Wednesday, 1 May 2013

INFINOS (PC)


INFINOS is definitely a rare gem. Played R-Type or virtually any classic 16-bit era shooter? Then you've played INFINOS, but that wouldn't really be doing this indie title any justice. Given the very sparse nature of its website, courtesy of developer Picorinne Soft, it would be very easy to overlook this one - but don't.

The second INFINOS is fired up, it conjures up fond mental images of my 11 year old self sitting cross-legged in front of a small tube TV in a modest bedroom, banging on the controller to the tune of Super R-Type (perhaps the first true shooter I ever played. I was also fond of Darius Twin).


INFINOS, however, was even less forgiving than those SNES titles of yore. This game is difficult. Hair-losingly difficult, as a Japanese indie shmup had better be. Part of this difficulty is due to the excruciatingly slow ship; perhaps weighed down by a super size meal at McD's or some blown engines or something, it gets out of the way of the endless volley of projectiles about as well as a walrus can tapdance. Speed powerups are more crucial in this shmup than any other I've ever played.

Much more pleasant than your craft's sluggishness is the beautiful presentation of INFINOS. "Lovingly crafted," cliche though it may be, can be accurately applied to this game. The soundtrack is spot on, blending 90's era console type tunes with the occasional digitized orchestra hit thrown in for added authenticity, and is good enough to stand on its own. Visuals tickle every retro game receptor one has; this could easily have lived on any console or in any arcade of the day. Tiny touches abound; I especially loved the "organic" movements and animations of the deadly creatures in the third level. Even more charming is the "PRESS "Z" KEY OR 1 BOTTUN" instruction on the title screen.


This is yet another title that is pretty stunning for a free offering, and could easily command a few bucks on Desura or mobile app platforms, and is one I can happily recommend for any fan of the genre to at least check out, and possibly brave to the end. Gamers from the new school will probably be bored with the lack of whiz-bang new-style visuals and slow scrolling, though.

Download the game here (from the Picorinne Soft website).
Download the game here (from the RGCD server).
3.5 out of 5