Infinite Space

A quick review of Infinite Space for the DS.

As far as DS games go, it’s a pretty game. And you can customize your ships’ abilities quite a bit with the right modules and stuff.

The problem is that the Computer is a Cheating Bastard. First, the battle interface is intentionally annoying in that the game tells you that you should always aim for the front ship first, since the ships in the back are harder to hit, but you’ll always automatically aim for the back ship at the start of battle or after you’ve taken out the front ship. The problem here is that the 1 or 2 seconds it takes you to change target to the current front ship will give the computer a chance to counterattack.

Which brings me to why the computer is a cheating bastard. To attack, you have to wait for your action meter or gauge or whatever charge up. Upon being sufficiently charged, you’ll want to move into firing range… to be automatically attacked by the computer before you even have a chance to tap the attack button. You’re pretty much going to lose “initiative” on a regular basis. In theory, you can get weapons with longer range, but in practice, you can’t afford those long range weapons in the early going and they don’t have ’em on sale anyway.

Two, the game has 2 modes of attack and 1 mode of defense. A normal attack, a barrage attack and a dodge defense. Normal trumps dodging, dodging will escape barrages, while barrages will potentially do 3 times as much damage as a normal.

The problem is that Normal is the only conceivable attack available to the player. If you Barrage, the computer will almost always be in dodge mode. While if you’re attacking normally, they’ll be in regular mode in order to minimize damage. And if you dodge, they’ll hit you with Normal for x2 damage. It’s not a matter of being prepared and knowing which enemy has which element or whatever. The computer WILL cheat. Barrage is nigh useless unless you’re in a desperate boss fight and the computer decides to throw you a bone. All you can realistically do, particularly in the early game, is to just use your Normal attack.

Addendum: Oh, and in the first boss fight, the boss was able to spam its Special Attack. And it could charge up its Special faster than I can charge my Normal.

Thank goodness the AI is actually pretty dumb for the most part, so you still have a chance. They’re pretty good about minimizing damage, but fortunately, they don’t maximize the damage they can do to you. So you still have a chance if your luck and durability holds out.

The story is also pretty unintuitive. After the first story, you’re suppose to fight some random encounters. After several encounters, you’ll be confronted with a boss fight while you’re still recovering from the previous fight you were in. This is a hopeless boss fight, I have no idea what you have to do to end it, but I managed to hang on long enough for a cut scene to occur and save me. The cut scene says I should visit a certain place to meet a certain person. So I went to the place, and the person’s not available. And that’s it. There’s no clue as to what you should do next. Fight more pirates till your fame goes up? Wait an hour in real time? Visit every port one by one, hoping you’ll hit an appropriate cut scene?

I had to put the game down at that point, I had something to do. But before I had a chance to pick it up again, I realized it sucked. Infinite Space gets a thumbs down for being a thoroughly un-fun game. Maybe once you progress through the game enough, or if you use a cheat so the early part isn’t quite so frustrating, it’ll end up as a good game. But the early going is simply retarded. But worst of all, it’s not fun.

Skip this game.

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