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Review

Review: Infinite Adventures

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We’ve cove­r­ed a sur­pri­sing amount of dun­ge­on craw­lers over the past year, many of which have been excel­lent addi­ti­ons to what is a rather niche gen­re. Infi­ni­te Adven­tures is the latest DRPG to be released, being in the making for many years now. The final pro­duct after this long deve­lop­ment time is a some­what incon­sis­tent game that, while still enjoy­a­ble, is hard to ful­ly recom­mend.

Com­pa­red to the last few DRPGs we’ve cove­r­ed, Infi­ni­te Adven­tures is a much more tra­di­tio­nal dun­ge­on craw­ler. No mons­ter collec­ting or lar­ge par­ty sizes here, though the game does try to add its own spin on the gen­re here and the­re. The main goal for you and your par­ty of adven­tu­rers is to explo­re the ‘Infi­ni­te Laby­rinth’, a place that is see­min­gly con­nec­ted to a dif­fe­rent world. You can eit­her choo­se to crea­te adven­tu­rers or pick from a few pre-made cha­rac­ters, though you will always have to design the main cha­rac­ter.

Cha­rac­ter crea­ti­on isn’t over­ly com­pli­ca­ted, but it does do a poor job of tel­ling the play­er what each class actual­ly does. Some clas­ses like Men­di­cant a self expla­nato­ry, acting as the basic hea­ler that you’ll find in most RPGs, but wit­hout loo­king for infor­ma­ti­on out­si­de the game it’s not obvious what a Geo Tem­plar is sup­po­sed to do. A lot of the cha­rac­ter crea­tor choices focus on try­ing to set up Infi­ni­te Adven­tures’ world at the expen­se of actual­ly use­ful game­play infor­ma­ti­on, though this is part of a lar­ger pro­blem that we’ll go into fur­ther detail later in the review.

Once your initi­al par­ty set­up is over, it’s time to explo­re the Infi­ni­te Laby­rinth. Con­tra­ry to its name, the­re are actual­ly a fini­te amount of floors (or sta­ti­ons as they’re known in-game) and any ran­dom­ly gene­ra­ted are­as are optio­nal unlocks. The basic flow of the game is gearing up your par­ty in town befo­re making your way through the laby­rinth until you reach a new floor or sto­ry event. Events in Infi­ni­te Adven­tures have a ten­den­cy to eit­her take you back to town or requi­re you to lea­ve befo­re you can pro­gress fur­ther in the laby­rinth. This beco­mes annoy­ing on later floors, sin­ce you likely end up being sent back to town many times, lea­ding to a lot of back­tracking. The­re is the opti­on to adjust the rate of ene­my encoun­ters – even tur­ning them off ent­i­re­ly on lower dif­fi­cul­ties – but it still beco­mes annoy­ing having to go through an area again for no real rea­son.

The laby­rinth its­elf is most­ly a gene­ric set of hall­ways and rooms, having litt­le in the way of inte­res­ting gim­micks or designs. The most the game comes to spi­cing things up is the occa­sio­nal simp­le block pushing puz­zle or hid­den pas­sa­ge­way. Loot is qui­te spar­se, usual­ly being guar­ded by yokai, power­ful enemies that are visi­ble on the map. One set of floors star­ted to beco­me incredi­b­ly boring after run­ning into an unne­cessa­ry amount of dead ends, and most of the laby­rinth could have done with more inte­res­ting floor lay­outs. A few more puz­zle types would have been a good idea too, as the block puz­zles never beco­me par­ti­cu­lar­ly dif­fi­cult.

Batt­les are Infi­ni­te Adven­tures’ strong point, making up for the lack­lust­re dun­ge­ons. Bet­ween some inte­res­ting clas­ses and the empower mecha­nic, batt­les are usual­ly quick and gene­ral­ly pret­ty fun. Each class uses one of four resour­ce types, from gene­ric mana to rage which fills when dealing and recei­ving dama­ge. This helps to make clas­ses feel uni­que com­pa­red to other DRPGs and allows for some more crea­ti­ve par­ty set­ups. The empower meter adds an extra lay­er of stra­te­gy, giving you the opti­on to eit­her buff skills or use power­ful spe­cials moves cal­led ‘Kes­sens’ though the for­mer is gene­ral­ly more use­ful. Having some sort of extra resour­ce to mana­ge during batt­les is some­thing that many DRPGs seem to do nowa­days, and it defi­ni­te­ly helps add an extra lay­er of stra­te­gy to each encoun­ter.

