Infinite Space Fly-By

On top of The World Ends With You, the other unique Nintendo DS RPG I decided to sample was Infinite Space from Platinum Games. It’s a game I just never got around to checking out until a new release dry season like this one. Like with TWEWY, I’m wondering why there aren’t more games like it.

If you look at Platinum’s library, Infinite Space seems like an outlier – a completely menu-based space exploration RPG from a developer that otherwise has made nothing but action games. Maybe that’s what allowed Infinite Space to distinguish itself, but whatever it is, it seems to be for the better.

When you think about it space exploration isn’t a bad fit for RPGs at all. One of the most popular RPGs on the market right now – Mass Effect is set in space. There are probably a ton of other western space RPGs on the PC that I don’t know about, but the theme seems to be especially rare on the Japanese side. There are a few, but probably not enough.

One of the reasons it took me so long to get around to this game is because I was actually a bit intimidated by its premise – building, managing, and staffing a fleet of ships through turn-based battles. I’ve never even touched one of those PC space simulators and that’s what Infinite Space looked like at a glance. But, it was the last title from Platinum that I hadn’t played, and that’s one developer that hasn’t let me down yet (I loved MadWorld).

Right out of the gate the tutorial did a lot to alleviate my fears that I wouldn’t be able to wrap my head around the game. For the most part it feels like a standard turn-based RPG but with ships instead of characters and some maneuvering and timing tactics thrown in. I only got to play the very early stages of the game – before all the real fleet building, but I think I’ve played enough to draw me into the experience.

Setting courses for new planets and uncovering more of the star map feels genuinely cool. The whole interface in my opinion feels vaguely like StarFox. The way the game basically treats each planetary space station like a town in a normal RPG helps bring you into the new setting while also feeling familiar for RPG fans. Even doing simple side quests like cargo drops adds a bit to the experience by almost always giving you something to do.

The only thing I think could’ve been better in Infinite Space is its visual presentation. Either they should’ve gone with more 2D sprites or they should’ve chosen a platform other than the DS for the game. The system’s 3D capabilities just don’t do any of the ships or planets justice, many of which remind me of StarFox on the SNES (unfortunately this time). Perhaps a 3DS or Vita sequel would look more satisfying.

Anyway, what matters is that I’m actually interested in continuing the game and probably tracking down a copy. Though, it seems to have gone vintage outside of used copies at GameStop.

BULLETS:

  • Tobe’s Vertical Adventure is one of the hidden gems of this Steam Sale. http://store.steampowered.com/app/105700/ 
  • One thing I’m hoping for in this Steam sale is another price drop in Dark Messiah Might and Magic after I missed the flash sale.
  • This more than anything else is what drives home the message Toonami is back: http://youtu.be/92bVTGeY_3Q 
  • I think I’m gonna watch Hard Knocks with the Miami Dolphins come August.
  • Blatant Torchlight rip-offs like this show up on iOS because no one has made a decent Diablo clone for the platform yet: http://kotaku.com/5926035/ 
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One thought on “Infinite Space Fly-By

  1. I may watch Hard Knocks so I can prepare for the trainwreck that is the 2012 Dolphins season.

    At least the Heat are the champions of the NBA.

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