Bubbles? In this economy?
If you’ve followed my writing and podcasting on Chooch, you’ve come to understand me and my tastes over the past few years, so I’ll get in front of this review before you jump to conclusions: No matter how cute the anime girls are in this game, no matter how moe things got, none of that could save Omega Quintet from being an aggravating mess. From the outset, there’s almost nothing redeeming about this title, save for the bare basics that, if utilized properly, could’ve made a solid JRPG. Instead, they’re misused for cheap anime bait. It’s almost offensive.
The number one problem in Quintet is its writing. The story is somehow both bland and convoluted. The enemies are called Blare or MADs, depending on who you talk to, and they’re evil sound demons of some sort. Magical girls called Verse Maidens are the only things that can stop them from wiping out humanity. They kill the monsters by singing at them to destroy them after being weakened by the girls in convoluted JRPG combat.
Takt, the main character, and his childhood friend Otoha get wrapped up in this nonsense when Momoka, the last great Verse Maiden, retires. Otoha becomes her replacement, along with two other girls, a jock girl named Kanadeko who constantly shoves Otaha between her cleavage, and a shy, glasses-wearing girl named Nene who lapses into a near-psychopathic fervor during combat. There’s a few chapters where you have a rivalry with a girl, Kyouka, who’s a copy-paste of Homura from Madoka Magica, except without the tragic love story. The last girl you recruit, Aria, has a cat that for some reason nobody refers to as a cat, and she also goes “meow” sometimes so I guess that’s supposed to turn me on.
They don’t even have conversations in this game. They’re just like “oh la dee dah, I love being a Verse Maiden” and the next girl goes “hm, you seem chipper” and the next girl goes “ah, throwing insults, I see!” as if everyone expresses their feelings through osmosis instead of just talking and letting others understand you through words and context. Jokes are also beat into you like a jackhammer. Momoka’s age difference is brought up in nearly every scene she’s in, as if it’s unheard of for a woman in her late thirties to be considered attractive or strong, even by other women. It’s like I’m watching Sex and the City 2, except at least the dudes on The Worst Idea of All Time get to talk to each other about it. Another incessant joke is Takt’s inclusion in the story, as every character continuously points out how weird it is that he’s living with women, but are also surprised when he’s not dating any of them. He’s made out to be a creep when he shows through his actions that he isn’t. I’ve never actively felt bad for a male lead in a game like this before, so kudos to you, Omega Quintet.
There’s too much in the battle system. New concepts are actively being introduced eleven hours in, and none of them are useful. The base combat design is fluid and lends itself well to grinding, but with new mechanics and party synergies being added every hour, there’s almost no way to get comfy. Just traversing the game world is annoying, as Otoha shouts “Time to get to work” every five seconds as you travel around the map, hunting for specific foes you’ve been contracted to kill. Sidequests net you extra weapons, but instead of just handing them to you, the game expects you to go back into a map and search for it, padding for the sake of a longer game time.
In lieu of just giving you new moves when you level up, you have a MASSIVE skill grid that points are allocated into. The grid has no specializing, every character has the same set of skills, so you often have to learn abilities that don’t match your characters weapon or element type to reach skills you actually need. You have the option to use those attacks on foes, but you won’t get any kind of skill bonus, so what’s the point?
Equipment is similar, as the only items that are specific to each character are their underwear. Speaking of which, the Verse Maiden’s clothes get ripped up if you don’t keep track of their “outfit health”, giving you another purchase to keep track of and another reason to play this game when everyone else in the house is asleep. I’m not even 100% sure what the currencies in this game do, I just sold and bought items that I felt I needed and hoped for the best.
You can create your own music videos with the girls, but it’s really dumb and I tried to do it once before quitting and not looking at it again. It matches the game’s motif, as each girl has musical powers and the Blare are defeated by singing, but the MV creator adds nothing to combat or gameplay besides fanservice. I started laughing when I put one of the girls in the corner and made her do hip thrusts through an entire whole song, but then I realized what I was doing, saying to myself “is this really what I’m doing with my time right now”, and got depressed. This minigame depressed me a whole lot and I’m certain there are better ways to watch cute girls being cute than this.
When you’re just milling around and ignoring the overloaded battle system, grinding is not that bad. If the skill system was straightforward, it’d be easy to overlook some faults. If the writing wasn’t so stilted, I’d be able to recommend this to people looking for a story where girls work together. But nah, there’s not much here for anyone, unless you just REALLY need to see some cute anime girls, in which case there are plenty of anime sites out there for you to get your fill. Omega Quintet is a huge disappointment from every angle, even when I wasn’t expecting much.