Infinite Undiscovery Reviews

AuthorReview
TheBrumster89
109,954 (50,795)
TheBrumster89
TA Score for this game: 3,009
Posted on 27 February 12 at 21:28, Edited on 08 May 12 at 18:49
This review has 22 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Now that I have completed this game I feel like I am entitled to review it.
The first edit was because I forgot to add a Sound category.
The last dozen edits are because I keep finding typing errors every time I read it again. Damnit.

Opening Comments:
I picked this game up for $15 at my local used game store because it looked different, challenging, and interesting, and also because it wasn't FFXIII (I don't like the game-play style). I was right on all four.
Infinite Undiscovery is a JRPG. It is hard, time consuming (100+ hours across 3 mandatory playthoughs) and not for everyone. It is one of my favourite games on Xbox 360, but I will be reviewing it from a critic's perspective and not a lover of the game.

Story:
The story is creative and original, but not completely. You play as a young man named Capell (the instruction book says he's 17) who is sucked into a rebel group on a quest to save his world from The Order, who have tethered the magical-power-causing moon to the earth via some large chains scattered across the land. He is a lowly, unimportant flute player, who is brought into this quest because he is mistaken as being the leader of the rebel group out to destroy the aforementioned chains . It's a very interesting idea and original, but it plays out in stereotypical fashion regarding twists, road blocks, love/hate, and character disputes. I do love the story and the idea behind it but I felt there should have been a few more story related quests and/or cut-scenes involved to progress the story slower, and in some cases faster. I can't say much else without spoilers.
7/10

Game-play/Controls:
The game-play is the best part about the game.
The game is played from the typical far-over-the-shoulder JRPG viewpoint. It's necessary and works well. Your character can also hold a ridiculous amount of items at the same time without moving slower or needing to drop anything. Specifically, you can hold up to 99 of every single item available in the game at one time. This doesn't make any sense at all, but the game would be so difficult it would be next to impossible to complete otherwise (see Achievement section of the review).
The game can be extremely hectic and fast paced at times, and when coupled with the fact that you can't hot-key important items like potions/reviving items, or easily access them because bring up the item menu doesn't pause the action, it can be extremely frustrating early on. Eventually with enough practice, persistence, and learning how the game works, it is still very hard to use items on the fly, but you either find ways around it or learn to do it as quickly as possible. This may be a turn-off to some people, which is why I say this game isn't for everyone, but the end result is a control scheme that provides an added challenge that also boosts the sense of accomplishment you get when beating the hard bosses. (I danced around my bedroom for about 1 minute after I beat the Ethereal Queen on Infinity mode an hour ago - see the 1G secret achievement).
The best part about the game is the attacks you can do. There is a large variety of attacks, and as you and your party progress in level you gain more, and always different, attacks to use. There are basic attacks that are permanently attached to pressing the A and B buttons, and the combo attacks from pressing A + B in a certain combination of 3 button presses are also default, however up to 2 special attacks you unlock can be hot-keyed to pressing and holding A or B respectively. This makes for I think 8 attacks that are able to be done just by pressing A or B or a combination of the two, all of them being different and having different uses (yes there are some attacks that are bad to use in certain circumstances, and good in others). There are also some secret attacks that your characters can learn outside of level progression, and some are well worth it (also required for an achievement, see Stalwart).
Grinn Velesti!! (If you play the game, unlock this attack for Capell and don't like it, there's something wrong with you).
You also control 3 party members along-side Capell, and with the exception of I believe 5 of the 18 characters available in the game (you gain party members as the story progresses) you can swap/insert any of them in your party when you are in a city or town. They all have different weapons/abilities and reasons to use them, however after your second playthrough you will likely have figured out 3 specific characters you like, and once they are all available you will never touch the others. Characters in your party gain 100% exp while those outside your party gain 50% exp, with the exception of a special item (play the game to find out). Your party members are controlled by you when it comes to how they attack (Focus, Combo, Save MP, Free etc) and you get to pick the special attacks they use, but not when they use them. The only other thing you can control is asking (sadly not always ordering) for you or your party members to be healed. The rest is all AI, which are not always dumb, but sometimes can be. The biggest drawback to the AI is that they attack much less frequently than you do as Capell.
One of my big gripes is that when you equip different weapons to any character, their character model will change to hold that new weapon, and they all look different, however no character in the game will ever display any new armour or accessories you equip them with. The result is you get to look at the characters basically the exact same way the entire game, and not be able to enjoy an amazing set of armour that also looks impressive.
Lastly, the game has a level cap of 255 for each character. That sounds like a lot, and it is, because it takes a lot of game-play and grinding to do it (I did on my Infinity play-through). Despite this high level cap, you can still be killed quite easily if you don't know what you are doing. Most enemies in the game are powerful and dangerous (when you come across them for the first time I mean, backtracking doesn't count), and it's extremely hard to be at a "this game is easy now" character level. Late in the game it's not possible to be at a level where the game is a piece of cake, and that's no joke.
In short, the game plays very well and is not easy to get good at let alone master, but it is very rewarding and creative after passing the learning curve.
8/10

