Infinite Space, you’ve stolen my heart

Back in May, Platinum Games announced three new games, and my eye immediately went to one of them. No, not Bayonetta, or even Mad World, as good as they both look. It was the then-titled Infinite Line that immediately grabbed me.

And it’s not just because I like Japanese science fiction, which is a relatively recent phenomenon. Infinite Space was promising a game that I’ve wanted since I was a kid: the chance to take command of my own fully-customized starship, complete with handpicked crew. It was something that Starfleet Academy, Independence War, Bridge Commander, and Battlecruiser 3000AD all tried and failed to provide in my eyes. I-War and Battlecruiser because they were excruciatingly dull, and the Trek games because I didn’t really get my own ship. I was just borrowing the Enterprise.

To be honest, I didn’t think anybody would ever design the kind of game that I was looking for — a fun, easily accessible but extremely customizable starship sim. So when I saw Infinite Space, I was excited, but also a little skeptical. I mean, could they really pull a game like this off on the Nintendo DS?

Right now, signs are pointing to yes.

In retrospect, maybe the DS is the only system, with the possible exception of the Wii, on which a game like this could be made. Putting it on the PC automatically lends itself toward being a simulator that caters exclusively to a diamond hard core, while making it for something like the Xbox 360 would potentially skew it toward being more action-oriented. On the DS, the stylus almost automatically encourages a more simulation-type atmosphere while the user base demands accessibility. It’s practically the perfect marriage.

But there’s more to it than that. The people who are making this game ,i>get it. They understand how important atmosphere is in a game like this. They understand that there’s no point in building your own starship if you don’t have your own crew yelling, “Get ready to fire the wave motion gun!” Yeah, it’s Star Blazers through-and-through, and perhaps only fans of that genre can appreciate a game like this. But that’s okay, because it’s obvious that the designers are fans, too, and that means they’re designing from the heart. The love that’s going into this game is apparent in everything from the multiple dramatic camera angles that are taken when you’re firing to the fact that they went ahead and actually made an anime short titled Starting Line for distribution at TGS.

Basically, Platinum Games sat down in a meeting and said, “Okay, guys, we have Bayonetta and Mad World. Now how do we appeal to the all-important Kathryn market?” The result is the game that you see before you.

There’s no denying that Infinite Space is made for a tiny, niche market. Even if it makes it to America, it probably won’t break 50,000 copies sold. But I don’t care, because even after playing a five-minute demo, it’s apparent that this is the game for me. If I could buy a million copies just to get them to make a sequel, I would.

Infinite Space, you’ve stolen my heart.

14 thoughts on “Infinite Space, you’ve stolen my heart

  1. we are on the exact same page here. now, if only infinite space allowed you to select an away team made up of diverse crew members, so you can send them on attack/exploration/investigation missions.

  2. shit, I remember reading something about this game, being blown away, and then promptly forgetting about it. Digging through dsfanboy, there’s a link to an English site, but it hasn’t been updated since it was put up back in.. February I think: I guess there’s hope?

    Also, nuts to away teams. I’m fine with my own Tiger’s Claw, or Galactica, or …whatever the name of the FreeSpace ships were, I can’t remember, but one of those. Did the Homeworld ship have a name?

  3. I’m positive it’s coming to the U.S. I had an interview with the developer and producer at TGS, set up by Sega. U.S. publishers don’t give us interviews with the teams of games that aren’t coming over.

  4. I hear Freespace was pretty accessible stuff. And Wing Commander: Privateer was awesome. If you didn’t try it get it from Home of the…. oh, forget it.
    Also plain vanila Wing Commander 1 is the most easy to get into space combat action george lucas sim ever.

  5. Also, people, if you want to keep it legal and healthy and are a bit of a masochist ASCII art lover (now that’s hardcore for you, not that 2D artsy beatnik trend) got get a remake of Privateer done entirely using ASCII characters:

    Do you think Allen Ginsberg would have liked it? No, he probably was more into REZ and shit like that.

  6. You might want to have a look at Star Control 2. If you want accesible, epic and engaging sci-fi, that is the gold standard.

  7. ‘I think you’re mixing up your Independence Wars here.

    The first I-War plays nothing like the second. It’s more linear and misssion based, and unlike I-War 2 (which was fun in it’s own right), the first game was not a space trading/pirating game like Wing Commander: Privateer was.

    Now Privateer 2…THAT was a disaster.

  8. Sweet… Didn’t hear about this game yet… but I am interested! Now all we need is for Platinum games to make a spiritual successor to God Hand… ;)

  9. Whoa whoa whoa… Privateer 2 was NOT a disaster. Hell, it had Clive Owen in it!

    But I digress, I’m right there with you Kat. From the moment Platinum Games announced their projects, I was immediately drawn to Infinite Space above anything else. Did anyone watch the short anime they recently release? It’s frakkin’ awesome and I hope it gets fan-subbed soon:

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