Ok, so I’ve reviewed quite a few Japanese developed games recently and nearly all of them have involved scantily clad girls whose already absurdly small dresses fall and tear away as they are damaged in battle. It’s a questionable mechanic in yet another game that represents women in a decidedly questionable manner. With that in mind, I’ll say the same as I did about Hyperdimension Neptunia, Senran Kagura and many others – some will be offended by what they see here, and for them, the game beneath the innuendo and sexuality will not be good enough to offset their general sense of distaste. But me? Well, I think it’s all a little bit too silly and self-aware to really get upset about. I don’t think the incessant sexuality is necessary, but then, it doesn’t bother me either. For those such as myself, while Omega Quintet is far from the first ‘must have’ JRPG for the PS4, it is a unique and largely entertaining one let down primarily by its pacing and so-so visuals.
In the decidedly bonkers universe of Omega Quintet, the world and its inhabitants are being attacked by the Blare, a collection of plague-based monsters intent on dastardly mischief and the like. While that probably doesn’t sound all that crazy given the general nuttiness of JRPGs, the fact that said demon plague is being battled by an inappropriately dressed group of female idol singers and their male manager/bodyguard, Takt certainly will. Rather than battling in the traditional sense, the ‘Verse Maidens’ who make up your team essentially turn each battle into a live musical performances for their decidedly avid followers. Still, as odd as that sounds, the actual mechanics upon which the system are built will feel immediately familiar to those who have spent any time with JRPGs in the past.
While Omega Quintet does take far too long to get going with each of the 5 Verse Maiden’s drip-fed into your team as you progress through the slow early hours of the game, once you have the band together so to speak, the battles themselves are largely fast-paced enjoyable affairs. Takt, who you control during exploration (and who naturally gets caught up in an array of sexual hijinks) can be linked to each of the five Verse Maidens and can provide extra support via timed button pressed during attack and defence. This ability is rarely the difference between victory and defeat, but with the other elements of battle falling into a relatively traditional pattern, it does serve to keep things feeling unique while demanding that you are actively engaged in each enemy encounter. Saying that, while the core ability might not have the biggest effect on gameplay, the subsequent Voltage Guage certainly can; filled up as you successfully block incoming attacks, this gauge activates Live Mode, which if pulled off correctly, can make all the difference during the games’ often longwinded boss battles.
As for the girls themselves, they have the usual selection of core abilities and special attacks that fit in nicely with the general emphasis on elemental rock/paper/scissor tactical requirements. Again, fundamentally, it’s hardly innovative stuff, but if nothing else, the battles and the girls themselves are imbued with a cool, if again, morally iffy aesthetic……..especially when their clothes start falling off.
Sadly, while the combat is consistently enjoyable, the rest of the game fails to go beyond the most basic of JRPG tropes. The dialogue is both plentiful and largely pointless with conversations often dragging on for far too long with little in the way of actual information conveyed. That’s fine for character and relationship building, but too many of these characters fall in line with the worst types of JRPG archetypes. The story and the characters do have their moments (and the voice cast are nothing if not game), but for the most part, you could go ahead a skip the majority of the dialogue without it having an overtly negative effect on the overall experience.
The missions too, while set across an interesting selection of locations (even if they are artistically limited on a technical basis) are far too reliant upon standard fetch quests. Sure, they are entertaining enough thanks to the solid battle system, but the game is unquestionably lacking in diversity with missions, enemies and locations all repeated on a painfully regular basis.
Outside of battle, one of the more unique elements is the ability to visit the Verse Maiden headquarters where you can undertake a number of activities; you can craft weapons and additional items (the system works well enough, but given the drops on the field, rarely feels necessary), repair your tattered clothes (or not if you prefer), and perhaps most interestingly, can create music videos via a surprisingly large number of tunes and dance moves. Most bizarrely of all though, the game also incorporates PlayStation Move controls that can be used to make light waves and effects on screen or even have you actually added to the created videos via the use of the PlayStation camera. Honestly, as crazy as anything in this game might be, nothing prepared me for PlayStation move integration. Will wonders never cease.
Like many of Compile Hearts’ games, you’ll need to get past (or embrace) the overt sexualisation of its female leads and put up with the relatively limited production values if you are to get the most from the experience. Do so, and you’ll be treated to an artistically interesting world held together by a very strong battle system with a unique emphasis on music that is ultimately let down by its slow start and consistently inane dialogue. Great in some departments, very weak in others, Omega Quintet will do just enough to scratch the itch for fans of eccentric JRPGs, but is unlikely to be remembered all that fondly once the big hitters make their way to the PlayStation 4……….whenever that might be.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox
Thank you for subscribing to Bonus Stage.
Something went wrong.
Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10
User Review( votes)