After the PlayStation 4 was released in Japan on February 2014, it was only a matter of time for the Japanese game studios to release a JRPG in the market. While there were lots of upcoming titles such as Persona 5 or the long awaited Final Fantasy XV, Compile Heart was the first studio to release their newest title Omega Quintet (stylized as Quintet in Japan) on the next generation console.
Released under the studios Galapagos RPG Brand, a series of titles specifically catered for the Japanese market, Omega Quintet combines both RPG and idol simulation genres into one grand title. Compile Heart has also confirmed an international release so all game terms found in this article are from the localised version.
A World with No Hope
Omega Quintet takes place in a world engulfed by the Blare, a mysterious phenomenon which create hideous monsters and erode a persons mind upon contact. After countless attempts to stop the Blare from spreading, humanity suffered great losses and now reside in Middleton, the last city on Earth. Several generations later, a special breed of females capable of destroying the Blare using singing and dancing was discovered and are labeled as Verse Maidens.
The game stars Takt and his childhood friend Otoha who were attacked by Blare monsters but was saved by Momoka, a veteran Verse Maiden. During the battle, Otoha discovers her latent potential, aiding Momoka in repelling the monsters. With Otoha drafted as a newbie Verse Maiden and Takt acting as her manager, the two unlikely heroes along with four other Verse Maidens are tasked to save the world from imminent destruction.
The conversation parts between Takt, the Verse Maidens and key characters are done in a visual novel manner minus the narrative dialogue. In each chapter, the players main objective is to complete several quests such as defeating monsters or obtain a certain item to progress into the main story event. During this phase, Takt can roam around the base to activate additional conversations with the girls, increasing their affections towards him.
The base itself is home to the Item Shop, Makeup Room, and the Training Room. Aside from buying items, players can upgrade equipment by spending elemental resources and materials. Elemental resources can only be obtained by dismantling special items found in dungeons. The Makeup room allows you to freely change a Verse Maidens appearance such as her hairstyle and hair/eye colour or wear additional accessories. Do note that the changes do not affect the characters appearance during conversations. Lastly the Training Room is a quick place to test out strategies before the real deal.
Going on Stage
The battle system in Omega Quintet is turn based with interesting gameplay mechanics. Basically both the player and enemies must wait for their turn in the Active Turn Bar (ATB) to perform any action. During the players turn, there are two different command groups to choose from: Attack and Support. Attack Commands such as Attack and Skills can be performed in succession, dealing big damage on the enemies. However, the more attacks are performed, the longer it takes for the character to act again.
Support Commands in turn are special actions such as Harmonics, switching equipment, or change positions. Harmonics allow the Verse Maidens to combine their attacks together, creating a series of combination attacks. In order to use this powerful command, the characters must have their turns in consecutive order on the ATB. This is where Takt comes into the fray as he can pair up with a Verse Maiden to either delay the enemies turn or use himself as a shield.
Another support command to look out for is Concert Mode, which grants additional stat bonuses to all the party members. The Voltage gauge located on the bottom right of the battle screen actually represents the audience who are watching the battle live at Middleton and is increased by performing actions or getting hit by the enemy. When Concert Mode is activated, the audience will request a specific action such as using an item or attack an enemy, further increasing the gauge level if the player fulfills these requests. Verse Maidens can also use their Special Skill, an ultimate attack unique to the character itself at the cost of depleting the Voltage Gauge. It is possible to combine Harmonics and Special Skills together but the conditions to do so are strict but rewarding.
To be honest, I am personally surprised by Omega Quintets overall presentation. While the graphics are not up to par with other RPG titles on the PS4, the loading times are instantaneous and the battle system is amazing. If you want to take a break from fighting, you can even create your own idol music video at the base which in itself is a huge time sink.
In short, Omega Quintet is a great RPG and should not be judged by its anime style graphics. The international version is slated to be released this coming Spring season in both retail and digital format.