Thursday, September 25, 2008

Infinite Undiscovery.

Infinite Undiscovery is a odd one. This is a game said to contain 10 years worth of RPG concepts that could only be realized with the power of the Xbox 360. It's from Tri Ace a dev known for great games in the past however it just fell so so short of what it should have been and the reasons for this are many. 

We will start this review a bit different. Normally I would tell you about the good a game has to offer and then save the negatives for last however we are gonna reverse that this time around as there is a bit more to talk about on the negative side. Now don't get me wrong this doesn't mean that Infinite Undiscovery is a bad game and if you don't believe me please read to the end of this review.

Infinite Undiscovery is a game that needed alot more polish then it ended up getting in the end. That could really be the main problem with the game. The graphics show moments of being great particularly at the end of the game in the final area. However the vast majority of the time they are simply serviceable. Also the character models are hit and miss. Capell the lead of the game looks great as does Aya the Female lead. The rest are a bit hit and miss. Rico and Rucha look great however Eugene and Michelle look odd for some reason. Speaking of odd Infinite Undiscovery has some of the worst Lip syncing ever this generation. Now some of you out there will say that's because the game was originally Japanese and the mouths match that language. Not so. The Lip sync is so bad there is no way it was better even with the Japanese. In fact the movement of the mouths in general looks a bit like that of a dummy at certain points. This may have been less noticeable if you could play the game in Japanese but it would still be a problem. Oh and yes you read that correctly, you can not switch to the original Japanese voice track. Normally that wouldn't be that bad however the Voice acting in Infinite Undiscovery is horrible. There are some characters that sound OK but the vast majority are horrid. The cast does get better as the game goes on but it still isn't all that great. It's a good thing that the main 2 characters Capell and Aya have decent voice actors because they have alot of the better moments in the game.

One of the other sticking points for me was that the areas in the game were sometimes far to big. Now generally I would not complain about something like this however Infinite Undiscovery has one of the worst mapping systems ever. The maps only show exactly where you have been which is very annoying when the areas are so big and expansive. The game really needed prefilled maps. Some of the areas are so large that you can get lost for almost a hour without knowing where you are going. 

Whew that was a mouth full. Now with that out of the way we can get on to the good stuff. Infinite Undiscovery has a great combat system. It's somewhat like a MMO however it's all real time. You have a weak attack(A) and a strong attack(B) you can also hold down these buttons to use special moves as well.The game does a great job of giving you plenty of members to experiment with and gives inactive members experience as well so you are really encouraged to mess with your setup. There are also a great number of moves and spells to learn so combat never really feels all that boring. Leveling also comes fast so you will not spend much time grinding. You can generally get by just fighting what you come across and not have a problem with the game.

Now in my last review I mentioned that Motoi Sakuraba's Tales of Vesperia failed to deliver a soundtrack that could live up to his previous track record with games like Trusty Bell and Valkyrie Profile 2 however I am glad to report that his work in Infinite Undiscovery is a very good return to form. There are plenty of top notch songs worth listening to over and over and they relay what is happening on screen very well.

There is also a fairly deep creation system in the game in which you can make food, Armor,Weapons as well as enchanting Armor and Weapons in a similar fashion. There are plenty of items to make and the system is very simple and works very well. I found it very fun to mess around and make things as the game went on.

Infinite Undiscovery also has a great story line. Which I believe is worth experiencing despite all the problems I mentioned. The moon has been chained to the earth to allow people to gain it's power via what is known as Lunaglyphs however the chains are also causing horrible disasters all over the world. However there is one man who is fighting to free the moon from it's chains. This man named Sigmund is known world wide as The Liberator. However you do not take on the role of Sigmund. You play as a young man by the name of Capell who at the start of the game has been thrown in jail because he looks exactly like Sigmund. As the game begins the young woman known as Aya frees Capell under the assumption that he is indeed Sigmund. One thing leads to another and Capell is thrust into something he neither wanted nor asked for. The story is very well done and does not rely on cliches all that much. In fact during the last 5 or so hours of the game I had forgotten all the issues I have mentioned thus far. I was completely Engrossed by what was happening and could not put the game down until I saw the credits role. 

All in all Infinite Undiscovery is a game certainly worth giving a shot. You will find out pretty quickly if you will want to stick with the game to the end. Some will stay simply for the combat and some like me will be able to look past all the issues to see that great story that lies within. There is no denying that the game has issues and needed to remain in development for a while longer however most of those issues are superficial and do not prevent the game from being played. 

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