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Another year, another Compile Heart RPG. It seems like you can only go a few months before another of their games is released in one form or another. Unfortunately, Omega Quintet is not one of their rare success stories. Instead, this is another bland RPG that should have stayed forgotten.
Omega Quintet’s story is fairly simple, as humanity is under attack by monsters known as “Blare”. The Verse Maidens, basically a glorified idol group, are the only ones with the power to fight the Blare. Takt, the protagonist and childhood friend of the newest Verse Maiden, is forced into becoming their manager. Aside from the idol theme, the general setup is quite generic and the story never becomes particularly interesting.
The biggest issue we had with Omega Quintet is it’s cast of characters. Of all the people you meet in the game, there were only a couple that we could actually stand for more than a few minutes. The writers somehow managed to make every character an idiot, annoying or some combination of both. This is a far cry from another of Compile Heart’s series, Hyperdimension Neptunia, where story scenes are generally goofy but can still have some charm to them. In Omega Quintet, you’ll end up hating the majority of the cast after a few hours at most.
Gameplay doesn’t fare much better either. Exploration is fairly standard, though each maiden has their own ability that can be used to reach new areas or collect items. However this just leads to backtracking since you’ll usually not have the right level of ability the first time through an area. Being forced to go back through each area is something that happens far too often, either required for sidequests or even for the main story. The fact that each area is so bland makes progressing even more of a chore, and that’s without even mentioning the battle system.
You see, Compile Heart like to add mechanics to the standard turn-based JRPG formula for better or worse. Like most of their attempts, this has lead to the creation of an overly complicated battle system that drags fights out for far longer than necessary. Again, I’m reminded of their earlier games where unnecessary and unfun systems were thrown in just to make them look unique. Omega Quintet ends up feeling like a relic of Compile Heart’s old design philosophy, since they started to move away from excessive mechanics and tried to keep things simple for the most part.
One strange feature that doesn’t see much use is the Promotion Video System, or PVS for short. Here you can create custom music videos using a variety of dance routines and songs. This mode seems to have a lot of thought put into it, seemingly more so than the rest of the game, which makes it even stranger that it’s completely optional outside of a few sidequests. It’s honestly confusing why they made it so detailed when the player has little motivation to use PVS, and the game’s poor character models making the music videos look pretty bad in the first place.
Speaking of character models, you may have have noticed from the screenshots in this review that Omega Quintet is not a particularly pretty game. While being a port of a PS4 game, it looks worse than many PS3 launch titles. It doesn’t help that visually Omega Quintet looks so similar to the original Hyperdimension Neptunia games, which further emphasises the overall lack in graphical polish. At least the 2D art used for character portraits and event images is nice… it’s a shame you’ll only see it during the insane story scenes though.
As for the PC port itself, Omega Quintet is in line with their other ports. That is to say it runs decently but offers little in the way of customisation options. One thing worth mentioning is the occasional FPS drops we experienced every now and then, something that we didn’t expect from a game this graphically simple. It never becomes as noticeable as the framerate problems in another of Ghostlight’s recent ports, Lost Dimension, but the fact that there are issues at all is unfortunate.
Omega Quintet is an extremely poor JRPG that has little going for it, even to fans of Compile Heart’s other series. As more and more good RPGs make their way to the PC, there’s really no reason to pick up this port at all.