There are times where I question exactly where I draw the line with certain games. I have been supportive without being too vocal for adult-oriented titles on the Switch, and that stance certainly isn’t going to change anytime soon. The minute we start to reign in what we feel is “appropriate” for audiences with gaming, we lose the progress that we’ve made with Nintendo, and I don’t want that. I remember feeling so frustrated that Mortal Kombat came out on the SNES and didn’t have a single drop of blood or a damn Fatality that made sense. Kano used to just punch you in the chest and that was the Fatality. So when Mortal Kombat II came out with all the blood, gore and violence that you could hope for, I knew something was going right. Now, the Nintendo Switch has become the new haven for eyebrow raising titles that used to exclusively be on the PC and the Vita, allowing for a wider range of players to see some of the more insane titles that come from, well, Japan. So when D3 announced they would be localizing Omega Labyrinth Life, I knew I would have to see what the big deal was for myself.
Well, it certainly is a big deal by fan service standards.
Omega Labyrinth Life is the story of the Bellefleur’s Girls Academy, a beautiful school where some of the top potential congregate to learn, bond, and build lasting futures together and for the world. From impossibly wealthy heiresses to up-and-coming popstars, the school has seen a number of students come and go, but never one transfer in…until recently. Hinata Atasuki is the first transfer in the school’s history, and the bubbly, positive and friendly newcomer’s arrival is marked by the mysterious wilting of the school’s legendary garden. Rumors abound that the Omega Energy, the power that flows throughout the school and the girls who reside there, has been interrupted, and the goddess of the garden herself, Flora, may be in danger. Determined to save her new home and to prove to herself and others she isn’t the one who’s causing the damage, Hinata sets off into the mysterious dungeons that interlace beneath the surface of the school, finding monsters, magic and even more mysteries than she first imagined. After all, the headmistress seems to imply that Hinata may have been destined to arrive at her school due to other connections…
Technically speaking, Omega Labyrinth Life is a roguelike dungeon crawler and, believe it or not, the third game in the series, though quite separate from the original Omega Labyrinth and Omega Labyrinth Z. You put two of the students into the dungeons (usually Hinata and Bell, her immediate best friend when the game starts) as they go in search of certain conditions, usually either to help a student who’s brashly gone ahead alone or to search for Soma, the magical liquid that imbues the garden with strength. Along the way, there’s items to be found, enemies to be fought, traps to either avoid or trigger and, naturally, bosses to fight. The dungeons work in a 9 directional grid with plenty of tactics and ideas at work on how to fight. The combat is standard, with ranged and melee weapons alike to aid you, as well as magical tomes, magical staves, and skills that the girls each develop through leveling up and time.
The dungeon crawling is, hands down, my favorite part of the game, and could have seriously survived on its own without the additional fan service that Omega Labyrinth Life provides throughout (and that’ll get some paragraphs in just a moment). There’s a good variety of enemies, and the difficulty curve of the game swings upwards in a sharp but not unreasonable fashion early on after you get your sea legs. Fighting within the dungeon is key to survival, as there’s a difference between the level you normally enter the dungeon at and the levels you gain through fighting within the dungeon, as these levels dissipate when you exit. So you actually need to plan out combat to grow stronger and not just buffalo towards the stairs and think everything will be okay. That’s a surefire way to end up in a monster’s nest without the necessary power behind your swings, and, bam, you’re defeated and you lose all the items and progress you made in the dungeon. Plus, the combat itself can have interesting moments that are eyebrow raising but far from perverse. For example, since part of the equipment for the characters are panties and bras, and you can throw literally anything at enemies, there’s a fun chuckle to be had when you whack an incoming golem in the face with some expert panty tossing. Also, some of the spells and effects have their own blue nature, like the Sexy Stave that you find occasionally in the dungeons.
Since inventory is limited, the addition of things like purses (which act as bags of holding) make for some clear-cut management ideas within Omega Labyrinth Life, as well as needing to keep organized and make planned decisions. You have to worry about your hunger as well as your HP, and keeping food on hand is harder than you’d realize. The cheapest strategy is to run a character down to 10% and then permanently switch to your partner as the leader until you reach the exit (since partner characters apparently don’t care about eating). But, additionally, the dungeons give bronze, silver and gold ratings for meeting conditions before finishing, and not eating is often one to really push for. The conditions, combined with the rewards and the necessity to grind Omega Power for purchases and Nectar for powering up (or did I mix those up?) make for replay within the dungeon a must for anyone committed to fully flushing out the game. Just make sure to check your equipment if you do one of the Sage Trial dungeons (puzzle sidequests), as you’ll often be totally stripped of weapons and armor and need to reset before entering into main story dungeons.
