Infinite Undiscovery, Review

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AerisHime
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PostInfinite Undiscovery, Review
by AerisHime » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:55 pm

as i have mentioned, I've written a review on Infinite Undiscovery in German and taken the time to translate it as well. so here it is:

Story-wise

It all begins with the dark lord Dreadknight chaining the moon to the earth. That has various effects. On the one hand the evil „Order of the Chains“ gets additional power because of the additional lunar energy. On the other hand thousands of monsters are now inhabitating the earth and bringing various deseases with them. It's a classic case of when being too close to someone hurts.
You're playing Capell, a young and innocent guy who's only wish is to play the flute. He's a bit unfortunate though because he looks very much like Sigmund, the leader of the Liberation Group. Their aim is to free the earth of the chains and live happily ever after. Anyway, because Capell looks like Sigmund, he gets incarcerated. Soon after Aya comes to rescue you, thinking that you're Sigmund. Because you're so incredibly innocent, you have no idea who that might be. Or the Liberation Group. D'uh! That's when the actual gameplay sets in. Your first task is to make your way out of the dungeon and following woods.

It's a loooong way
Undiscovery – the word actually doesn't exist, as you may well know. However the title suggests what makes the most part of the game: running around and exploring forever. Initially, it's not that bad, the paths are quite narrow and junctions mostly lead to dead-ends with goodies very soon. However, after you have finished the first monsters you will get to some plains that are just.... so.... wide. It really takes ages to explore them, but because mainly you have no idea where exactly you should go direction-wise, it's the only way to get to know the place. Sometimes the exits are hidden quite well. When you have to go to Fayell for example, Aya mentions that „the desert was on the way from Nolaan“. Great. I didn't see any desert. Not until I checked all the hidden caves and one of them featured an exit that had „Dunes“ in its name. Unfortunately this experience will accompany you quite some time. By the way, the mapping system works exactly like in Star Ocean. Looks almost...stolen.

Party!

It's also quite interesting to actually see the party system work. The other characters' AI is surprisingly good. So good in fact that they can really take care of themselves without you having to babysit them constantly. That also has some advantages should you ever die. Given that you have the appropriate items, your buddies will take care of reviving you, even when you can only control Capell properly.
A party can have up to four members and you can create up to three parties. You will see all of them running around on-screen, but you can only controll Capell and his gang via the „connect“-option. With this you can use the special attacks of your team members. That proves very helpful quite often, so you'll get used to this rather comfortable system in a jiffy.
But you don't only have your gangs displayed on screen all the time, but also the enemy Instead of having separate battle arenas you fight as you go. While this means that you can also be attacked while resting or trying to save, you can also use objects to break the line of sight and make the enemies unsuspicious again. Regarding this matter, Infinite Undiscovery works a bit like Assassin's Creed.
With up to 12 characters running around and fighting, allies helping out and sometimes hundreds of monsters on screen, one might wonder if the framerate always stays healthy. So far, I have only had a single occasion in which for the fraction of a second things were a bit slower, although it was not disturbingly bad.


Eternal Battle
So, let's rave on about the actual battle system. The lads and lasses at tri-Ace have created quite a fun system where button mashing might bring you victory, but tactical thinking is a definite plus. As long as your opponent doesn't expect any bad and looks nowhere specifically, you get the chance to sneak up and surprise attack him. Normally you can do that quite easily with Aya and her bow, but there are other options, too. You shouldn't run towards them, as the noise will catch their interest. However, there is a slight inconsistency. When you are all sneaky and switch over to someone else, he or she cannot refrain from shouting „OKAY! I WILL DO IT“ or something along the lines. Veeeery unsuspicious. Sure.
That aside you can assign various behaviours to your party. With this they will either decide freely, what to attack, focus on one enemy or combos and many many more options. Next thing regarding tactics is the party setup. You know the twins really like each other, so you should put them together in a party. This will boost some of their stats, like for example agility. If you put some effort into the party creation, you will be rewarded with better fighters, it's that simple. The boss battles can still be a bit tough though, so always be prepared and take lots of revive and healing items with you. Your comrades will use them as they feel without ever wasting them.

A fun aspect of the game is Ricos ability to chat with animals. Surely you always wanted to know who a sweet rat is falling for?

Shine creates shadows

Unfortunately, while the game is very good it is not perfect. Infinite Undiscovery's graphics are good but Crysis will always be better. The compromise is acceptable to maintain performance in scenes with thousands of people though.
What I found most irritating was the switching between cutscenes WITH and those WITHOUT speech. Visually there are no differences, the mouth looks like it's speaking and all that, but you cant hear anything. Given that the scenes are most likely prerendered they really could have added speech lines to this, as well. (For international markets it is also very bad that there will be no localised versions, ever).
What also gets on the nerves quite quickly are the long ways without really knowing where to go. You can get lost quite easily, and the map is just oh-so-small.


Speech and all that shizzle

Like I mentioned above, you will have voice acting in Infinite Undiscovery, too. It will be only in English without the choice of Japanese voices or similar. People might start to cringe at that, remembering the highly annoying voices of FFX's Tidus or Polka from Eternal Sonata. Worry no more, the acting is actually quite good and deliver a good impression of the characters' emotions. The actors deliver high quality all the time, with one exception. Michelle just sounds like she's been recorded in a bathroom. Maybe even in the shower. Looking at her breasts this allows interesting imageries.
Music-wise I.U. is a typical RPG. the ordinary tracks are cool and nice to listen to, but I simply can't stand battle music anymore. No matter what game I'm playing, it always seems to be the same.

All in all, Infinite Undiscovery is a very good game. The replay value is quite high, as you have three different difficulty levels that all feature additional content. One playthrough should take about 30 – 40 hours, at least that's what the official figures are. You may very well dash through just the main route, but the player will be rewarded for extra effort with additional or alternative cutscenes. Unfortunately I would have preferred more interaction with the surrounding, like the ability to slash all available boxes.

8.5/10

oh, and of course this text is copyrighted.

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Unsung
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PostRe: Infinite Undiscovery, Review
by Unsung » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:24 pm

Good review, I enjoyed it. There were a few spelling errors and the syntax was (sometimes) confusing--but minor things like that are to be expected from a translation and they don't really detract from the quality of the review. :D

"...and so if we're all stuck working in Microsoft's mines one day, I just want you let you all know that I strawberry floating called it."
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AerisHime
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PostRe: Infinite Undiscovery, Review
by AerisHime » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:57 pm

sorry, i am after all German. would you care to PM me the spelling errors please, for learning purposes? :) (as long as they're not typos, I translated this in like 15 minutes or so)

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Unsung
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PostRe: Infinite Undiscovery, Review
by Unsung » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:02 pm

Most likely they're typos, and there aren't many of them, so I wouldn't worry.

You were born in Germany? Your English is fantastic!

"...and so if we're all stuck working in Microsoft's mines one day, I just want you let you all know that I strawberry floating called it."
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AerisHime
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PostRe: Infinite Undiscovery, Review
by AerisHime » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:07 pm

Born in russia, but raised in Germany for most of the time. Thanks again for the compliment - i am trying :)

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