Graphics:
This game was released in 2008, so it is unfair to compare the graphics to present day games. That said, the graphics in this game are not incredible, but they are also not bad. Each area of the world has the same amount of attention to detail and care as every other one, so you don't feel like they got lazy after a while and half-assed the game. The lines are nicely drawn, everything has great detail when played in 1080p on the right screen, and each monster/enemy/character was crafted very well.
There are also some excellent effects created from most attacks.
There are three things holding the game back from really shining in the graphics area:
1. Sometimes when you attack an enemy a certain way, you will attack through it/them, causing the enemy to literally disappear off your screen as you pass through it. This can also happen with some of the bigger enemies in the game, as you can sit underneath them and they will magically vanish, but you can still attack them.
2. The draw distance when it comes to certain enemies appearing on your screen can at times be pretty bad. For example, later in the game when going through a teleporter you will appear in an area, and start running forward, only to have 3 gigantic trolls pop out of nowhere when you are literally 30 feet from them. It's disappointing that you can't always see every enemy between you and the boundaries of the area of land you are in at the time.
3. The game isn't polished. It's drawn well and everything looks cool and different, but it can be compared to washing your car and not applying wax to it.
Overall, the game is graphically sound, but not perfect.
7/10

Sound:
This game has excellent music. The music is orchestral and each piece fits the situation you are in. Sadly there is not a large variety of music in the game, so pieces get reused a lot.
Character voices are a different story. It's not awful like Far Cry 2, but it's not good either. The quality of the voice acting is mediocre, maybe B-movie quality. The cut-scenes have voices, at least most do. For whatever reason some cut-scenes don't have character voices, and it's almost inexcusable as to why they don't. Also, when you talk to anyone in towns/cities, even your own party members who are scattered around, there is no voice acting, just text appearing.
The sound effects for the attacks are OK, and the things that are said by your characters and party members while moving around the land or in combat or after levelling up are repetitive and can get old fast.
If it weren't for the voices being as hit and miss as they are, this category would get a 7/10, but alas I cannot give it that.
6/10

Achievements:
This game has a mixed bag of achievements regarding difficulty/time required. Some are easy, like the story ones that are not attached to a difficulty, others are very tough bordering on unreasonable, like Compulsive, which requires you to obtain every single item in the game at least once. This doesn't sound too bad, except for the fact that some items require you to backtrack a whole lot to get a meaningless quest just to get that item, or in one case, if you don't get an item called the Oversized Wristband at one specific point of time in the game, and it is also a random item drop, you're absolutely screwed out the achievement. A guide is 100% necessary to get this achievement, and I think the achievement should only be attempted on Hard difficulty.
The hardest achievement in the entire game is Seraphic Gatekeeper for 1G, which requires you to defeat the Ethereal Queen on Infinity difficulty. It technically requires around 100 hours to get this achievement, because you must first play through the game on Normal to unlock Hard, and then Hard to unlock Infinity. She is also a pain in the ass, because she has 2.4 Million HP and even when I hit the level cap of 255 I was still averaging 50k per hit, from special attacks...
The achievements are challenging in most cases, some are easy, and some are brutal. There are a handful of really creative achievements in the game, like "Reckless Driver" or "Rock, Stock, and Barrel", which are awesome, but mostly they are either story related or painful to complete, like the ones I explained above, or "Filthy Rich", which requires you to max out the games money counter. Not only is it annoying and boring to do so, it is also pointless because by the time you would even bother attempting the achievement (see the guide I wrote) you don't need that much money, or even close to that much.
In short, the difficult achievements are obtainable with persistence and skill (and a guide) and do make you feel extremely good when you get them. That adds an extra point to the category.
5/10

