Dear .hack fandom

I know, I know. We all love .hack. We love it for being mostly realistic and for having a serious and engaging storyline. I know you don't want to see this spit upon by what you view as the "depressing" end to the .hack series. That being said...

STOP JUDGING .hack//Link!

There's a difference between voicing your first impressions and being overly judgmental. I'm not saying you have to like every single thing about Link. However, it's hard for me to take you seriously when the game isn't even out yet. You cannot say that Link is the worst thing to happen to the fandom when no one - literally no one - has yet to play it. The closest thing anyone has gotten to playing it is via the demo, and that's hardly enough to base your wild accusations on.

You say you don't like the hundreds of returning characters? Yet how do you know what function they'll play? The argument you use is that it bastardizes the series by bringing back all these players, resulting in nothing else but fanservice. However, we have no idea if all the returning characters are their original players or not. It's very possible they could be AIs. Besides which, why is it so bad that old players of The World might want to return to it? I know, you claim that someone like Tsukasa would most likely not feel a desire to return to the place where she was "imprisoned" for so long. Again I say we have no idea of 1) the story and character development of any characters, let alone Tsukasa, and 2) if all the players are really human. Therefore, your assumptions hold little water.

Oh, but you say the element of time travel will ruin the entire .hack canon? How? For one, it's very very unlikely that this "time travel" is literal. More than likely is that it is Tokio traveling through the archives of The World's "memory".
But you say something that ridiculous could happen considering they've already done things like transporting Tokio physically into the game? Ahh, but there have been precedents for that, going all the way back to R:1. Harald Hoerwick himself is likely to have done it. A more blatant case is Harald's niece Lara Hoerwick getting herself stuck in The World's prototype, Fragment. Even Tsukasa's story can be used as an example, as her consciousness was able to live in The World. Therefore, the idea of Tokio physically transporting into The World R:X 1) has a precedent, and is therefore 2) not as ridiculous as you claim.

On the subject of Tokio, may I again state that you have no idea what character development he may get. He may not be as serious as the past .hack protagonists, but honestly is there anything wrong with having a more lighthearted hero for once? To have another Kite or Haseo would just be repetitive instead of fresh and interesting.

Finally, allow me to say that .hack//Link the game is not the same as .hack//Link the manga. That would be the same as saying .hack//G.U.+ is just like the G.U. games, which it clearly is not. But, just like G.U.+ before it, Link the manga is being used to create hype for the game while introducing people to this new universe without spoiling too much from the actual game's plot. We may have some clues as to what the game will be like through the manga, but that is all we can gather from it.

Let me close by saying I understand. For the most part, anyway. I, too, had low expectations at first, many of these based on what I had seen of the .hack//Link manga. However, as updates for the Link game came out, I got over myself and saw hope. In fact, I can now say that .hack//Link looks to be a fun game and, if CC2 plays their cards right, it will be a fantastic end to the .hack series.

When the game does come out, we can finally see if these wild fan speculations hold any merit. Until then, I'll be looking forward to this new world.