Infinite Undiscovery Review
Infinite Undiscovery box art
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

First, players will play the entire game as Capell, the reluctant hero. Making attacks is as simple as pressing the A and B buttons for Quick and Power attacks, respectively. For example, combinations, called Special Attacks, are easily executed by linking a series of Quick attacks with a finishing Power attack.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

If executed in concert with the AP Gauge (a meter that fills with successive strikes), players will be rewarded with special bonuses and more devastating effects, assuming the meter is greater than the target’s rating. This is also true of Battle Skills. By holding down on either of the buttons, players can execute Battle Skills (magical attacks that use both the MP [magic points] and AP gauges).

Additionally, players can map various Battle Skills they acquire to either the Quick or Power Attack buttons. Assigned skills will be more or less powerful and use more or less MP depending on the slot that is chosen. In this way, players can measure and control the amount of damage they want dish out and how much MP they will consume. Also, targeting enemies is easily executed; simply by clicking the R stick, targets will be selected. Using LB will toggle between the enemies. In addition, blocking in Infinite Undiscovery with LT is a very important technique, as opponents will be stunned, giving you an opportunity to counter. Unfortunately, parrying attacks is ineffective unless you get the timing just right; expect to take a lot of damage. Nevertheless, the organization of the controls is straightforward and can quickly be mastered. Despite lackluster defensive capabilities, it doesn’t get much easier than beasting on the baddies with a Morse Code-like series of two-button combinations.

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Though solo combat is user-friendly, the game begins to slip up a bit whilst giving tactical orders and connecting with additional party members. There are six tactical commands that can be issued to your party members via the D-pad that serve to manage their actions. These commands include Free, Combo, Focus, Spread, Wait, and Save MP. Having the six tactical options is nice, but some of them are redundant. For instance, Combo and Focus both tell team members to concentrate on the selected target. The only difference between the two is that Combo will have them try and chain attacks together (something you always want them to do anyway). This wouldn’t be such a concern except for the fact that employing them mid-battle is wonky. Why? Because having six instead of four means you have to scroll through the list of tactical options by hitting up or down on the D-pad rather than being able to instantly access the a specific command by pressing up, down, left, or right. It seems like this could have been alleviated by condensing Focus and Combo and Free and Spread, so we’d be left with four, easily accessible options.

What's more, players can link Capell directly to other characters. These attacks, skills, and actions are executed by holding down the RB button and pressing the button associated with the character (X, A, or B). Then, pressing X or Y will initiate the Connect Actions (CAs), which, like Battle Skills, can be adjusted under the Connect tab in the main menu. Implementing CAs is easy both in and out of combat, but making adjustments to mapped skills during a fight is next to impossible. In fact, menu navigation is very cumbersome in this game. This is accentuated by the fact that the game constantly progresses in real-time. You can pause the game at anytime, but you can’t access these menus from the pause screen. As such, monsters and the like will take advantage while you’re distracted. So, make sure your Battle Skills, Equipment, Connect Actions, etc. are fine-tuned before getting into action or you’ll pay the price. This real-time feature was meant to add some realism and challenge, but, in the end, it’s just frustrating and superfluous and may curb some of your enjoyment during combat.

However, outside of battle, navigating and adjusting settings via the menu is intuitive, if not boring and tedious. The expansive menus allow players to tailor the way their party fights by determining exactly which items, magic, skills, etc. can be used during battle. That way, the best items can be saved for use at the exact right moment and not needlessly wasted by the friendly A.I. The ability to customize your party in this way is both one of the game’s great strengths and weaknesses; this is a JRPG that requires constant, attentive management from its players. If you don’t enjoy endlessly fine-tuning your party, you will likely be frustrated or bored by all the nuances of party management. This is only heightened by the sheer number of party members you’ll have to deal with. After a while, buying equipment, changing skills, modifying connect actions, etc. for 15+ characters can get very annoying.

Along those lines, there are a lot of other extra things you can do in Infinite Undiscovery that will seem unnecessary to many, yet absolutely essential to JRPG buffs. Things like having Capell play his flute to access neat abilities, enchanting items to give your party temporary buffs, and linking up with characters outside of combat to get access to their unique skills such as speaking to animals, cooking, and writing adds complexity but becomes wearisome.

In fact, that’s the best way to describe this title: it’s complex, yet boring. There is a lot here for JRPG hardcore fans to gush over, but the rest of you will likely tire of the game. Notwithstanding, the title has definitely seen its fair share of polish and, for fans of Tri-Ace, is still worth picking up before the release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
The visuals, including cutscenes, combat effects, animations, and characters are all quite nice but are seriously hampered by a preponderance of clipping and shuddering.
3.2
Control
Standard combat controls are easy and intuitive, but accessing menus and team-based skills are unwieldy.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and voice acting are excellent and nicely convey the story.
3.1
Play Value
The real-time nature of combat is a mixed bag. The constant party management across over 15 characters is tiresome. This is a JRPG for hardcore fans of the genre.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Discovery & Impact: The actions you choose to take upon new discoveries will have a real-time impact on the world.
  • Situational Battles: Players will be confronted with a variety of dramatic situational battles such as executing a daring escape while a gigantic ogre follows in hot pursuit, or waging battle amidst towering tidal waves. The dynamic environments change and respond in real time, creating an entirely new experience never before seen in the genre.
  • A Seamless World and Real-time Action: Combat, exploration, and other actions all take place within the same environment, seamlessly shifting between each game facet. Battles are carried out in real-time, bringing the vibrant fighting sequences of the STAR OCEAN series out of the traditional battle screen into a beautiful and lush environment.
  • Connect Ability System: 17 characters join the hero, Capell, with unique Connect Ability actions that allow the player to tap into their abilities and take direct control.


  • Screenshots / Images
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