By William Haderlie / July 26th, 2016
|Release Date||May 26, 2016|
|Genre||Role Playing Game|
|Age Rating||ESRB T for Teen|
Kemco is a developer and publisher that has specialized in mobile phone games for the past few years. I’ve seen their games on the iOS App Store in the past, but have never been willing to jump on one. Now that their game Infinite Dunamis has been released on the Nintendo 3DS, it was the perfect opportunity to try one. It has really only been touch controls and virtual joysticks that have held me back before. So how was this game, now that it includes real tactile buttons?
I’ll go through the characters first, starting with the protagonist of the game, Luke. His basic information you can view above. That is where he comes from, but how is he in the game? He is quite a strong combatant for a self-professed Engineer, but his personality leaves a lot to be desired. He definitely went to the same hero academy that Cloud, Squall, and Lightning all attended. Apparently there is a school of thought where your RPG hero should be an asshole. Not really my idea of a good character, but to each their own.
Estelle is much more likable, however. She is a bit of a stereotype, especially with the fact that she is actually a Princess, but at least she’s kind and pleasant to be around. Those are her genuine ears, because she is the combination of a human and a robot. This is both very rare for their world, and very taboo. So how the Princess got to be this way is one of the central mysteries of this story.
Chelsea is actually the 3rd party member you meet, but the last one to join you as a full time member. She is quite the little genius, other than the fact that she has made herself look 12 years old but cannot stand it when people treat her like she’s 12. But there is some humor to be mined with a character that looks so young but is far more intelligent and calculating than anyone else around.
The last party member is sadly not very well fleshed out, and he exists mostly as someone for Chelsea to abuse and Luke to vent his spleen at. The giant secret of his origins is not even really that big of a deal, even though I won’t spoil it. I mostly felt that he was just a bit of a masochist for sticking with the other two instead of just setting off with just Estelle.
This world actually reminded me a lot of Final Fantasy VI. I mean, don’t get your hopes up; this is not even close to as good as one of the greatest RPGs ever made. But the mixture of robot technology and magic was very similar. Also some of the graphical look in the dungeons is reminiscent of that game. Instead of giant magical creatures being the enemy of humanity (Espers), it is the robots that are the major evil here. There are two great kingdoms that were at war and created robots to battle for them. The very obvious thing happened and the robots turned on their owners. Then the two kingdoms had to join forces to prevent extinction. This game is set during the flimsy peace wrought by that conflict.
Really the game story was more about the world story and conflict between the nations more than any particular character growth. Yes, Estelle does learn about her origins and Luke learns to stop being such an asshole all the time, but that’s not really what most of the story is. It’s mostly just a paint by numbers old school RPG story. It’s not terrible, but it’s nothing that you are likely to remember for long either. But definitely don’t plan on getting very emotional at any point in the story.
If there was only the story and characters, then this title would have gotten a pretty poor review. However, where this game truly shines is in its combat. Granted, it’s rather common for a 16-bit homage game to have a similar style. But when it’s pulled off so well, I am still going to enjoy it. You learn skills from weapons, similar to Final Fantasy IX, and after you have mastered the skill you can still use it with another weapon. Magic is a bit different in that you can only learn it and use it by equipping a certain type of ring. Apparently certain humans have the potential to use magic in this world, but they all still need a device to help them cast it. However, even mastering those spells, you need a like element ring equipped to use them (in most cases). One of the few ways that this system innovates is that if you keep on using a weapon you can go over the mastery level. This adds on to the potential damage that you can do with a weapon. So if you find a weapon you really like, you can keep it and still build on its damage. The only time I really used this ability much, though, was with Vince’s Shotgun. Since it hits every enemy, I ended up building it up to the 400% range and made him quite overpowered.
That being said, if you do not enjoy the classic RPG convention of grinding for hours, this is still possibly not a game for you. In many ways, this felt to me almost like an old Dragon Quest game. Not much story, and most of your time spent grinding levels and abilities between towns. Especially after crossing a bridge, you better get somewhere that you can grind to catch up to the current enemy levels. The music is pretty good (especially the song you hear in the trailer), I would say about a B tier 16 bit RPG level. But the sound effects are actually quite poor. They can get a bit annoying with all that grinding, and even though the music isn’t too bad, it can get on your nerves a bit as well. So I ended up muting the game and listening to a CD to make the grinding go by more pleasantly. But it still wasn’t as much grinding as you may fear; I completed the game at just over 20 hours of playtime. It just happens to treat gaining levels in a very old school fashion. There is also some bonus content to be found in New Game+ if you enjoyed the first experience, and that will add to the potential hours of enjoyment. This is by no means a great RPG, but for $9.99 you are getting some decent value here. As a first Kemco RPG experience, it wasn’t too bad, but it won’t be anything that I am likely to go back to again either.
Review Copy Provided By Publisher
EXE-CREATEInfinite DunamisJapanese Role Playing GameKemcoNintendoNintendo 3DS