I'm an original backer of this way back during the first campaign and I've already put well over 20 hours into the backer version before it hit Steam, thus my low playtime count as I've only just activated this today.
That being said; this is one of the rare few RPG Maker titles that I genuinely wanted to drop money on. It's fun and engaging and harkens back to the PS2 legendary series Dot Hack. I've had a blast playing this in the past and I'm looking forward to a replay once Reboot Initiative is ready to go, the new art style and enhanced atmosphere and mapping look great, and I know Ross - the main developer - has been busting his ♥♥♥ on the trilogy so far :) I do have to question the two negative reviews below, however, as they seem highly unfair. Games have bugs and issues, that's just what happens in development, but when it comes to indie devs they actually LISTEN to your feedback; so if you have any troubles, such as rare showstoppers or even just an impassable tile in some random dungeon, please.. take to the forum and report it! Leaving negative feedback on the game, especially on LAUNCH DAY, is really harsh and does more harm than good.
As a backer of the Kickstarter, I've been privileged to watch the game grow through the development process and it's been really enjoyable. You can really feel that a lot of love and attention to detail went into this project and while there's a fair amount of RTP present, it has been put to great use. The scenario of "Online World" is great, with an engrossing plot and an enormous amount of areas to explore and do battle in. Character customisation is extensive and the ability of Jay, the main pro(an)tagonist, to hack his own avatar and generate his own customised class is unique and enjoyable. What sets this game apart from others is the inclusion of the Hack ability, which allows you overwrite the code of enemies, granting you bonuses against them - or debuffs against your party if the hack fails, and even new and unique items as rewards.
Being able to hack enemies and gain Cores for use as currency, or even combinations to access new areas, is extremely satisfying - especially against tough foes. You can even use the Hack ability to hack other play characters, which you can do to acquire new members for your party, or even just massive amounts of experience points/cash for bolstering your existing one.
Audio and Visual wise, it's mostly standard RPG Maker, but NRG have put great attention to detail and the use of both custom and standard visuals in order to create the Online World. I have to say though, not once did I feel like the visuals were a detriment to the game, RTP or not, and the atmosphere itself was brilliant. Far better than a lot of other cut'n'paste - expensive - commercial RM titles, that's for sure. The custom soundtrack is especially enjoyable though.
All in all, I really have had a blast playing this and I'm eagerly awaiting the followups now. Good luck New Reality Games!
The showstopping bug has since been fixed (same day as release! Like I said; indie devs listen!) so having negative reviews up just harms public opinion of what is a truly great RM title. It's indepth, has an enormous world - worlds, for those familiar with Dot Hack - to explore and with the overhaul coming it's only going to get better. Good luck to everyone playing and I'll see you in Online World \o/