The Otaku side in me had his hands trembling when I booted up this game for the first time. Not only is Omega Quintet a game that is just to my liking, but it also marks one of the first Japanese role-playing games to have a proper western release. It is no surprise that I was giggling like a short-skirt-wearing Japanese school girl each time a cut scene played with those impressive moe-inducing girls talking to each other, or each time I tilted my pad downward causing the in-game character to grab her skirt, turn all red and refuse to offer me any ”fanservice.” Let us get one thing out of the way: This game is a pure love letter to any moe-type, magical girl, otaku-deprived JRPG fan on the PS4 and while it offers nothing new, it still packs the same high quality art style and gameplay that we grew accustomed to on the PS3 and Vita, albeit in a larger-than-life presentation.
First, let us get a few things out of the way. Omega Quintet is a parody of the pop idol culture in Japan the same way that Neptunia was a parody of the console wars. This is a bit of a letdown as while most of us understood the ”in jokes” in Neptunia and could clearly decipher who represents what, the experience is not so true with Omega Quintet. This is more of a Japan-specific subculture and only a handful of people living outside of the land of the rising sun who are hardcore J-pop fanatics would get the joke, and even then it is a bit far fetched, I guess.
Regardless, Our new idol joins a gang of other veteran idols and embarks on the usual quest to rid the world of evil while entertaining the masses with their on-stage performances. This is where a new aspect in the game emerges: You have to stage dances and dance moves for your characters in an almost video-clip-like presentation to appeal to your fans. It is a weird system, but a nice change of pace, and is part of the idol lifestyle.
Rhythm is also important and the battlefield is setup like a stage with enemies aligned in rows; those rows determine the area of effect of your magical attacks and the value of the delivered damage. Fights are turn-based and each character has life points and action points, the latter drains with each hit or spell and determines how long you have to wait until the next turn, suffice to say, the stronger the attack, the longer the wait. other than combat you have to assign dances to each female character to make some sort of video clip, it is a bit weird but a nice change of pace and is part of the idol lifestyle!
Another letdown is that the game itself is set in a universe that is being seen through the eyes of a male protagonist who sadly is lackluster and two dimensional to be of any interest to the game or even the player. Most often than not he comes out as boring, clumsy, and close to the general borderline of idiocy. Thankfully he can be put to use in battle by ”linking” to one of the verse maidens so he can, with a press of a button, shield her from hits or deliver an extra blow to the adversary.
The core of each RPG ultimately comes down to the fighting system. It is the aspect that makes or breaks the game and thankfully the battle system in Omega Quintet is fun, fast, complex, and a joy to use. Each of your maidens is linked to an elemental attack that makes each of them unique and suited for taking out and exploiting the weaknesses of different enemy types.
The game also offers you the option to spend time in the Verse maiden’s headquarters, a place where you can repair your equipment, build weapons, and make those cutesy dance routines we spoke of earlier. This aspect enriches the game and makes it feel more grandiose and in-depth while breaking up the routine of just fighting and exploring by giving you some breathing space and time to get more acquainted with each individual maiden.
Omega Quintet is not the evolution of the JRPG genre; it gives us nothing new and won’t win any prizes. On the other hand, Galapagos RPG gave us a game that does pretty much everything else right: it looks great, sounds great, plays well, and is put together in a nicely presented package that would keep any fan of the genre entertained for hours on end.
Omega Quintet is a PS4 exclusive. A review code was made available to us via the developer