There’s also this entire extra situation within Omega Labyrinth Life that’s a bit more simulation and sort of fascinated and confused me. Besides digging into the dungeons and slaying monsters, you’re tasked with maintaining and helping out the garden, a quest that can easily be set aside or fully invested in. You’re watching flowers, planting seeds, harvesting nectar and flowers and seeds, and also rotating out visual instalments (called Curios) to make for a certain aesthetic or element to this hallowed garden. There’s a timer and everything to let you know when things are bloomed, when you need to water them, and when you need to harvest, so Harvest Moon players who somehow stumbled into this game have a bit extra for them to be entertained with as well. It’s pretty interesting, and fits in with the role of the game as an environmental element, but it wasn’t as fun as dungeon crawling, so I ignored it unless it directly tied into a quest with the girls.
I’ve gone this long without talking about the overt sexual element, because, once you go down that path, there’s really no coming back from it. I knew it would be here, in various forms and ideas, but Omega Labyrinth Life goes HARD on boobs, butts and orgasms. As you might already know, part of the dungeon crawling element means that, as you level up within the crawl, your bust size expands, occasionally bursting you from your clothing (but never showing nipple, God forbid). Also, you might know that you occasionally find artifacts and need to rub them between your breasts in order to fully form them into artifacts. One of the first times this happened, I realized every artifact was going to be phallic in shape to really give that visualization, and then I almost died laughing when I “fully powered” up that artifact, it exploded into radiant light, and it was…a goddamn sword. Was that really a safe approach to, well, anything?
Also, as you crawl through the dungeons, you’ll find hot springs to revitalize you, and that’s all well and dandy, and your character is definitely sitting there, fully nude, covered by strategic steam. This seems like as good a time as any to point out that during some of the cut scenes and hot tub scenes, you can just pull out a hand cursor and start feeling up the girls on screen. Much like Nekopara, I think this is to give players a sense of, well, groping, but it feels a bit clunky in this game simply because Omega Labyrinth Life is giving you omniscience instead of an actual role in the game. While in Nekopara you play the dude banging cat girls, here you’re just an unknown entity that apparently needs to jiggle the characters around, much to their moaning dismay. Oh, but you can’t grope the headmistress or Flora, for whatever reason, but Flora has a mini game where you have to pick bugs off her, so I guess that’s okay? It’s cute enough, there isn’t any abject nudity, but I 100% believe it fits in with someone’s fetish.
People probably are missing the “grope the demon” mini game from Moero Chronicles H, and really wish there was a way to do it again in a more direct manner, and do I have good news for you. Between battles, if you really want to power level the characters and get them awesome skills, you get to rub them down with nectar until they orgasm so hard you have new nectar to sprinkle over plants. I am not exaggerating any of that. Each character ends up with three or four different poses (pretending to be asleep, mid gymnastics performance, hanging out in a bra), and you get to touch and poke them until they create a wet filter on the screen, gain a TON of EXP, and you get a new vial that should help plants grow fast. This is one of those times where I feel like the game goes a bit far and I absolutely could NOT play the game on the train (especially not with different orgasmic voices from each character), but I still understand that some people want to play this sort of entertainment. Also, how else are you going to get comfortable with two fairies stroking an artifact to “completion,” or doing a rock-paper-scissors game with your boobs called Tit for Tat? Those two things are very real and don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what else Omega Labyrinth Life has in store for you.
If you’re a player who really likes the mystery dungeon-style games and has a healthy understanding of sexuality, Omega Labyrinth Life is very robust, has a ton of play within it, and goes on for hours and hours of content, especially if you’re a perfectionist. If you don’t enjoy the way that certain games objectify women, this game will make you MAD. There’s a lot of fetishism, a lot of strong sexual innuendos and direct statements, a pair of twins who are definitely doing horny things to each other, and skimpy costumes to cram the characters into if schoolgirls aren’t your thing. This is definitely the title to ride the line on “acceptable” for sexual content, and I need to sincerely applaud Nintendo for letting it launch like this and not getting all shocked and bothered as Sony did. You know what’s waiting in store, just be adult about it and don’t act outraged when the game asks you who you want to spy on in the bath.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Omega Labyrinth Life Video Game Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Omega Labyrinth Life has a great balance between dungeon crawling and garden maintenance, and more sexual implications than the Spice Channel.