WORDS BY: Francesca Reyes
Pop in Infinite Undiscovery, and for its first hour or so, there’d be absolutely no hard feelings if you simply told the game to politely “talk to the hand.” After all, it has no one to blame but itself. You’re dumped into an ogre-chase tutorial right at the start — complete with misbehaving camera, wonky sheathe/unsheathe resting/battle mechanics, dodgy voice-acting that never sounds natural, and a follow-up darkened-forest dungeon that may drive lesser RPG fans mad. Really, there’s no excuse for this type of RPG-lover abuse.
But if you’re determined to see how deep the rabbit hole goes in tri-Ace’s real-time battlin’, doppelganger-themed, risk-taking roleplaying shindig, be assured that all that digging coughs up some mighty juicy rewards. Just know, that spade is going to get a helluva workout.
First off, remember all that talk about being able to juke enemies in the dark by throwing them off your scent with dropped fruit? Or those exploding barrels that you can target to break down barriers or damage enemies? Both were loudly trumpeted in preview coverage, then exploited in Inf nite Undiscovery’s first hour. But beyond the game’s first few hours, neither plays a crucial role in the game.
And thank god — both are aggravating exercises that slap big bull’s-eyes on two of Infinite’s more cumbersome weaknesses: a finicky, not-safe-for-close-quarters camera and the game’s insistence that you need to manually sheathe your weapon to explore, then unsheathe it for battle. Swapping between the two in hairy situations often leads to shouting matches with your TV — “Why won’t you DO what I WANT?!” — until the process becomes ingrained later on.
In fact, the laundry list of missteps and obstacles doesn’t end after the first initial hours. Quality-wise, the voice acting remains scattershot; some dungeons need more save points; there’s way too much backtracking through only a handful of hub-like environments with little direction from the game; and one of the JRPG genre’s most stubbornly stock elements, the warp-filled dungeon, makes a guest appearance in the jungle-fied Cobasna Timberlands — a time-sink Sisyphean nightmare that forces you to repeatedly wander its maddening maze of deflectors and warps. Argh.
But whether or not it’s an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome, Infinite kept us absolutely enthralled through all its tough-love antics. The bulk of the credit goes to its wholeheartedly sincere and driving tale — the journey of a young nobody named Capell who stumbles into the doppelganger role of the people’s hero, Lord Sigmund. They look exactly alike, and both possess a wholly unique skill for breaking chains linking the Earth to the moon (placed by the nefarious Order of Chains). Thing is, they’ve never met before and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Who is Capell? Why does he have these talents? And what is his greater purpose?
This whole setup would fall apart completely if the red-headed Capell weren’t so freakin’ likeable. It helps that despite the fumbling voice-acting, each character’s lines — as well as the story itself — are well-written. Every new discovery pulls you deeper into the mysteries and personalities that keep Infinite Undiscovery so involving. It’s Capell’s rocky development and unfailing charm, plus the inventiveness of the game’s story-telling mechanics — characters constantly earn quirky new titles; occasional multiple-choice conversations; plenty of surprising twists, turns, and side-quests — that ultimately rewards serious JRPG-aholics willing to tough out Infinite’s rough patches for the sake of an incredibly well-told tale and tri-Ace’s brave step in a challenging new take on the genre. Only the very, very serious in need of a good challenge should apply — but the payoff is tremendous.
+ Capell is such a likeable hero.
+ "Situation Bonus" and other sweet surprises.
- Backtracking-tastic; Cobasna Timberlands is ninth ring of hell; so-so voice-acting.
? Is this game even possible on Infinity difficulty? Yeesh!
This is one of my top favorite games of all time. Before they redid the Forums, there were a few threads they kept going. I know alot of people are hoping for an IU2. The way it ended left it open for a sequel. I REALLY hope MS goes ahead and makes it. By now, alot of people have played it, and contrary to alot of reviews, most people that played this, loved it!
Still hoping for Infinite Undiscovery 2, Lost Odyssey 2 (I know it'll never happen), FFXIV www.Saveourseeker.com
I'm glad some reviews give this great game a chance and I couldn't agree more.
In the first few hours of this game, there are multiple flaws that are fundamentally irritating, however as time and the story progresses, you adapt to this new way of playing and begin to love it as you are immersed into the brilliant and encaptivating story.
All I can say to anyone thinking about trying this game is definitely give it a go, and by that I mean don't put it down after the first few hours, give it a decent chance and I am sure that if you reach 10 hours of gameplay, another 100 is sure to follow.
Completed: 52 Retail 5 XBLA Check out your true GS score! HERE!
I definitely agree with the above, and I definitely agree with the review. This didn't get the best role of the dice, but actually it was a neat little game with a lot going for it... once you got over the bad bits.
really wanna give this game a shot...havent played a ton of rpgs. but i have played nier (loved it) dragon age 1 and most of 2...some of final fantasy 13...and about 60 hours of resinance of fate. will i like this game? are the controls gamebreaking or something that you just get used to after a while? any input would be greatly appreciatted...and ohyeah playing some dark souls alos. that game is awesome!