words, whether it be for story moments, quests or for leveling. After I noticed characters frequently giving out Area Words before big story battles to likely help fill in the level gap, I began to make my own to also do this when I noticed my level wasn’t high enough. I slowly began to notice just how useful they are to make dungeons that are perfect for your level thanks to the comprehensive parameters listed with each creation that made it feel in a way like I'd made my own custom dungeon.

The creation of each area is based off a 1st, 2nd and 3rd word chosen and put together to adjust what kind of dungeon you’ll go to. The 1st word usually influences the place and base level of the dungeon and the 2nd and 3rd adjust that level and other things, such as the dungeon’s element or the level of treasure found. Since I like crashing into enemies with Haseo’s bike and dungeons with symbol fragments, I like being able to choose one of the outdoor areas I like to grind in rather than somewhere I won’t enjoy much. Even with only a small selection of areas, it’s really nice to be able to make choices in how I want to dungeon crawl when spending time leveling my characters. I’m sure most JRPG players have experienced a tedious grind at some point and the place customisation in .Hack//G.U. really makes things feel much easier.
Another thing I really like about .Hack//G.U.’s Area Words is how they’re found. I mentioned how they’re given by Haseo’s friends in the game and these words are usually very useful as they often give good 1st words to help level up appropriately when used in the combination given or with other words. There are other cool ways to find them too, such as in quests or the in-game forums available when logged out of The World. Many times when lurking the Forums I was pleasantly surprised to have an area word pop up in conversation and added to my list, even though I was just messing around. From friends or forums, they always felt like a little reward for diving deeper into areas of G.U. and I’m looking forward to finding many more as I continue through Last Recode’s volumes.
When I was first starting .Hack//G.U. Last Recode, I heavily debated with myself whether or not I should play Normal or Cheat Mode to help me get through the four games-in-one experience that is G.U., but thanks to these Area Words, I’ve only needed to grind a little in Normal Mode. The Area Words are very convenient when I want a certain level of dungeon that will help me level up without destroying me and wasting my time, and the little surprise moments of finding them throughout G.U.’s world really appeals to the completionist side of me. I’m really enjoying .Hack//G.U. Last Recode as I approach the end of Volume One and I’m sure these Area Words will help me to continue enjoying it as I progress and need to get stronger through the next three volumes.

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Will you (or are you) playing .Hack//G.U. Last Recode? What do you think of the Area Words mechanic?
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Special thanks to Master ZED's GameFAQ about .Hack//G.U.'s keywords for clarifying my understanding of Area Words! Check it out for more helpful information about Area Words!

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