Infinite Space Review (DS)

I’m a huge fan of space type games, they are probably first choice of games I prefer to play, followed by racing games and first person shooters. The game I recently tried was Infinite Space for the DS, (Yeah, I have one of ‘those’, tend to play it when I can’t get near a computer.) which was a very hyped up game for 2+ years now, and was just finally released about a week ago. I was pretty excited overall because it’s supposed to be a very ‘customizable’ game, so I did decide to give it a try. I’m about 6 hours in the game now, and I can’t decide if I hate or love the game. There are some awesome points to this game, and some pretty bad points as well.

First off, the ship purchases (over 100 ships!) and the equipping system is great. Each ship is totally customizable depending on what modules (modules are like equipping ‘items’ in other games) you add to the ship.

You can equip various things to improve your ship. The bigger the ship, the more module slots you have to use. You find modules by purchasing them or by acquiring them after missions as a reward. You can virtually improve anything on the ship; weapon damage improvements, weapon range improvements, adding a medical bay or security area, etc. Virtually everything you equip grants a bonus or skill and you can mix and match modules depending on what you are aiming to do in game. Equipping modules and equipping weapons is different however. Equipping weapons on a ship is a simple list selection depending on the weapon slot size (depends on ship).. However, there are TONS of weapons to pick from!

Another neat thing about this game is you can control a fleet; up to 5 ships. This also means you can battle up to ’5′ ships on the enemy side. This brings me to the battle system. The battle system is rather basic, and defiantly not what I expected. You have a energy bar at the side that slowly rises during the battle, which can be used for commands. There are three basic commands I’ve found so far, BARRAGE, NORMAL, and DODGE. It is more like a rock paper scissors game, which also depends on range for what weapons fire during these commands usage (For instance, small weapons have a short distance range, and large weapons have a large distance range.). BARRAGE is the most powerful and uses the most energy, but if the other enemy has dodge, most of the gunfire misses. NORMAL is a standard attack, and if there dodging, your accuracy increases, and DODGE is simply for avoiding the big guns (BARRAGE).

For the most case, when you are in a battle, you can only see you’re own ships or the enemy ships, but not both. When you fire, you get a little cut-scene of your ships firing (All your ships will fire what weapons they can depending on range, you don’t control them individually.) and then another cut-scene of them hitting the specific ship you selected. You can move forwards and backwards to get out or in range of yours or the enemies weapon range, but not side to side, which is pretty basic. There are some extra commands, such as MELEE, which means if close enough, you can board the ship and begin to boarding raid and start a melee attack. In this mode, it is your crew number vs their crew numbers. The system here again is like rock paper scissors (3 commands), where one command is better then another. There are some other factors such as your boarding raid damage strength, which increases your ‘attack strength’ during a successful command…

Back in space combat, you can also get ’3′ special commands, which are earned by leveling up your crew members. Currently, I have two special commands, one that seems to be a bit more powerful then the generic command ‘BARRAGE’, and launches all weapons much like an ALPHA attack, and another which seems to be some sort of armor buff. This brings me to crew members and leveling. Both earned by leveling crew members.

The neat thing about this system is you can place your crew members anywhere on the ship. There are SEVERAL areas to assign your crew members to and several crew members to pick from as time progresses in the game. Most have special skills which grant you ‘special commands’ in combat, as described above. As you defeat enemy ships, you earn experience, which levels up your crew members to be more beneficial to you.

Navigation is ‘ok’ in this game. You travel from planet to planet, as well as jumping from sector to sector using ‘void gates’. During travel, you get cut-scenes until you hit the planet, and during that time, you can experience random encounters, much like in Final Fantasy when you would move two centimeters to the left. There is however, not much else to it. Sometimes you can find special bonuses or random quests might activate when going to special areas of the map, however.

Now moving on to the ground, when traveling from planet to planet, you can visit special locations such as the ‘Tavern’ that trigger events/information/chat dialogs. For the most case alot of the chat dialog is ‘set’ and you cannot change what happens. However, there are some ‘special’ multi-choice selections where you can decide what you want to do, for example, to kill the ‘pirate’ or not after you capture him, which can change your storyline a bit in the future. Sometimes, if you are attacking a pirate base, you have to travel through it like a maze style game, picking to go left/right/up/down/forward/back/etc until you find your way to the end. (MULTIPLE CHOICE MOVEMENT, much like a mud based game.) You also get random encounters here, which are exactly the same as MELEE encounters (ground encounters basically) as described above.

The storyline is very good. I have enjoyed the storyline so far and will probably continue to play to finish the game completely. There is not much to say about it except it’s a really deep and very detailed storyline! However, the difficulty curve of this game is rather insane. At chapter 2, you go from fighting 3 ships at the end level (BOSS LEVEL), to fighting two waves of 5 SHIPS without repairing, including 1 large heavy cruiser which is overpowered at chapter 3.. Which is rather an insane jump, and alot of people have issues with this. This leads to having to GRIND to get money to buy better ships, otherwise you never are able to advance. From looking at the help posts here and there, ALOT of people have issues with the learning curve, which is understandable!

Overall, the game is great for storyline and awesome for customization, but the battle system is not spectacular, which does reminds me of a advanced rock/paper/scissors game. I do recommend this game if you enjoy very good storylines and can stand a basic combat system but with a very nice selection of ships, weapons and modules. Otherwise, I would pass on this game if you are expecting something mind blowing and as hyped as they made it be. It’s a good game, but not great.

Rating: ★★★¼☆ 



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About the Author

I mainly focus on Javascript/PHP/C++/.NET applications for everyday and work. I also am working on a remake of Stellar Frontier, an old 2D top down space battle game with a few fellow programmers.