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Omega Quintet Review- Kicking Ass and Singing Songs

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Omega Quintet is a game featuring 5 young girls with the power to quell the evil Blare that brought ruin upon the world with their voices in this idol-simulator RPG. Players take on the role of Otoha, a young girl who dreams of becoming a verse maiden, someone capable of fighting the Blare, and become famous with the help of her childhood best friend, Takt. As the game opens, the two watch one of the most famous verse maidens taking down the Blare single-handedly on TV.

The story is a cute, and filled with pretty likeable characters. It is overall a pretty feel good story as the girls work together to accomplish their ultimate goal of saving lives and ridding the world of the Blare. If there was a problem I did have with the story, it lies within the number of plot-holes and flaws – unfortunately, these primarily focus on Takt. Ultimately, the player will be in control of Takt, managing the ladies. His presence is there solely to get a closer look and gain attachment to the girls from a male/female relationship perspective, but the game has a hard time really giving any real meaning to Takt since the true main characters are the Maidens.

It becomes quite apparent that there’s a clash of a main character role between Otoha and Takt very early on. As much as I generally like playing as a guy in games, I feel that it should have focused more on the girls. It did try its best to not cross the boundaries of importance since Otoha’s actions are generally influenced by how important Takt is to her. Thankfully at least, Takt progressively gets a little more important and influences the power of the verse Maidens, which functions with the battle system. I also noticed sentence structure errors a few times in the title, which I hope can be a simple fix in a patch.

The battle system gets quite deep, and rather quickly as well. At its base, the game is a turn-based RPG that adheres to positioning on characters and enemies. New features are constantly added as you progress. Based upon a Maiden’s weapon of choice, range is something to consider during battles. Most weapons have a sort of sweet spot for their range and will showcase any bonus either hit percentage or damage increase or decrease due to the range before attacking.

Maidens are refreshed each turn with a stock action count, showing how many actions they can perform in a given turn, depending on their proficiency with the weapon used. They can gain more actions for one particular turn by breaking the enemy’s guard (Magnetic Field) and defeating an enemy. As the girls attack and defend the player will gain Voltage. The Voltage Meter can be raised up to 5 and can then be used for ultimate attacks used by the maidens and/or utilized to gain extra buffs for a limited time by performing a live concert.

Takt is able to be involved a bit during battles. He can pair with any verse maiden which will give bonus stats to the Maiden, and also provide follow up attacks after that specific maiden attacks or provide extra defense and resistances when that maiden is attacked. Takt can only be used a number of times per battle, which in the beginning gives strategic value to his use. But after getting to know the system of how to recover his action counts, leveling him up, and gaining more action counts he has, it becomes extremely simple to maintain his battle appearances.

It may provide a much needed harder challenge in a harder difficulty, but I feel like at the medium difficulty the number of times he can be used should be reduced to provide a more strategic reason to use him properly and switch him to different maidens. As a suggestion, perhaps Takt could unlock specific abilities that are exclusive to pairing with a given Maiden with different values required from Takt’s action count to utilize that ability. Such an addition would make it more necessary to plan switching more often and support using him smartly since it gets extremely easy to leave him with one maiden and spam his defense and last hits.

Harmonics are the easily exploitable but fun ability that does require a chunk of Takt’s action gauge. These attacks require the verse maidens to be consecutive in the turn order before the enemies turn to get full effect – that is, only maidens together in the turn order take part in the attack.  Harmonics allow all the maidens to attack at once. But by doing specific abilities, they can unlock combo techniques that are incredibly powerful, especially if you break the enemies guard, adding additional follow up attacks to combo skills and ultimate techniques which become extremely deadly.

The problem with this is not its usefulness but rather the amount of power it gives to players. It is basically downright game breaking. You can easily end a boss battle in the first turn if you exploit harmonics with the proper combo techniques and a good voltage meter built up for ultimate techniques. The biggest obstacle is normally having enough SP to utilize the heavy hitting techniques. While I do believe that harmonics are far more powerful than they should be, the ease of using this is certainly fun. One of my favorite things to do in battle is just making ridiculous high damaging combos – but I find it’s just a little too easy to do so.

The art is absolutely beautiful. The active 2D visual novel animations are in effect here, but in addition there are added animation movements rather than just the typical breathing, eye blinking, and mouth movements that are common nowadays. The creators utilized simple tricks to add more life into the dialogue and conversations by squashing and stretching characters and environments, adjusting character placements in the space, and moving the camera.

