Omega Quintet

"In the world of Omega Quintet, monsters have invaded, and for some reason, the best people to fight them are the members of J-Pop girl groups."

Here at RPGFan, our policy is that we finish every game we review, unless we have a really good reason not to. Over the years, I've reviewed some real stinkers, and I think I could count the number of times I've gone with option 2 on my thumbs...maybe with a thumb left over. Until today. Today, it's time to use that second thumb. Zoids Assault, meet your new companion in the "John Gave Up On You" club: Omega Quintet.

In the world of Omega Quintet, monsters have invaded, and for some reason, the best people to fight them are the members of J-Pop girl groups. At the beginning of the game, the main character is just a wannabe, but after she discovers that she has the ability to defeat the monsters, a retiring singer recruits her to join a new group. The group unites five of the dumbest, least interesting characters it has ever been my misfortune to interact with, along with four mentors who embody the spirit of the phrase "the blind leading the blind." I made it just over halfway through the game, by which point the girls had managed to meet, fight some monsters, and give their first concert.

Because I've played a few games, I assume that the game was leading to a point where the girls would discover that the peril of the monsters was much worse than they had realized, and they would attempt to destroy the source of those monsters once and for all. There are multiple possible endings, so I assume that they would have varying degrees of success in doing so based on whatever factors in the game determine the ending you get. All I know for sure is that if you want to get the best ending, you need to be willing to put a lot of time into this game.

Actually, if you want to get any ending at all, you need to be willing to put a lot of time into this game, and that's what led me to give up on it. During chapter 5 of 9, I learned that the side quests I had been mostly skipping, which the game had told me were optional, weren't optional at all. In fact, I have some concern that I couldn't have even reached the ending of the game without starting over and doing the side quests that had already expired. That's essentially what made me decide to stop playing — I learned that in order to move forward in the main quest line, I had to stop and do a large number of those side quests. And after nearly 30 hours of not enjoying what I was doing, I decided that was just too much to ask of me.

As is generally the case with Idea Factory games, the gameplay isn't bad, it's just too much. The battles are turn-based, and the actions you choose for your characters determine how long it'll be before they get another turn. You can switch the game into a few different modes that let you chain the characters' attacks to potentially execute some special combos or temporarily activate team-wide buffs, but the million text-based tutorials thrown at you leave you confused as to when you can, why you'd want to, or even how you'd go about it. And once you get through with a battle, you can look forward to having another one very soon because enemies respawn just a few seconds after you've defeated them.

The girls' outfits take damage during battle, and at certain thresholds, that damage becomes visible, giving you a look at their undies and stopping the girls from executing certain skills. (Of course, if you want to see those undies, you can do so at basically any time from within the menus, which is just as skeevy as it sounds.) At your home base, you can spend time working on music videos for the girls, changing cameras, dance moves, and all manner of things. But again, there's no hint as to why you'd want to do that. It's not the most perverted game around, but it's certainly not uplifting or a good example of strong, positive female characters, even though almost every character in the game is female.

Nearly as disappointing as that is the game's presentation. Visually, it's certainly not what one would hope for in a PS4 game, with models and backgrounds that the PS3 could easily handle. The one nice thing is that the portraits displayed during dialogue are more dynamic than most I've seen. Their mouths move when they speak, they breathe, and they move across the screen or even toward you to make a point. Of course, that would be a lot more useful if the dialogue they were speaking was less insipid, but still, I've got to give Omega Quintet credit for the one thing it does well.

The audio is equally bad. The characters generally sound bored, particularly Aria, who has that breathy, vapid, clueless voice that apparently works in Japanese but just never does in English. During battles, the girls and an announcer make comments about what they're doing, which means that there are almost constantly at least two people talking over each other. The music is OK, but not good enough to make me stop playing on mute whenever I could.

At this point, it should be obvious that if you're considering purchasing this game, I'd advise you not to. There are so many other, better games you could be playing. If you're really hard up for a PS4 RPG and have lots of time to spend on a game, given that you're now forewarned about the side quest issue, you might have better luck than I did at getting to the end. As for me, I notice that my system just downloaded a new patch for Diablo III. Think I'll go see what got updated.


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