In March 2010 Sega released a game that got us really excited here at Nuketown: It was Infinite Space, a Space Opera JRPG for the DS that promised customizable fleet to fleet combat. Unfortunately, as our Editor lamented about on Radio Active #84, combat isn’t very easy to understand. It looks like a very basic rock-paper-scissors, but is in fact a little more complex than that. One thing’s for sure, after a few defeats it’s easy to dismiss the whole game.
A Star Trek marathon and a long car ride gave me the inspiration to give the game one last shot. Unlike the previous three attempts, I took the time to do a bunch of research. I found what I was looking for in the The Talking Time forums of Gamespite.net. With their assistance I finally understood the combat system. I’ve been able to dig deeper into the game and really enjoy it the way I thought I would. So I wanted to return the favor by writing down a few tips for would be space captains. First up, a simple guide to combat:
- When combat starts immediately hit dodge, which will cancel out any barrage attacks.
- Next target the lead ship in the enemy fleet (their position is signified by the three arrows under its silhouette in the upper left corner).
- Now, position your fleet so your weapons are in range using the back/forward commands (above each of your ship’s status blocks are little square icons, these are your weapons, blue means it’s in range, red means it’s out of range).
- Let your command bar build up until it’s red, then immediately after the enemy make an attack (normal or barrage so they clear their dodge command) unleash your own barrage.
- Hit dodge again as soon as you can (your fleet will stay in dodge mode until you give it another command, so you’ll have to reactivate it after an attack).
- Return to step 2.
Start out with this process and you should begin to understand how combat works. Then you can focus your efforts the other parts of the game like outfitting your fleet, finding/assigning new crew, and enjoying the story as it unfolds. My fleet is now powerful enough that standard encounters have me hitting normal attacks until I am victorious, receiving few hits in return. (If you are still having trouble you can retreat out of range while your command bar fills up. I’ve had to use this tactic for some of the bigger boss battles.)
Here are some additional tips to help you progress through the game:
- Turn on Auto-save! It’s essential, as it will save every time you leave a space station. It can be found under System > Config at any space station.
- Set up your fleet with the daisy in the front of the formation, your flagship in the back row. This can be under CTA > Edit Fleet at any space station. Sure, the daisy sucks, but until you can afford another ship it can act as a 1-2 hit buffer.
- If you make Kira your first officer you gain access to her ability to heal the fleet as the “special 2” command. You’ll need a full command bar to activate it. It’s best to retreat out of weapons range to use this. Other characters have other abilities which you can read up on in the in-game help menu.
- Speaking of, there is an in-game help menu! Just go to a space station and look under CTA > Help. The help robot has all sorts of interesting things to read up on… once you get the hang of things.
- If you find yourself in a series of battles and you can’t beat the second or third you can retreat. In between battles while you’re flying forward you can hit the return button in the lower right hand corner. This will return you to the planet you had previously visited.
- Keep a notebook handy – lots of characters will mention something you should remember, be it a job or potential crew member. The planet names are rather forgettable though, so without an in-game quest log your best bet is to jot down notes.