Saturday, December 29

Review: Omega Strike [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Tapping into retro feels is always a good way to get the attention of vintage gamers, but it can be a tricky business in balancing classic simplicity with enough modern sensibilities that the experience is engaging. With a Metroidvania-esque feel, in Omega Strike you’ll be working with a team of 3 slightly varied heroes rather than managing a ton of abilities in the same character. While early on you’ll end up needing to rescue 2 of your team, providing the equivalent of gaining your initial upgrades that allow you to get into new areas, from there you’ll be working to clear areas, find hidden golden skulls to feed your desires to upgrade, and taking out periodic bosses.


While the character switching can make for some relatively simple puzzle elements (one character can roll through small spaces, another can push heavy objects, another can double-jump) and there are specific circumstances where you’ll want to use their specific guns, you’ll probably settle into a preferred character most of the time. Since you’re unable to shoot diagonally lining up to take out some enemies will take some timing to avoid their fire and take them out but this works reasonably well. Boss battles don’t typically take too much effort to sort out, you’ll need to be mindful of their attacks but generally you just need to keep firing to chew through their health rather than needing to be precise.


For the most part this all works out fine but there’s also quite a bit of tedium along the way. The biggest issue is probably just that everything feels pretty safe and familiar, aside from the general repetition with in the game itself on a system crowded with shooters of all types this just feels a bit lacking in personality. The fact that it perpetually feels like you’re needing to backtrack to get to a spot you couldn’t before or may have missed, and this simply takes a bit of time, doesn’t help. The platforming and shooting is just challenging enough that you can’t phone it in but not engaging enough that you’re on the edge of your seat.


If you’re looking for a decent run and gun experience with a hint of puzzling thrown in Omega Strike isn’t a bad option, just don’t expect many surprises along the way. It has no major flaws to speak of, is designed reasonably well, and puts up a bit of a challenge in spots, especially when save points get a bit spread out. There are definitely more ambitious titles already on the eShop but in a pinch this makes for some decent variety, especially if you are looking for something a bit old school.


Score: 6.5

Pros:
  • Solid mechanically and plays well
  • The variety between the heroes, their abilities, and their weapons makes for situational uses and minor puzzles
  • Has a nice classic but modern pixel art look

Cons:
  • Less exciting and inspired than some other titles in the eShop in the same genre
  • Backtracking can get a bit tedious
  • Just feels a bit too safe and simple overall