It added a ton more energy to the simple 2D dialogue that made the visual novel style reading experience very enjoyable. The menu layout and tutorial guides are also clean and concise designs that are easy to use and enjoy, like most Idea Factory / Compile Heart games. The game also presents itself in chapter segments, acting out the story in Anime episode style – which is cool, but some people may skip it since it repeats the intro animation each chapter and also does a credit sequence at the end of a chapter.

I am happy to say that for the main portions of the game, there virtually no lag or frame rate issues in the game. The only time I witnessed frame rate problems was during a 3D cutscene showcasing the dungeon and some 3d cutscene snippets, but it was very small and really nothing extremely awful at all. In fact, it runs very smoothly throughout the game play which was very exciting. Admittedly, graphically it may not have pushed the power of the PS4 for the 3D models and environment, but for the first JRPG on the system it did well hitting the other marks. It does a great job overall.

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Players have the ability to switch costumes, hair styles, eye contacts, and more to give more customization and unlockables to enjoy by playing. The outfit destruction honestly wasn’t anything ridiculous, unlike Senran Kagura where they push the boundaries of sex appeal. In Omega Quintet, it’s much more tame, which I think was necessary in this title since the designs generally geared more towards cuteness then sex appeal. It’s extremely funny, very much like Lollipop Chainsaw that if you angle the camera upward; the verse maiden will cover up and ask what you are doing.

In conjunction with art, my favorite improvement this title has made in comparison to the others is its level design. I was so pleased to see more complicated layouts, and the first real dungeon the player jumps into is a huge level with various checkpoints, parts that are only accessible later, branching paths and even has better set dressing for environment models, helping the world look more believable.

It nearly brought me to tears from playing many other Idea Factory / Compile Heart titles that were just drab in layout and flat in design, like Mugen Souls, some of the Neptunia titles, Fairy Fencer F, etc. This was a large improvement from their other titles in my opinion. It still has small simpler dungeons as well, so not everything is large which makes for good variation. Adding some fun platforming elements nest would be absolutely wonderful to expand maps further up and out. Leave room to let the player have fun exploring. So far, though, the it is certainly on the right track.

Music and sound is great, fun, and pop-y – especially all of the verse maiden songs. What really adds to the effect of the music is that the player can even make music videos with the maidens. Between controlling camera angles, giving props to the maidens, access to tons of dance certain moves, and a bunch of other stuff, the music video software feels like a standalone game, almost. I’ll try to see if I can, at some point, shoot the recording of a music video I made and upload it onto here.

The English voice actors, in my opinion, really weren’t that bad-in fact, I liked it and kept it on. There’s a very heavy stigma for voice actors with Japanese anime-stylized games so that will always be a tough point for anyone. However, for what it’s worth, in comparison to Chaos Wars and the ilk, It did a much better job of representation and for that, kudos. I will say, though, that the verse maidens have repeated lines throughout dungeons, and those get grating very quick. If the verse maidens were conversing amongst themselves based on the chapter and timed the chatter a little better, this issue would be far less annoying. It could even help to provide a visceral experience like Dragon Age or a better similarity would be Rogue Galaxy.

I won’t lie; whenever I see the logo of Idea Factory / Compile Heart intermixing, there’s a following stigma to the type of game that will be produced. However, with my personal experience on some of their titles, the problems were frequent and the same for their games. Big frame rate drops, poor level design, decent possibility of a big glitch making it into the game, and mere decent combat mechanics are issues that I, personally, have felt plague their games.

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I was surprised by Omega Quintet, and extremely happy to say that this game has fixed a lot of those particular issues in my experience. Omega Quintet still has its flaws – mainly involving story and battle balancing – but it’s one of the better titles that I’ve played from them and enjoyed. This game is a very welcoming addition to the Playstation 4’s library and I really hope any avid JRPG player will enjoy this title.

Omega Quintet was reviewed on Playstation 4 using a review code provided by NIS America. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict: 8.5

Pros:

  • Big Improvement of level design
  • Fun battle system that leaves room for huge combos
  • Great art and highly fun 2D visual reading experience
  • Great unlockables, customization options
  • Music videos!

Cons:

  • Story has a constant battle of importance in characters and degrades the big point of the title somewhat.
  • Difficulty (medium) was pretty simple with the ease of abusable battle mechanics.
  • Please stop putting unnecessary invisible colliders to enjoy navigation, player agency, and jumping more.
  • Verse Maiden Monologues in dungeons are constant, highly repeated, and can get annoying quickly.
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Chris Gollmer

About

I have been an avid gamer since I was a child, playing Legend of Zelda on the NES and began true niche gaming during the SNES/Genesis battles.