Square seems to be a little hesitant to develop exclusively for Microsoft’s great white box. Given the 360’s dismal sales overseas in Japan, it’s easy to see where Square’s reservations lie; the userbase is struggling, while the PS3 and Wii get hotter and hotter. Lo-and-behold, the RPG factory at Square has a treat for Xbox 360 fans: Infinite Undiscovery. Yes, “undiscovery” is not a word, and the title gives little—if any—description of the game. Square Enix isn’t taking the Xbox 360 lightly; Infinite Undiscovery looks to be a fascinating RPG experience that actually takes some risks that make dungeon crawling exciting again.
Developed by tri-Ace studios, the hard-workers behind RPG greats Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile, Infinite Undiscovery boasts an impressive set of features. Like many Japanese RPGs, tri-Ace’s latest deals with the destruction of the natural world at the hands of humanity; in this case, a heartless monarch. You will control a single combatant in the field, but you’ll also have a crew of adventurers to watch your back. Battles take place in real-time and, in an interesting twist, can happen at any time. For example, a rampaging demon can interrupt your usually-mundane task of checking your inventory or conversing with your party. Furthermore, monsters can interrupt ongoing battles, attacking friend and foe alike in Battle Royale-like fashion. Combat is open ended, allowing players to chain combos and launch enemies into the air. Infinite Undiscovery also contains a persistent day/night cycle which adds an interesting bit of strategy: visibility, for both the player and monsters, is reduced at night, though some creatures will be able to track you by scent and sound. Intrigued? tri-Ace is definitely taking a gamble, mixing the traditional JRPG narrative with a decidedly more western approach to combat.
The Official Xbox Magazine pegs Infinite Undiscovery for a Summer release. Hopefully, the title will still succeed amongst the anticipated releases of Ninja Gaiden 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, and other heavy-hitters. tri-Ace has a great pedigree of fascinating RPG titles, and Infinite Undiscovery looks to continue the great lineage of Square RPGs.
[See also: Infinite Undiscovery gallery]