Top positive review
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A Definite Cult Hit
on 8 May 2010
I bought Infinite Space after reading some positive reviews of the game (albeit mixed with some fairly harsh reviews) and having just completed it, I have to say that it is without a doubt one of the best RPGs available on the DS today. The game is not without its shortcomings, but overall it is an innovation in terms of RPGs as a whole and is a nice change to the more 'traditional' RPG.
The game's storyline itself is mammoth, there is no other word for it. The story covers 10 years of the protagonist's life, during which time you meet hundreds of characters and explore a gigantic universe - during the first 10 hours of play I felt as though I'd traveled everywhere I could, in truth I'd explored around a quarter of the game, it's that big!
I found the scope of the game to be something truly unprecidented on a DS, and if you want a game that will keep you busy for a long time (it took me over 60 hours to complete), then this is well worth your money!
I was also a fan of the character designs, and although the conversations in the game can be a bit tedious (especially as there is no actuall walking around on planets or ships), they do move the story along at a good pace. You will find yourself growing to like the characters as the game progesses, which is a credit to the game's writers. However, the writers are also not scared of killing off main characters during the game (indeed, the head count for integral characters is unusually high for any RPG).
The ship building/modification is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. You get your own ship very early in the game, and as you move through the story you get the option to improve it, to buy bigger and better ships, and to develop a fleet of up to 5 ships to command. Modifying your ships is similar to playing tetris, trying to get all the 'modules' to fit into the alloted space, and you can spend hours modifying and upgrading your ship, before taking it out to fight battles.
The battle system is arguably the most hit and miss section of the game. The battles themselves are well designed, and the graphics are very good, however the battle dynamics themselves can prove frustrating. You have a limited number of commands and can only move forward, back or stand still. As the battles run in real time you need to be constantly on your toes trying to predict what an enemy might do next in order to survive - for example, I've fought battles where I have been killed by a split second decision not to 'dodge'. This does mean that fighting (and winning) battles, especially boss battles, contains a strong element of luck at times, which I belive is a shame.
Similarly, you will find yourself having to grind a LOT. All RPGs obviously requite an element of grinding, and no more so than in this game. You will need to grind to earn money to retrofit your ships, to buy new ships, etc. and it can prove quite tedious, especially if, like me, you are constantly after a bigger and better ship!
Another small gripe is the sometimes annoying fact that in order to further the storyline you need to speak to the same person more than once, which can prove infuriating. Similarly, some of the objectives you might need to achieve can be vague at first - I was a bit boggled by all the different planet names at first and some early tasks I had to do took quite a while as I flew to each planet trying to remember where I needed to go!
Overall, if you want a game that is guaranteed to keep you busy for a long time, and you like a challenge (this game has a very steep learning curve, and no real in-game tutorial) then this is definitely the game for you. It is a fresh, innovative take on the RPG genre and has a scope unrivaled on any hand-held game. If you're an RPG fan you should definitely give this game a go!