And so the story ends with .hack// Another Birth Vol. 4 . I suppose it is telling that I’m not relieved to be done with this series. After 4 books most tales start to get tired, at least to an extent. Of course these are all very short books. But I wish there were more available.
The ending was a lot quieter than I expected it to be. I don’t mean that as a criticism; I think I preferred it that way, since it better tied into the fact that the battles we’d been watching were being fought by characters in the game, and not the ‘real’ characters. Once the dust settled, they log out and have the rest of their lives to deal with, y’know?
This series was, for me, a joy to read. I’m not sure it would be for everyone, though. I think first of all you need to be an MMO gamer to really get how a game can become so important to you. Granted here they had the ‘hook’ of trying to bring people in the real world out of comas, but MMO players don’t really need any kind of real-world hook for the happenings in-game to become very important to them. In fact our struggle is just the opposite: how to keep in-game events in perspective.
I’m hoping the .Hack Project folks are hard at work on another series of books.
Books vs Games:
I’ve played the first PS2 game and while reading this series dug out the second one, and honestly I enjoy reading about The World more than I do playing the games. I own the 3rd game but not the fourth, which apparently is now something of a collector’s item, so I’m very glad to have been able to get the whole story without having to spend $100 or so on the 4th game. And just to be clear (something I should’ve mentioned much earlier): these books cover the same events/story/characters as the PS2 games.