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Omega Quintet (PS4) Review

 
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Omega Quintet_20150419181013
Omega Quintet_20150419181013

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PS4
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Final Score
3.5
3.5/ 10


User Rating
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We Liked?


The first JRPG to be made exclusively for the PS4.

Not So Much?


Gameplay and story that ranges from the bland to the excruciatingly painful.


Final Fiendish Findings?

When the world is threatened by a phenomenon known as the Blare, it turns out that the power of music is the only way to save it! Enter the Verse Maidens – five young idols who can use their songs to power magical weapons and skills that are the only defence against the Blare. Can […]

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Posted May 28, 2015 by

 
Final Fiendish Findings?
 
 
When the world is threatened by a phenomenon known as the Blare, it 
turns out that the power of music is the only way to save it! Enter the 
Verse Maidens – five young idols who can use their songs to power 
magical weapons and skills that are the only defence against the Blare. 
Can you help guide the careers of the Verse Maidens both on and off the 
battlefield, and keep the world safe from harm?
Omega Quintet_20150419183921

Compile Heart have been busy flooding the market with Hyperdimension 
Neptunia games over the last year, but Omega Quintet marks their 
transition to a new console, and also happens to be the first original 
JRPG for the PS4. Unfortunately, this is the only way in which the word 
'original' can be applied to the game, as it turns out the be a 
hodgepodge of derivative ideas that make not only the game, but the 
entire genre, seem somewhat tiresome.

The premise of the game will immediately be familiar to Neptunia 
veterans – optional and compulsory quests come in, and you send your 
team of heroines (and their brave manager Takt, who acts as backup) out 
into various dungeons to defeat monsters and collect items. It's been a 
sound enough mechanic in the Neptunia games, but somehow here it seems 
tiresome, perhaps because there's not a single aspect you can point out 
as being particularly good.
Omega Quintet_20150420211320

The dungeons and fields themselves are bland and unexciting, with a 
graphical simplicity that would barely test the limits of the PS3, let 
alone the PS4. The girls have different abilities which allow you to 
progressively explore new areas, but ultimately this feels like a cheap 
way to keep you returning to the same few maps.

Battle isn't particularly exciting either. After the first few chapters, 
you'll end up with five idol girls in your party, plus Takt in the back 
row defending and performing follow-up attacks for one assigned girl. 
Each idol is clearly meant to have her own strengths and weaknesses, but 
since they can all equip every type of weapon and learn every skill, 
there's no real sense of individuality. Combat itself consists of 
delivering physical attacks or launching magical skills, with the 
occasional chance to trigger a mode in which the girls enhance their 
abilities with the power of song. Built on top of this are various 
gauges to keep track of, the ability to launch chain combos if you set 
up the timing of your attacks just right, and a Senran Kagura-esque 
feature where battle damage equates to girls losing their costumes and 
having to fight in their panties. Unfortunately, it all comes across as 
a half-hearted implementation of whatever the developers thought looked 
good, without any depth or engagement to it. Even the workshop mechanic 
of repairing and upgrading costumes and building new weapons out of base 
components just feels like yet another unnecessary game mechanic thrown 
onto the pile.
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Not only is battle and exploration a chore, but just getting to a point 
where you can go out into the field is painful as well. Every JRPG 
player knows that sitting through long passages of text is par for the 
course, and when the story is well-written or at least entertaining, 
it's not a problem. Compile Heart have never been strong on the plot 
front, however, and Omega Quintet feels particularly phoned in. The 
characters are one-dimensional and generally represent worn-out anime 
tropes – you have the ditzy newcomer; the cold, standoffish girl; the 
strong sporty girl; the spaced-out clueless girl, and so on. Watching 
scenes is necessary to both advance the story and raise manager Takt's 
affection with the idols, but a liberal application of the fast-forward 
button is probably the only way to get through them with your sanity intact.

As well as the main game, Omega Quintet re-uses a feature from 
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection – the ability to put on 
your own concerts. Once you've recruited all five girls, you can have 
them sing and dance along to a selection of J-Pop songs, whilst you 
control the cameras, dance moves and costumes. If you haven't lost the 
will to live by the time you unlock this feature, it might be fun to 
play around with, but it doesn't really add anything to the game 
experience overall.
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Final Thoughts

As the first JRPG to be made exclusively for the PS4, Omega Quintet has 
a flagship status that it really doesn't deserve. With gameplay and 
story that ranges from the bland to the excruciatingly painful, this 
game seems to showcase not what makes the genre so great, but all the 
criticisms that people level at the genre. If you want to keep enjoying 
JRPGs, then don't play this game.

 


Jo