Impressions – Omega Quintet

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Disclaimer : I’ve used this form of article before for the episodic Life is Strange. I will keep it for another purpose. Except in ultra-rare cases, I don’t review a game that I didn’t clear : it would be like reviewing a movie after leaving in the middle of it. But I still have to inform people when I can. «Impressions» will therefore be used to enligthen you guys on a game that I didn’t finish, while explaining the circumstances of such a desertion. Let us start by Omega Quintet, first PS4 game by Compile Heart and second product under the Galapagos label.

Trophies unlocked : 42% (Rank B on PSN profiles, story 90% cleared).

Reason : Ragequit following several difficulty spikes.

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Graphically speaking, Omega Quintet won’t improve Compile’s reputation, because it manages to be uglier than Fairy Fencer F (but the framerate doesn’t drop). Nothing in the poor cities & dungeons, nor in the character modeling (faces are a disaster) can let us think that we are playing a PS4 game. Sure, Compile Heart never got the most out a home console, but this game wouldn’t be average even on PS2.

Combat turned out to be interesting, because it gets increasingly tougher which makes you think to best use of the combined attacks (see above). Researching the best combinations and gradually strengthening your game is quite addictive and I spent some time doodling in my memo pad. The organization of the stats is original too : it’s based on strange parameters like Singing, Erudition, Technique, Reactivity, etc. that are linked to skills in some unexpected manner.

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Aside of that, there are a lot of hindrances. Combined skills cost a lot of MP and the necessary conditions to launch them are a pain. So generally, you stick to 2 or 3 surprise attacks and go back immediately to your base to replenish your MP, because you want to save your items for long fights. In any other circumstances, random fights are unbearable. I’ve never managed to fully understand how the voltage gauge functions, which really made me angry because it is the cornerstone of everything. In particular, you need voltage to launch the ultimate attacks (combined or not) without which you can never defeat a high level boss.

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The big issue comes from the ill-organized progression system that requires you to learn particular skills to clear missions that themselves will unlock other skills to allow new field actions (jump higher, take down obstacles, etc.). So, if you used your CP on other competences, you are TOASTED and have to sortie for nightmarish leveling sessions… Some other quests are unlocked by reaching a «support» threshold, and as support points are gained by multiplying combos, that means additional grinding. Drop rate also is low as fuck…

I played in difficult mode. Maybe shouldn’t have, because the challenge rises fast. Too fast I think, because where I quit there was nothing left but frustration, unfair as hell. Maybe normal mode is doable but it remains to be seen… In short, whilst rather interesting, Omega Quintet’s gameplay is taking water from all sides.

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It’s really a shame, because the game has other qualities. The story of idols fighting aliens wasn’t as dumb as it looks, with a few well-thought plot twists. Dialogs mostly live up to Compile’s tradition of delicious Japanese humor. The dude is pretty fun in his constantly making fun of the girls, a bit like Phoenix Wright in his time. Momoka was hilarious with all the jokes on her age, and Nene absolutely adorable in her gun freak personality.

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In the «more or less OK» category, there is the fan-service, the costume break of which frankly terrible, not even remotely as good as Senran Kagura. After FFF, I did expect more but the focus on lingerie was enjoyable. The soundtrack loses Uematsu but is still fair : some melodies keep a sense of grandeur, other hurt your ear. In general, refrains are a bit redundant though…

You need a blind faith in Compile Heart to throw yourself in Omega Quintet. Gameplay is full of holes, graphics are dismal, so only the die hard fans can appreciate it.

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