Summary:
I loved this game a lot. It's one of my favourites and I will be keeping this game even though I am done it so I can play through it again sometime. That said, this game is definitely not for everyone but the game is very enjoyable and rewarding if you immerse yourself in learning the game, paying attention to the details (there are a surprising amount), and being really persistent. My final verdict is based on a critics perspective and not my own.
33/50 - 66%

Apparently if I rate the game at 3 stars in this review it changes my rating on my profile, and I don't want that. The rating below is my personal rating, and not my final review verdict (see above Summary).
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zr122
371,440 (194,668)
zr122
TA Score for this game: 1,615
Posted on 10 November 09 at 20:23, Edited on 16 September 12 at 19:10
This review has 25 positive votes and 12 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Infinite Undiscovery, developed by Tri-Ace and produced by Square Enix, is one of the many JRPG's released for the Xbox 360.

Story

3/5*

The story is decent, at best. The plot flows like any RPG veteran would expect, with the seemingly inexperienced and insecure character realizing inherent unique skills and attaining a large group of friends that follow him/her around the world on an epic quest. Such an accepted plot design would have given a two-star rating, but there is enough unique about the plot that an extra star was given. The idea that someone has chained the moon into a position above the planet in order to establish dominance is quite interesting, and it fits well with the established magic system in the game. The phase of the mood at birth correlates directly to the type and amount of magic a person gets. This, too, is relatively unique, and adds to the quality of the story.

Characters

2/5*

It was difficult to give even two stars, but by the end of the game, the character progression was enough to move the rating up by one. Each character is stereotypically written to the full extent. There is an overly-muscled character that is fairly dumb, with the bespectacled genius mage user providing the best advice. There is the warrior who, at first, despises your character but soon learns to trust. Early on twins join your party, and they are eerily similar to those from Final Fantasy IV, even down to their heightened sense of maturity. The most annoying thing, however, is that they keep joining your party. By the end of the game you have over a dozen characters accompanying you, but at least five of them are Secondary characters who are only usable in certain plot-driven scenarios.

Gameplay

4/5*

At first the gameplay can seem lacking, but with experience comes a great deal of admiration. The battle system is intuitive, easy to learn, and provides constant opportunities to direct your allies, from fighting stlyes to using individual attacks at your own discretion. The AI is responsive, and each character has their own unique weapon and attack process. Various character traits add a deeper mechanic, with some characters gaining stat boosts during certain situations; for example, two characters gain attack when a comrade falls in battle, while another gains attack after his HP falls below a certain point. Still other characters get boosts when fighting alongside someone important; the twins are a prime example of this mechanic. The only thing bringing this score down is the occasional inability to perform any action when surrounded by enemies all attacking at once. It is quite easy to die in only a few seconds despite being overleveled, and this provides a needless frustration. Offsetting this disappointment, however, is the Item Creation system implemented. Most characters have a specific item type which they can create (food, armor, accessories, etc). The more items created, the better their IC level becomes, and the more items are available for creation. These will often be items not found in shops or treasure chests, or even more often that cost a fair amount of money and it is cheaper to use already obtained resources to manufacture the newer items, assuming the IC level is high enough.