While batt­les may be the stron­gest part of the game, the­re are still a few issu­es when it comes to the way cer­tain clas­ses are desi­gned. Many skill trees end up being near useless com­pa­red to others no mat­ter what par­ty com­po­si­ti­on you are using, and some clas­ses end up being easi­ly out­clas­sed by others. This isn’t too big of a deal on the easier dif­fi­cul­ty levels, but some more time could have been spent on class balan­cing. The afo­re­men­tio­ned Kes­sens also feel rather weak later on in the game when you have access to bet­ter skills that bene­fit from being empowe­red.

This brings us to the one area in Infi­ni­te Adven­tures that real­ly has litt­le going for it: The sto­ry. For most dun­ge­on craw­ler fans a leng­thy sto­ry is less of a prio­ri­ty com­pa­red to inte­res­ting dun­ge­ons and com­bat, but games like Laby­rinth of Refrain show that you can have all of that wit­hout sacri­fi­cing anything. It beco­mes appa­rent ear­ly on in Infi­ni­te Adven­tures that a lot of time has been spent desi­gning the game’s world and lore, each choice in the cha­rac­ter crea­tor con­tai­ning descrip­ti­ons of pla­ces and important peop­le. But, as with most of the way infor­ma­ti­on is given to you during the game, its hard to care about any of the world with how quick­ly ever­ything is intro­du­ced.

Cha­rac­te­ri­sa­ti­on suf­fers a lot from this need to give too much detail on unim­portant things. Cha­rac­ters will often talk about the various lands they come from and peop­le you’ll never meet and likely for­got about quick­ly. Their actual­ly per­so­na­li­ties and moti­va­tions end up being rather sim­plistic, and by the end of the sto­ry the­re were only a coup­le of cha­rac­ters that were actual­ly inte­res­ting. Ins­tead of try­ing to crea­te a lar­ge world with a detail­ed back­sto­ry, they should have toned it down and ins­tead focu­sed on crea­ting cha­rac­ters that the play­er will actual­ly care about.

The pro­blems with the sto­ry are made wor­se by Infi­ni­te Adven­tures’ vary­ing visu­als and poor voice acting. The 2D back­grounds are by far the best loo­king part of the game, but the­se don’t mesh with the cha­rac­ter and ene­my art. Again, wild­ly vary­ing art styles are not­hing new when it comes to DRPGs, but here it just makes the medio­cre art look even wor­se. The 3D envi­ron­ments don’t fare much bet­ter, many of which look bland and lifeless. It’s the voice acting that deli­vers the final blow to an alrea­dy poor sto­ry though. The amount of voice acting is at least worth men­tio­ning, as every sin­gle line of dia­lo­gue is voi­ced, but that ends up being to the game’s detri­ment. For the pur­po­ses of this review we decli­ned from tur­ning off voices – a wel­co­me fea­ture – but many sce­nes would have had a litt­le more impact wit­hout the ama­teu­rish voice acting.

We men­tio­ned at the start of this review that Infi­ni­te Adven­tures had been in deve­lop­ment for a long time. Well, while the deve­lo­pers have been working hard on patches, the sta­te of the game upon release gave us the impres­si­on that it should have been delay­ed for at least ano­t­her month. From cras­hes to ques­tion­ab­le balan­ce choices, the­re were a lot of things that made ever­ything feel a litt­le unfi­nis­hed. It’s also pret­ty obvious that the game was made with con­so­les in mind, only sup­por­ting mou­se clicks and not move­ment on PC. Many of the issu­es have been fixed at the time of wri­ting this review, but the­re is still a fair amount of work that needs to be done.

Conclusion

Whe­ther Infi­ni­te Adven­tures is worth purcha­sing will most­ly depend on what you’re loo­king for. Tho­se loo­king for a solid sto­ry should go else­whe­re, and the game’s pre­sen­ta­ti­on cer­tain­ly does it no favours. But for tho­se that just want to crea­te a par­ty and del­ve some dun­ge­ons, the­re are defi­ni­te­ly wor­se games you could choo­se.

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