Final verdict: C
Final playtime: 37 hours
So I’ve had this game sealed and tucked in my drawer for like years or some shit. Ok, months. Haven’t had time to play it until recently. That’s how it is with me, y’know? Hell, I’ve still got another 10 sealed games in there that I’ll get to at some point in the future. What can I say, this whole gaming thing is hard work. That’s why people almost never finish their games. But I always finish mine. Well, unless they suck unbelievably. In which case they don’t deserve to be finished. But I’m usually pretty lenient in that regard. A game has to be really fucking bad for me to quit. See, that’s why you can trust me. When I review something, you can bet your ass I spent time with it. That’s what I call critical integrity.
But before I go off rambling some more, let’s get this thing started. The only reason I bought IU was because Tri-Ace made it. Like I said, I’m a busy man. I sure as hell don’t have the time to play all these Blue Dragons and Lost Odysseys and Last Remnants. Especially when they all seem generic as fuck. But Tri-Ace is cool enough that I was willing to make a little room in my schedule for Infinite Undiscovery.
As you can see from the score over there, it was nice, but not particularly worthwhile. First of all, let’s talk about the battle system. It reminded me a lot of FFXII, in that there is no transition between walking in the field and battles. When you see an enemy, you just unsheathe, and fight right there. But don’t worry. This game is far better than that bucket of shit known as FFXII. For those of you saying “Nigger, I liked FFXII!”, well, I’m sorry but you need to get some taste. Badly.
Anyway, like I was saying, the combat is real time and similar to FFXII in that regard, but it’s not complete shit because the game doesn’t play itself and you actually, y’know, press buttons to attack and shit. Now, let’s get one thing straight. Real time combat in an RPG is never better than turn based. Until someone makes a real time RPG with Devil May Cry quality combat (which will never happen), turn based will always be superior. Just look at bosses. Bosses are always more enjoyable when it’s turn-based. Real time it’s usually just running in, beating the shit out of it without noticing much of what’s going on because it’s so hectic, and winning without being able to really appreciate it. This is, of course, because RPGs have way too many bosses, and so developers never have the resources to make them as compelling as the ones in a pure action game.
This game falls into the Tri-Ace hole of the combat eventually devolving into simply spamming your most powerful attack over and over. Just like in my recent SOFD review the combat consisted of spamming Dragon Roar, in this one it consists of spamming Grinn Valesti. But IU comes with other, more retarded problems. Using items in this game is a bitch. I’m not sure what the fuck they were thinking, but to use an item, you have to open up the main menu, then open the items menu, then sift through your millions of items looking for the one you want, and then finally choose who you want to use it on. And all the while you can’t move your character AT ALL. So you just have to sit there getting gang raped while you’re doing it. And this is in a game where one second you have 20,000 HP, and the next second your entire party has zero HP and you don’t even know what happened. What in the god damn fuck? Look, you dumb fucks. You either make the game pause when you’re in the menu or let the player hotkey certain items so they can use them instantly. Jesus fuck. This design choice was so unbelievably retarded that I’m still in utter disbelief. In fact, it’s so retarded that I’m still half wondering if there is a good way to use items that I was never aware of. I tried looking in the manual and all I found was some jackass saying “When you open the menu, the world of Infinite Undiscovery stays alive around you!” Oh my god! That’s so amazing! If you’re an idiot, that is. It pisses me off how they say it like they’re fucking proud of it. You know the industry has gone to shit when developers are proud of making stupid mistakes. Have some fucking dignity and go seppuku like a man.
So anyway, what I’m trying to say is the combat is alright, though it can never be as good as a turn-based system, and is a step backwards from even Star Ocean 3. Also while we’re on the topic of gameplay, leveling is done completely wrong. Not only is leveling too fast, but it just happens with no fuss and brings zero satisfaction because there are no special benefits other than the obligatory stat increases and like 5 attacks that you learn throughout the entire game. You’re just like “Oh, I leveled? k.”
Another thing that reminded me of FFXII was the boring setting in this game. It’s just your generic overdone JRPG medieval-like fantasy setting. Ugh. It does nothing for me. Don’t worry about me though. I’ll live. Next, we have the story, and sadly, it’s pretty much the same deal: generic, boring, cliche fantasy JRPG shit. It’s not horrible, but it just feels so uninspired. So “by the book”. Yet another thing it has in common with FFXII. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s Square Enix’s influence. God damn you all the way to hell, Square Enix. It’s like everything you touch turns to shit. The only redeeming quality the story has is that sometimes the cutscenes are amusing. Only sometimes though.
But hey, if the story sucks, maybe the characters can save it! Yeah, no, sorry. First of all, the main character is your generic goody two shoes loser. Fucking yawn. There’s a point in the game where he becomes disenchanted with the world and suddenly becomes cool and starts treating his party members like worthless pawns and even his voice becomes cooler. It’s at this point that the game magically became a lot more interesting to me. I mean come on. A cool main character is fucking crucial. Of course, I fully, completely, 100% expected the game to later backpedal and pull off a major cop out and have the protagonist transform back into a faggot by the power of zomg luv n friendship! And lo and behold, a couple hours later, it happened exactly as I expected it and I lost all interest in the character again. Sigh. Why do you have to make things so painfully predictable? It’s funny because a lot of people seem to say the dark antihero type is cliche, but it’s COMPLETELY the other way around. The little faggot type is far more overdone. And even if it wasn’t, who the hell wants to play as a loser anyway? I have enough of that in real life. I MEAN WHAT NO just kidding!