Presentation

2/5*

While the visuals are on par with the expected power of the Xbox 360, and the battle mechanics are spot-on, the localization seems to have taken a huge blow. There is absolutely no lip synching in the voiced cut scenes, of which there are plenty to go around. There are no added voice effects, as one might see when listening to an internal monologue, or when two characters are speaking with their minds (which happens rarely). In fact, the lack of lip synching means that you're never quite sure when the characters are talking out loud or merely thinking to themselves. This, combined with horrible voice acting, makes it awkward at best to watch the scenes. The stereotypes of each character are forced on their voices, and it makes an very un-pleasing effect. The biggest problem is that many of the voice actors have given amazing performances in other games, leading this reviewer to lay the blame on the director of this game rather than the cast as a whole.

Achievements

3/5*

The Achievements, sadly, are not that easy to get. Beating the game without doing anything else gives a paltry 150G, which can be augmented by roughly another 150G by experiementing with Item Creation and just playing the game. Many of the Achievements that are worth substantial points require extensive exploration, loot grinding, and playing the game several times on each successive difficulty. (Of course, using a guide helps tremendously.) Obtaining the more difficult Achievements gives a definite sense of accomplishment, but for more casual gamers, they certainly present a daunting challenge, especially when playing a rental version. Without playing non-stop, and without the use of a guide, it would be virtually impossible for the average gamer to get all the Achievements. It does reward effort, however, and for that it gains three stars.

Summary

3/5*

I've played enough RPG's in my time to know a good one when I play it, and Infinite Undiscovery just doesn't give enough to make it a good game. It is mediocre at best, easy enough to beat provided you play it like every other RPG, only giving a true challenge to those who want to beat the game on the hardest difficulty and get all 50 Achievements.

I do not recommend this game to the casual gamer, nor do I recommend purchasing it unless you are an RPG fanatic. While it is nowhere near as bad as many would claim it to be, it is far from being a great game, and that's something that has to be taken into consideration. If you like RPG's and would like to try a new one out and you don't care about Achievements or completion percentages, then it is a fun game with an intriguing story, and is worth the time it'll take to complete (roughly 20-25 hours). I happen to like the game, and I am happy that I purchased it, but it is my no means a gem to have on your shelf.

I hope you this was helpful to you as I wanted it to be.
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Vermillion Haze
177,751 (117,810)
Vermillion Haze
TA Score for this game: 269
Posted on 28 May 13 at 22:20, Edited on 29 May 13 at 00:41
This review has 8 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Infinite Undiscovery is another Square-Enix stab at greatness in the JRPG genre. While at first glance you might write it off as "Star Ocean" without Sci-fi , you would only be half right. This game is a solid attempt to combine all of the companies strengths and introduce interesting new idea's. Unfortunately most of these innovations fall flat. But we will get to that further in.

First let's examine the hero of our story. Capell the "Soother". Of whom I feel is one of the games overall strengths. He's not the silent badass or the punk kid itching to prove himself that your accustomed to. He's very much a regular guy who get's swept up in the stories events. He's not overly brave, heroic or even leading man material. He just looks like the man who embodies those characteristics and that's a big part of the plot. In fact most of the characters are surprisingly well written and break out of their stereotypical molds during the journey. I say most because for every good character the game tosses 2-3 bad ones into your group for no apparent reason. 18 in all to be exact and in case you were wondering they do NOT manage their own inventory. The enemies are fairly threatening (For the most part) and serve their purpose well. The plot as a whole while not terribly original is equally well done and provides some interesting twists and turns if you can stick with it long enough. It has a good blend of drama and comedy without overloading you with either. The campaign is also extremely linear and what little else their is to do will no doubt take a back seat to your curiosity.

At this point we have a foundation for a great product with some minor snags. However some vital materials are either missing or defective. Square-Enix brought in the backup voice team and it shows. With the exception of Capell and Aya the voice overs are horrendous. Not only that the lip syncing is by far one of the worst I have seen. Thankfully they decided not to voice half the cut-scenes and spare us the headache. Graphically it's average to above average. It's art direction took a very "Radiata Stories" flavor and the cutscenes are very good. It's a definite mixed bag. Half the areas look good, some look great and the other half are train wrecks. It's like they ran out of time to fix some of the texture issues and banked the better ones will be make up for it. The music is a bright spot at least and I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

The gameplay mechanics are nothing out of the ordinary. If you have played Star Oceans "Real time" style you will gave a good handle on it. It's fun and challenging but like most of the game it tries to innovate an already proven recipe and thus it comes with it's own laundry list of problems. Your allies do not have the best supporting AI and seem to be fighting underwater. You also can't switch from Capell to someone else. They help you but at their own pace. Which is to say a snails pace. Which leads me to one of my other points. As it's real time one would think you can access your menu's in a suspended state. WRONG. Need a potion? Better run like hell or hide behind something then fumble through the menu's quick because enemies don't follow the Power Ranger or Dragon Ball Z code of waiting patiently for you to buff.


