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Infinite Undiscovery (Xbox 360) artwork

Infinite Undiscovery (Xbox 360) review

"You collect well over a dozen party members, many of whom have little relevance beyond, "Hey, uh, you're out to save the world, so let me help!". Many villains pop up, deliver a couple lines of dialogue, fight you and are killed. It kind of reminded me of the RPGs I played on the NES and SNES where characters would pop up and randomly join or fight you for no reason other than "I'm good; I like you!" or "I'm evil; I hate you!"."

When I started Infinite Undiscovery, I had high hopes. There was an action-packed beginning where protagonist Capell gets broken out of a prison, escapes through a forest and meets up with a band of freedom fighters. I noticed some interesting control features. While I only controlled Capell, by hitting a couple buttons, I could access certain abilities used by other party members to do things like break rocks, shoot fruit out of trees, surprise foes before initiating battle and so on. And the whole jailbreak scene was the prelude to an interesting premise concerning a group of villains known as the Order of Chains and their goal to completely chain the game's planet to the moon -- an act that was causing things to go wrong such as an increase in monsters and people mutating into invisible killing machines.

When I was done, I realized that I spent most of my time blasting through it at maximum speed, just trying to finish it while ignoring side quests or anything else that might add hours (or even minutes) to the ordeal. Something had gone wrong. While this was a title with potential, it came off as a brief diversion that, while adequate in most ways, did nothing to stand out as the sort of game I'd recommend anyone go out of their way to play. It's been a while since I've done THE LAZY MAN'S REVIEW IN LIST FORMAT, so here we go!

Infinite Undiscovery is a short game. When I got to the final boss, I'd put in about 25 hours of play. Sure, there was a post-game optional dungeon with such tri-Ace staples such as Gabriel Celeste and the Ethereal Queen, as well as a number of fetch-quests scattered through the main game...but C'MON MAN! The shortness of this game made it feel like I was on rails from beginning to end.

• The biggest victim of the brevity is the supporting cast of characters, heroes and villains alike. You collect well over a dozen party members, many of whom have little relevance beyond, "Hey, uh, you're out to save the world, so let me help!". Many villains pop up, deliver a couple lines of dialogue, fight you and are killed. It kind of reminded me of the RPGs I played on the NES and SNES where characters would pop up and randomly join or fight you for no reason other than "I'm good; I like you!" or "I'm evil; I hate you!". As far as character development, Capell and his relations with the tiny handful of allies he spends the entire game with is about the only thing that gets fleshed out to any real degree. Which kind of stinks because...

• Capell annoyed the crap out of me. In a way, I have to give the developers credit because they might have come as close as I've seen to the mannerisms of a whiny teenage boy. He pouts, whines, attempts to shirk his duties, gets overly excited when various females say they'll do "anything" for him out of gratitude, etc. He also looked a bit too much like Justin Bieber for my tastes. The percentage of this game where I felt the urge to stab him in the eye was much larger than the part I didn't feel such violent desires. Making things worse, I had to control Capell the entire game. While you have a ton of support characters, you can't control them, except to utilize their special abilities.

• Those special abilities, while a promising aspect of Infinite Undiscovery, wound up being under-utilized. In theory, it's a nice idea to only give a couple of characters the power to break rocks, unlock chests or snare treasure in hard-to-reach locations because that's how you get gamers to experiment with all of them. When you realize that you'll constantly have to backtrack to towns in order to change your active party to do this stuff, some of that appeal fades. After going through a long dungeon, the last thing I want to do is go through it again for the sole purpose of unlocking a few treasure chests. It doesn't help that those core party members who hang with Capell the entire game don't possess those useful treasure-collecting abilities.

• There are also periods of time where I divided the characters into two or three parties to make it to (or through) a dungeon. This is kind of a neat idea, as it makes it look like your party is all in this thing together, as opposed to four guys working to save the world while everyone else rests in the closest inn. However, it comes off as completely random because you switch between multiple parties and one party without warning. In the final dungeon, you split into three groups to make it to the top AND when you confront the final boss, everyone has their own line condemning it. But then the battle starts and it's just Capell and the three cohorts you pick for him with no one else around. There's not even a plot device where the boss incapacitates everyone except a chosen quartet of characters. The concept of multiple parties was interesting, but the game seemed to treat it as more of a novelty than anything else -- something to throw in from time to time, so they could brag about having this "innovative" party system.

With all that said, I wouldn't call Infinite Undiscovery a failure. Part of that is because, as a used game, I was able to buy it for about $15. For that price, I'd consider it to be reasonably fun mainly due to the battle system, which was simple, but easy to get into. One button is for weak attacks, while another is for stronger ones. Holding down (as opposed to tapping) those buttons allows Capell to do special attacks. While you have very little control over party members, I was pretty impressed with their A.I., as I tended to get healed whenever necessary and whenever a character was killed, someone would quickly resurrect him or her. It was nice not feeling like I'd have to micromanage everything that everyone was doing and take control of every remotely adverse situation like in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, for example.

I tended to have fun fighting throughout those 25 hours of gameplay thanks to how this game was pure real-time as far as combat goes. You don't even go to a battle screen after running into an enemy. You just walk up to them and start swinging, while other monsters in the area are free to join in the fun. It gave this game a fast-paced feel -- almost like a combination of a RPG and an arcade game at times. However, while the action was fun, it actually made me grateful this is a short game. With you only controlling one character who has a pretty limited number of attacks, things could have gotten boring and tedious if this had been a 60-hour game.

Infinite Undiscovery is what I call a "junk food game". It can be fun, but has too many flaws to be something I'd gladly recommend. It has a fun combat system and some interesting ideas, but most characters are barely written into the plot, the few who are can be annoying and those interesting ideas often could have been utilized better. It's the sort of thing that can be fun to pick up, run through and put away; but not the first thing I'd grab if I wanted to show off my game library.


overdrive's avatar
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (January 05, 2012)

Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.

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jerec posted January 05, 2012:

I've had this game for a while now, but I've maybe only played an hour or two. I did the jail break sequence and the forest, but I can't remember anything past that so it's where I stopped, most likely. Yeah, Capell is annoying. Great review, even despite the lazy list. Still not sure whether or not I should get back into this game, though. The fact that it's quite short works in its favour.
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honestgamer posted January 05, 2012:

I really did enjoy Infinite Undiscovery. I wrote a FAQ for it for IGN, and still I had a good time. It really did remind me of a current-generation equivalent of an old JRPG. There are some annoying places and characters, but it's worth pushing past the beginning to see where things go from there.
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threetimes posted January 09, 2012:

I really liked your review. I had wondered what this game was like and having read it I feel I know. And that I'm not missing anything. Some nice moments made me chuckle in recognition: for example, the I'm good I like you.
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overdrive posted January 10, 2012:

Yeah. I thought this game could have been a good bit better with fewer characters and better development. In a way, it reminded me of the first Suikoden, where you had a 20 hour game (at least if you don't go all out to get all 108 characters) with a ton of characters that only a few actually mattered. Except I liked that game better.

The first four generals of the Order of Chains had no set-up. You just encountered them, fought them and killed them while being like, "Hmmm...that guy must have been a boss because he had a name..."

It wasn't a bad game, but just an uninspiring one in my eyes. Good for RPG collectors and the like, but with only so many hours to play games, if you have others you're interested in, this one is very expendable.

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