Omega Five Review

If there`s one genre that isn`t lacking on any of the downloadable services it`s the shooter. Even Wii Ware, with its veritable dearth of quality releases plays host to the much loved Star Soldier franchise. So in this crowded marketplace, does Omega Five stand out from the crowd?

A side-scrolling shooter, Omega Five comes courtesy of Natsume, who most gamers will know from the endearing Harvest Moon series or further back in time, the wonderful Pocky & Rocky games from the 16-bit SNES era. In this, their latest offering, the player can control one of three characters who battle through wave after wave of mechanical foes spread over a total of four levels. Each of these has their own distinct style, encompassing ice, factory and jungle settings amongst others.

Gameplay is straight from the old school, with only one life, and a small handful of continues with which to battle through to the conclusion of the final boss. While the player can gouge their way through the game blasting merrily away, they will miss the ability to up their score multiplier, which goes up to x30, and the tension involved in keeping this up adds to the at times frantic nature of the game. There are also pink gems to be collected from each downed enemy, which are used to fill up one of three bomb slots. These come in handy for boss fights or clearing a path through the more congested sections in the game. The game also encourages repeated play, with unlockables and achievements on offer for the more persistent players looking to gain access to the upper echelons of the online scoreboards.

One of the best things about Omega Five is just how pretty it looks. It has the polish and feel of a full retail release and it’s to the developer’s credit that such a professional attitude has been afforded this title. From the lovely orchestrated music or the easy to navigate interface, to the intricate details that pour from every part of the different levels, it is a lovely showcase for HD gaming. Even incidental character animation is of a high standard and consistent throughout.

The only real downside to Omega Five is that it`ll probably prove too hardcore for anyone looking for some light relief. Even on the easiest difficulty, the player is shown no mercy at times and required persistence is necessary to get the best from this title especially those aiming to ace the game using no continues.

For ever aspect that confirms that Omega Five is a very classic Japanese product, it has a certain modern tone interwoven within the package; a confidence if you will, that the more dedicated gamer will be drawn to and appreciate. It shows just how versatile this most traditional of Japanese companies really are and provides a quality template for others to follow. In that increasingly crowded shooter market, Omega Five is a standout title and worth the attention of any fan of the genre.