Infinite Undiscovery Review

An impressive resume goes only so far. Such is the case for developer tri-Ace, whose list of prior accomplishments includes games in the critically acclaimed Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean series. History aside, the Japanese company’s newest creation, Infinite Undiscovery, sets off fireworks with neither its plot nor its action oriented gameplay style.

While the premise of the story itself is intriguing–a league of liberators fighting an oppressive and militaristic order that seeks to chain the moon to the earth–the delivery of that tale is under-stimulating and struggles to immerse the player in the game world. The full cast of characters is diverse and imaginative, but these fictional individuals fail to come to life through the game’s underwhelming writing and acting.

Players assume the role of Capell, a fragile flute player who is imprisoned due to his striking resemblance to the leader of the revolutionaries, and must embark on a journey full of new companions (17 of whom become partially playable party members), enemies, and places to be liberated from the massive moon-chains.

The gameplay is not what one would expect from a traditional JRPG, but is an entirely real-time, action-based setup. Melee attacks, spells, “connect” abilities, item usage, inventory management, etc. all take place without pausing the events of the game world. All enemies appear in the surrounding environment, with battles arising seamlessly (and frequently) as players travel, loosely guided, from location to location.

There is much to do during combat in Infinite Undiscovery. Simple and strong melee attacks are performed and strung together with the A and B buttons, flute songs that produce a variety of special effects are played with the X button, and connect abilities are chosen with the right bumper and initiated with the X and Y buttons. Skills can be combined and set to activate by holding either the A or B button, and restorative actions can be requested from party members using the Y button.

Here, again, the concept is more appealing than the final design, because the game’s combat mechanics prove to be more clunky and awkward than one might hope. When mounting a hand-to-hand offense, for example, players will find that Capell makes all too many unnecessary pauses, leaving himself open to enemy attacks. Striking the enemy while simultaneously avoiding the incoming assault becomes more clumsy than it should and would be, had the controls been tightened up prior to release. Infinite Undiscovery is in a gameplay no-man’s-land that falls somewhere between the responsiveness of a true action game and the methodical pace of a traditional RPG; it is just out of reach of those “safe zones” at either end of the spectrum, and it suffers as a result.

The game’s camera doesn’t help matters at all. Much of the time, the closely trailing camera makes it impossible to see the action, and can get so caught up between walls, characters, and other obstacles that the player will find him- or herself fighting just as much to see the opposition as with the foes themselves.

Graphically, Infinite Undiscovery is fairly mediocre, with a number of showy effects that are ultimately more about flash than any sort of detail or aesthetic value. Environments and characters are colorful, but again, there is nothing beautiful about these aspects of the game’s visuals. As for audio, most of the characters’ voice acting is of straight-to-DVD movie quality, and sound effects and musical score are nothing to get excited about.

Infinite Undiscovery will serve RPG junkies well. It has all of the story elements of a fantasy tale, weapons, items, and character improvement to satisfy those needs, but for the less fanatical RPG players out there, or anyone who seeks a more complete and refined gameplay experience, there are most certainly better ways to spend your time and money.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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