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Infinite Space (Nintendo DS)

77
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  CrankyStorming (2724)
Written on  :  Aug 12, 2011
Rating  :  1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars

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Summary

If only these people were at Childhood's End

The Good

Where Infinite Space shines is in it's ship building. It presents you with plenty of options with no clear silver bullet. Now, it could be as simple as buying all the most expensive components, but they managed to deal with that in a way that won't make one want to dip the card in a vat of acid in rage. You see, you can only fit so many components on each ship, so there's actual balance involved rather than just a game of numbers.

Another thing that's nice is the ability to escape enemy attacks if you're not ready.

The Bad

The plot of Infinite Space is supposed to take influence from Arthur C Clarke, who is famous for putting the notion that humans are intelligent to the point of being God-like throughout his work. Now, I've never read Childhood's End but can someone please tell me if it at any point involves a man dressing as a woman as part of a bet? Or any undercurrent of incestual relationships? Either I just don't know my classic science fiction or writer/director Hifumi Kono needs to seriously talk his issues over with someone*. What's also annoying is that everyone seems to get their technobabble and slang mixed up, making it impossible to tell whether or not they're being serious.

And these shameful plot turns aren't presented well, either. No one displays emotion outside of dialogue, they just appear as a single, never-changing character sprite whenever they have something to say, and there's only ever one person on screen, making it hard to keep track of conversations at times. And sometimes you're just left talking to what looks like an empty room.

Going back to the ships, once you've built them, you wonder why you needed to go to as much effort as you did. The combat tries to be worthwhile, mixing elements of strategic space warfare and traditional console-RPG mechanics, but here it's just so easily solvable. Just stay out of range until you have enough energy for your strongest attack. Trust me, it works for even the heaviest of fleets. You aren't thinking about your attack plan more, you're just cheating legitimately.

The Bottom Line

In summary, Infinite Space has the potential to be an interesting game, but it was handled by the complete wrong people. I hope someday to see a space opera about an orphan flung out into a vast and dangerous world with no safety harness, but that will have to be another day.

*Meant as a judgement of his work, not a personal attack.