Then we have Aya, the main girl, who is cute but that’s about it. She’s a bossy, spoiled, overemotional, angry, jealous, abusive little bitch. Woah. That’s a lot of adjectives. Yeah, I know some people will think it’s hi-larious how she’s always hitting the main character in the back of the head, stepping on his foot, kicking him in the shins, and insulting him every opportunity. Girls like that just piss me off though. But of course, since she’s the main girl, obviously he has to eventually fall in love with her. Yeah well I don’t give a fuck about that spineless faggot anyway. He can go fall in love in with a dick.
As for the other characters, they were alright. Nothing too special or interesting. And it’s not like I can care much about them when the game is this short. Oh yeah, guess I haven’t mentioned that huh? This game is short for an RPG. Look at this shit. I had already switched to the second disc before my playtime even hit 10 hours, and I had beaten the game before it hit 30. Which makes me wonder. Why exactly did you have to use 2 discs for this shit? It’s short as fuck, the graphics aren’t anything special, and it has zero FMVs other than the intro. What the fuck is in those discs? The world will never know.
So from what I’ve written, you probably already gotten the gist of it. Truth is, as I played IU, for me it seemed to be stuck somewhere between being good and just being alright. I played all the way to the end though, because this being Tri-Ace, I knew there’d be an awesome endgame bonus dungeon that might be even better than the main game. Welp. Prepare to be disappointed.
The first thing you might notice when you enter the Seraphic Gate is that, once again, Tri-Ace has commited the unforgivable sacrilege of not using the Mission to Deep Space song for it. God damn it. Fucking pisses me off. First Silmeria and now this. What the fuck is WRONG with you, Tri-ace?! That song is as important as Gabriel and Iseria Queen! If they keep this shit up with Star Ocean 4 I’ll have to officially declare them not cool anymore. You don’t want to be in the Not Cool Anymore bench do you?! Square Enix and Rare are there! Come on Tri-Ace, I believe in you.
But where was I? Oh right, disappointment. Well, other than that ridiculous decision to scrap Mission to Deep Space, guess what the Seraphic Gate in this game is. It’s all fucking palette swaps of places in the main game. Yep, that’s right. I’ve seen some pretty lazy shit in my time, but god damn. You make a sub 30-hour RPG, and then pull this bullshit? Come the fuck on. This isn’t the NES. You’re on the 360 and you’re even using two fucking discs for no reason. Jesus.
But that’s not the full extent of the problems with the Seraphic Gate. Oh no, I wish they were. The thing has 15 fucking floors or some shit, and only ONE save point. Now, I’m a lenient guy. This wouldn’t be so bad if you had a convenient way to go back. But no. Not only is there a critical lack of save points, and not only is there no convenient or fast way to go between floors, but the very DESIGN of the dungeon makes it so that you have to run through the floor’s entirety to go back.
That’s right. Instead of being intelligent and making the dungeon in such a way that fully exploring every floor takes longer than if you had already explored everything and were just passing through, a lot of the floors are painfully linear to the point of just consisting of one path. That’s what I mean when I say every time you go through you have to run through the entire floor.
And FUCK are those distances long. Just to give you an idea, I timed how long it took to run through just ONE floor while avoiding every single fight and it was still 5 fucking minutes of nonstop running. Now that might not seem like much, but when you take into account the fact that it’s just ONE floor, and you’re avoiding every fight (which is fucking dangerous to do and even got me killed once) and have to run through it god knows how many fucking times to be able to save your game or else risk losing all of your progress to one of the bosses that appear with zero warning, then it starts to become really fucking gay.
Oh yeah, guess that’s another thing I forgot to mention. Not only are there no save points before the bosses, but there’s also NO warning before them. You’re just strolling by and suddenly BAM, gang rape. Goodbye hours of progress.
Fuck man. It’s like the developers were in a meeting and were like “Guys, our game isn’t long enough. How do we pad out the playtime with zero effort?” Then one of the idiots there is like “Oooh, ooh, palette swaps! Metroid did it!” “Oh yeah, Billy! I’m lookin’ at a promotion for you!” Then some king douchebag raises his hand and he’s all like “don’t put more than 1 save point or a convenient way to go back to it! That way players will have to run through the longass thing multiple times to save or risk getting raped by the bosses that appear with no warning!” “Holy shit, Jimmy! You should be our CEO!”
Ok look. I know it’s supposed to be hard, but guess what. Asshole design is never justified. I remember when I was a little kid and I dreamed of making games (yeah, what a dumbass, I know) I thought about making endgame dungeons like these with retardedly difficult things and no save points with the justification of “it’s optional! The player doesn’t need to do it!” Now I know better. The player doesn’t need to buy your retarded game either. I grew up and saw the error of my (mental) designs. But it seems these assholes never grew up.
So in the end, the Seraphic Gate, instead of bringing the game up to a B, cemented it as being nothing special.
Final Verdict: C+
Final Playtime: 37 hours