Infinite Universe Review

Infinite Universe Review

Jul 30, 2013

There’s a sound reason behind the unpopularity of choose-your-own-adventure books. They require a lot of work on behalf of both the creator and the consumer, a lot of talent that could otherwise produce many common books, and in the end, they’re simply not that more exciting than the common ones. Of course, it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to exist, or that they can’t be interesting in their own way.

Infinite Universe is a choose-your-own-adventure book that’s ever-so-slightly closer to a game than its paper counterparts, and a bit more challenging. The story is a complex sci-fi clutter that, after an hour of playing, still isn’t clear to me. It’s mostly a casual alien-filled action with impossible technologies and cross-planetary adventures, but there are bits of a more complex story, showing up here and there. Describing it would be useless anyway, as the events may differ, depending on the player’s choices. The writing stile is mostly alright, although it’s not that impressive. A particular problem I’ve had with it is the word “whilst” that sticks out on the pages like a Christmas tree in a mosque. Anyway, it didn’t blow me off my feet, but the book is sufficiently interesting and unusual, and definitely counts as a quality literature. The pages of text are often divided by pictures, and enriched with sounds that aren’t anything stunning, but serve well to immerse the player into the world.

Infinite Universe 2As for the gameplay part – it’s mostly absent. Apart from choosing what paths to take, there’s almost nothing to do to keep control of the situation. Combat is calculated from several parameters, with two of them being randomly chosen at the beginning: vitality and fitness. The rest is gained while playing the game. Although the gameplay is not hugely different to the paper RPG books, it’s still interesting to play. There are lots of different choices to make, and there are plenty of paths to choose. There are even three different difficulty levels, depending on whether you like hardcore action, or more interested in enjoying the book. All in all, Infinite Universe offers more than most of the non-digital book RPGs, but whether it’s enough to be interesting in the long run, is unclear to me.

In the end, I can’t say for sure, whether Infinite Universe is good, or simply alright – the book needs to be read from the beginning to the end to say that. I do know that it’s not bad, but it didn’t change my perception of choose-you-own-adventure books much. So, I would definitely recommend it to people, who are already familiar with, and enjoying the books like this one. As for the rest – it’s a very unusual and fresh experience, but bear in mind that it’s a lot closer to a book than to a game.

NOVA 2 HD Review

NOVA 2 HD Review

Jul 19, 2011

Space, it seems, is full of creatures that want to kill us. At least, that’s what video games tell us. As soon as the human race sets foot outside the solar system, we’ll probably be evaporated by laser fire or blown up by advanced particle bombs. That’s what NOVA 2, Gameloft’s latest FPS, thinks anyway. If the Modern Combat series of games is Gameloft’s homage to Call of Duty, then NOVA is its exclamation of love for the Halo games. You’re in space, you have an AI telling you to do things, and you have a suit of space armor.

You control your space marine with an on-screen d-pad and shoot, swap weapons, reload, jump and do a swathe of other things with various buttons that litter the screen edges. The game is great to look at, much like the rest of Gameloft’s catalog; they really can’t be faulted for the way they push triple-A values onto mobile devices. And NOVA 2, in its own way, is quite a lot of fun, full of interesting set pieces, explosions and alien invaders. Unfortunately, the problems that blighted NOVA 2’s stable mate, Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, are still present here.

The shoot button sits in an uncomfortable place on screen, just where your right thumb wants to sit to control where you’re looking. This leads to plenty of accidental gun blasts, and quite a lot of annoyance. When you add to this the increased speed of the game, it becomes really rather frustrating.

NOVA 2 is fun, and it’s certainly impressive, but its problems prohibit it from reaching the dizzy heights of some of the other huge titles on the Android Market. It’s a shame, because with a tighter shooting mechanism and a few tweaks to the UI, NOVA 2 could have been brilliant. As it is, it’s very much the aliens who’ve got the upper hand in this one.