Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Omega Quintet

You can't go a week without Compile Heart releasing a JRPG for a Sony console. Some of them are good, some are not so good, but I genuinely like being overwhelmed with choice. Sure, as it was with the Playstation 2 era, we may look back at a lot of Playstation 4 titles as shovelware someday, but for now Sony seem to be dishing out some pretty decent content. This latest game up for review looks, sounds and plays like 99% of the other JRPGs on the market, and while not exactly being very memorable, is a worthy time sink if you're a JRPG fanatic. 

Developed by Galapagos RPG and out now for Playstation 4 comes Omega Quintet, which plays essentially like every other anime looking JRPG in out there. The plot is generic but serviceable, and focuses on a world that is being affected by “the beep”; an usual phenomenon that has ravaged the world  and many humans along with it, ultimately leaving only one city left in its wake. No one knows how to fight this bizarre force that m magically creates evil monsters across the world. That is, all apart from a group known as the “Verse Maidens”. The Verse Maidens are a group of five girls that are basically a bunch of anime cliches. You have the kooky one, the emo one, the strong one, etc. Using the power of song (cause, what else?) it's up to you to defeat the beep and save the world. The story isn't very interesting, contains no real twists or turns but is decent enough to keep you hooked throughout the games duration.

Being a rather run-of-the-mill JRPG, Omega Quintet's gameplay can easily broken up into two main parts- exploration and combat. It's a turn-based combat system, with each of your party members largely being unique from each other. To the weapons they can wield to the special moves they can dish out, each character isn't a carbon copy of one other, and these helps keep combat fresh. This is of course expected for any self respecting game, but it especially comes into play when you use a characters Concert Mode. Essentially Concert Mode lets you unleash a string of moves from any given character. Whether you want to simply lay down some basic attacks and then heal your party members during this mode, or solely focus on a characters unique skills on offer, it's a nice addition to gameplay that is akin to Limit Breaks from the Final Fantasy series. Again, without banging on about it too much, Omega Quintet basically just offers the bare minimum any JRPG should be offering. You've played this kind of combat before, there's nothing new or innovative here, but it's still a bit of fun. Oh and with it being a JRPG that features girls in revealing clothing, there's also a game mechanic in here that allows their clothing to be ripped during battle. I'm not against sex appeal in gaming at all, but just like when I played Criminal Girls: Invite Only, I found this aspect of the game to be weird, creepy and made me realise that it's a game I'd never play in public.

Outside of combat you'll do the usual things you expect from a JRPG. From talking to NPCs that are depicted with an almost static anime picture, finding various items, disassembling and crafting weapons, taking on missions and various side quests-  it's all business as usual. The same goes for the game world too that, while perfectly fine in terms of design, just doesn't really do anything new. As the game is a kind of parody of “idol culture” in Japan (Google it), so you can also create your very own concerts, which will give you a whole host of options including dance moves, camera movements and vocals. It's a nice little addition to the game, but not something that really interested me much.

Overall Omega Quintet is a fun game, but it's almost painfully insistent on being completely and utterly “meh”. In terms of graphics, weapon crafting, combat, characters and plot, it all comes together to make the IKEA furniture equivalent of the gaming world- serviceable and nice, but ultimately unoriginal and mundane.

Omega Quintet is completely middle-of-the-road and barely gets a 3/5.


Denis Murphy

Omega Quintet at CeX

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