In conclusion this is a game that simply never figures out what it wants to be. It's long, difficult and rewarding but not without it's problems. Whether the journey is worth it or not is up to you!

The breaks...

Graphics: 7/10 - Competent but inconsistent. In need of polish.

Sound: 7.5/10 - The score is the one thing they polished to a shine. Extremely poor voice acting tarnishes this somewhat.

Gameplay: 8/10 - The right combination of difficulty and fun. Some poor mechanical decisions again tarnish a otherwise bright spot.

Replayability: 6/10 - Little to no reason to replay beyond a higher difficulty. Linear campaign with uninspired side quests...well you already know.

Overall: 7/10
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Scythekain
66,376 (48,671)
Scythekain
TA Score for this game: 197
Posted on 10 May 09 at 04:36
This review has 4 positive votes and 16 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
(SPOILER ALERT)

This game is a conundrum.

It starts out with absolute promise, I especially liked the stealth mission at the beginning of the game. (sadly never to be found again) I liked the intrigue set up by the "twins"....

But sadly like the plot in this game (what the hell am I breaking chains for, and why have the "bad guys" decided to start chaining the moon?) the character development is lazy. It goes nowhere, by the second disc when one of the main character dies, I absolutely DID NOT CARE. In Final Fantasy 7 when Aeris died, I CARED. The game developed the characters, the plot and the enemy.

Think of the great RPG's of the past and they all have the same common themes:

1) A great central cast of characters that you care about.

2) An absolutely fantastic enemy. This guy makes your skin crawl. Think of the moment in Lunar when Ghaleon states; "The world will be my oyster", or when Kefka from Final Fantasy 6(III) bellows out his wicked laugh. It makes you INVOLVED in the plot.

3) Main characters that aren't apathetic. I have to deal with enough Gen Y's in real life, why do I want the main character to be such a loser?

4) Fantastic settings. None of the settings in this game can compare to the fantastic settings in other games, not even to the mediocre 360 RPG Blue Dragon.

5) A great plot. One of the reviews for this game on gamestop, noted that the plot sucks, but you should play the game anyway for the sidequests...

How ridiculous is that? A RPG that should be played solely for the sidequests?

My biggest complaint about this game though, is how they completely blew the battle system that Final Fantasy 12 so eloquently mastered. The camera system is completely broken, the AI sucks, and the enemies later in the game get downright cheap. Here's a few of the noteworthy complaints from my most recent playthrough:

1) When attempting to block, the cues from the enemies are not as clear as they could be... like in Star Ocean the visual cues to dodge are absolutely crystal clear. In this game they aren't and the punishment for missing a block is that you can't attack or block again for 3 - 5 seconds. This makes the blocking technique next to useless.

2) When engaged in a large count enemy battle in tight spaces, you are guaranteed to get surrounded and wailed on before you can escape and attack again.

3) When battling Edward, after playing the flute and connecting to a character to cast symphonic blade, (which makes that character useless in battle) it takes about 8 - 10 seconds to perform the spell, during which if you get hit it cancels the spell... Again comparing this to Star Ocean, there is a clear system setup in that game showing you which character an enemy is focused on, and there are clear ways to get that enemy to change focus. I don't know if that works in Infinite undiscovery or not, because the AI for your team-mates absolutely blows.

4) If for some reason Capell dies during battle, you cannot switch control to a living character (FF12, Star Ocean, Tales, etc all allow this in their real time battles) This means you are subject to the whims of the crappy AI, which unless you have plenty of life restoring items/spells available means it's game over.

Really though that statement says it all. It's game over for this game.
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