|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tri-Ace||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Tri-Ace and Square Enix have, once again, come together to create an involved JRPG for a worldwide audience. After creating successful franchises such as Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile, we expected a lot from the teams latest offering. Unfortunately, Infinite Undiscovery doesnt deliver the way I had hoped it would.
The fast-paced combat is interesting and the main storyline is solid, but the tacked on side quests, unwieldy team combat mechanic, and incessant party management makes this a title for the JRPG hardcore and not a broader audience.
Infinite Undiscovery tells an interesting story of a world and its moon. The moon is responsible for keeping balance and harmony on the planet and bestows powerful magical talents to the majority of the people. The story in Infinite Undiscovery follows a young musician named Capell, who looks identical to the worlds prophesied savior, Sigmund, but who has, at least initially, none of his warrior spirit. As such, Capell is thrust into dangerous situations for which he is simply not prepared. Capells ensuing struggle against a cult known as The Order of Chains and their leader, Leonid the Dreadknight, will test the youths resolve and the previous notions he had of himself and his lifes path.
The Order of Chains is powerful force that has captured the moon for itself, trying to harness its power to pave the way for their leaders ascension to godhood, while denying the rest of the worlds inhabitants their right to be blessed by the moon. Moreover, the unnatural chains that have tethered the moon are throwing of the balance and unleashing foul creatures upon the lands. It is up to Capell, the hero Sigmund, and an eclectic group of heroes called the Liberation Force to put an end to the chaining of the moon and the machinations of the Dreadknight.
Sadly, though players will enjoy the interesting world and engaging characters, they will be hard-pressed to find any fun extras. You see, the side quests in Infinite Undiscovery are little more than glorified errands that do little in the way of rewarding your characters. Consequently, these quests are a dispensable waste of time. That means players interested in achieving 100% completion will be bogged down in a river of dull and superfluous missions that have no substantial bearing on the main quest. This definitely hampers the amount of genuine content to be found in the game, despite the fact it is spread over two disks.
Concerning presentation, the smooth animations, interesting character models, varied, detailed environments, and flashy magic and combat effects are great. Plus, the preponderance of excellently crafted cutscenes really help to convey the tale for those who enjoy Japanese storytelling. On the downside, the intensity of the visuals and the hectic battles can lead to extensive clipping and slowdown. This definitely was an eyesore and even impeded gameplay. This is an unfortunate, major blemish on an otherwise pretty game. Graciously, the presentation is bolstered by the solid delivery of the lines by the actors (even if the words didnt quite match the characters lips). Moreover, the musical score successfully communicates the intensity of the battles and the mystery of the world.
The combat system in Infinite Undiscovery is unique and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the mechanic, but, at the same time, I wouldnt be surprised to find out that others were put off by it. Thats because the scheme tries to tackle not only individual combat actions, but also dual, connected attacks and full party control in real-time. It can be a bit overwhelming at first and remains a bit cumbersome throughout.