idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I've yet to feel like I was playing .hack 2.0. Do the two get more similar with time?
They aren't, except in the regard that I feel both have serious flaws, not the same flaw.
To expound, .hack most grievous crime was perhaps the worst pacing of any series except Bartender. While SAO has some minor pacing issues due to story compression at the start of the series, Kirito is the paradigm of Gary Stu. Elaborating on it a bit involves a few spoilers: Kirito has access to a special skill no one else has, dual-wielding. This makes him the chosen and the reason for its existence makes no sense. Every female character of significance wants his dick. No character besides him really matters in the fights shown. While the LN might provide more specifics and explain away some of the apparent flaws, in his fight with Kayaba he seemed to violate several rules of the game such as overcoming paralysis with willpower and cheating death. And both he and Asuna seem to nonsensically forgive Kayaba for the murder of thousands of people. When he first arrives in Alfheim he is able to take on several more experienced players extremely easily, despite barely knowing the basics of the game. Leafa doesn't even bothering questioning or finding anything odd about how a complete an utter newbie saved the day. Sugo exists purely for the sake of being Kirito's antagonist in cour 2. He's dickish to the point of absurdity, just so the plot can justify what is inevitably coming to him. His sister Sugu also wants his dick, but it's totally cool because she's just his cousin and that's ok in Japan. She also wants his dick in game, but for the sake of a later plot twist neither of them realise who they are in game, despite her having a freakishly large poster of her character in his room that he's never noticed. Of course she's into virtual reality MMORPGs, why wouldn't you want to play the very thing that put your brother into a coma for two years? And guess what? Alfheim is only the second game they go to? This whole contrivance about having to go back into the online world will happen two more times. Nobody learns their lesson.
I do like the concept of an MMORPG setting, because it allows for interesting rules and mechanisms. Sleep pking being a very real and serious threat was an interesting concept. I wish there was more of that and less of Kirito saving the day by himself and getting the girl yet again.