Nothing in this world is as fascinating to me as cult followings for media and activities. We live in a world where thousands, maybe millions of people can be fully invested into a sport, a game, a food or a movie that none of us have ever heard of even once. People dump untold hours into things like League of Legends or Smite, and I’ve honest-to-God never played it even once. Hell, I’ve heard of Path of Exile, but it’s never been a part of my gaming sphere, and yet people celebrate the updates and patches like it was the fall of the Berlin Wall. With the story that is Ubermosh, this is a game series that was born from a single developer, Walter Macado, and has had several incarnations over the year, each time releasing as a new game, a new chapter, and a new reason to celebrate for the dedicated many. Now, QUbyte Interactive has decided to bring the final chapter to the Nintendo Switch with Ubermosh: OMEGA. For many, this shall be a truly wonderful moment. But for others? Perhaps just quiet confusion.
You should know the story for Ubermosh: OMEGA is not present within the game in the traditional sense, and no amount of delving into this singular entry will decipher it for you. By watching some videos and doing some fan reading, I’ve pieced together the following. There was a woman named Arya, dubbed the Saint, who fought against a massive swarm of insect-like aliens and killed thousands by herself. A planet, which I think is called The Colony, saw her prowess and deemed her worthy of entertainment, and so they abducted her. She was placed into an arena called The Ubermosh: a hell’s ale of unrelenting attacks from all sides by different sorts of beings, from human to alien and everything in between. For thousands of years, Arya has fought in the Ubermosh, growing powerful, getting placed in stasis, resurrected and imbued with new powers, achieving goddesshood, and then having her powers fragmented and placed into different beings, each representing some facet of her might and majesty. Where we are with Ubermosh: OMEGA, the collective heroes are called The Saints, and the story remains the same: battle in the Ubermosh for the entertainment of the Colony, and bring honor and victory through violence. You have 90 seconds: try to survive.
Now I picked all that up through some shallow Internet diving and picking up the games myself from Steam, where I was surprised to find that the titles are incredibly cheap (we’re talking less than a buck a piece except for Santicide and OMEGA), so I took a moment to engage and see what the games were like because, at first, I was so lost with OMEGA. As it turns out, I understood perfectly: Ubermosh is a twin stick shooter of chaotic proportions where everything and everyone is going to kill you. The way the games have changed is directly in relation to fan feedback and the perpetuation of the lore. So, whereas the older games had larger arenas and more places to sort of run and hide, the consensus from fans was that they wanted to restrict their own movements to force the combat to be more intense. The powers that Arya (The Blade Saint) contracted seemed to escalate to a point of omniscient killing, so the powers got divided to keep the game from being too easy, and also to give players their own Saint to root for. The 90 seconds is the ideal amount of time from what I can tell: you don’t have to fight endlessly, but you still need to keep on your toes and keep moving. A lot of the powers that the saints have access to are interchangeable, allowing you to customize your character to how your play style best approaches. If you’re more of a survivor, you can tack on extra “respawns” (lives in a one-hit kill world) or add shields and bucklers to try and deflect incoming bullets. Or, if you’re chaotic, add things like the auto gun or the shredder to ensure better giblets go flying. You can choose a couple different characters who primarily use melee attacks (which deflect bullets) or rely more on guns and laser beams if that’s your style. Whatever it might be, you gotta find some way to survive.
So in that sense, Ubermosh: OMEGA is exactly what fans have been wanting. For players who’ve stuck with Machado for the last few years and incarnations of the game, it’s the culmination of all they wanted and a final send off to a truly unique and chaotic game. The only purpose is to live and survive as madness swarms in and invades a small area that you’ve been designated. Get killed too many times, the round is over. Step outside the arena boundaries, the round is over. Make it to 90 seconds with some sembalance of life left, the round is over. You re-enter, you swap up your weapons and power ups if you want, and you try again. You find out that ZL, ZR, L and R are all the same button, and I still can’t tell if it’s more effective to mash them wildly or try actually timing my shots and swings. The whole time you play, there is this insane soundtrack of thrash metal noise, thrumming drums and just sound anarchy piping in, giving you the full sensation of being in a live-to-die world. No one cares how many enemies you kill, but you want to get that good ranking. You wanna do your best. You try and try different Saints, different weapons, different approaches. Hide in the corner, spin in the center, run around screaming in real life trying to stay alive. That’s the name of the game, and, in the seconds you’re caught in the berserker mindset, it’s glorious.
But that’s also all there is. There aren’t additional game modes or story points to unlock. There isn’t new gear that’s going to drop or a secret character who acts as a boss and then a playable choice. Ubermosh: OMEGA makes zero apologies or exceptions for players who come into this thing new and unaware. My first time playing, I died within 8 seconds and that’s with all the extra respawns I could afford. I ran through each character trying to see what was different, and their approach changed but the song remained the same. You just keep shooting, keep slashing, keep trying to see if you can make a minute and a half pass as fast as possible. This game labels itself hardcore unironically because it doesn’t slow down or explain anything for people who aren’t prepared for it. There’s no shifting difficulty or temporary invincibility or cheat codes (at least as far as I’ve found). The game simply is, and it revels in that. It’s literally the equivalent of an indie label releasing an experimental noise album and flipping off critics who hate it and personally shaking the hands of every fan who loved it.
It’s a hell of a game to behold because it’s purposely unappealing to look at aesthetically. The sprites of Ubermosh: OMEGA are finely detailed in that I can see the gritty, dirty difference between each enemy and the different types and shapes. I can see the neon soaked visages of every Saint, but it’s not the colorful coloring of a retro future facade, or even a cyberpunk inspiration. It’s got the dystopian tonality of someone rubbing on these bright colors to show up in the shadows, warpaint from the future where we’ve lived long enough to forget that lead paint is dangerous, or we simply don’t care anymore. The grimness of the presentation, the utter filth that comes through in this homage to a broken future of endless violence, is so well represented that it speaks to a much larger and darker future. It almost invokes an idea of the 3%, but I leave that to other players to make the parallel.
I don’t know the story of Walter Machado. He’s released a ton of PC games over the years, they all have similar tones of griminess and excitable violence that combines obtuse storytelling with an artistic arm towards the community, accepting critique and suggestion and molding it into the next iteration. Ubermosh: OMEGA is certainly not for everyone, but it doesn’t try to be, and that’s alright. This is for the Apostles who play the game regularly and want a full fledged version to play anywhere and everywhere, forever and ever. This is the dream of the Colony, and it arrives to you, with the Saints at the helm and a glorious, infinite death ahead.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
An ugly, chaotic symphony of violence that will confuse newcomers and overjoy veterans of the series.