How Metroidvania is it? Medium Fit. Exploration and backtracking is all there, but everything plays out like a linear level once you get to the new access points.
Primary Challenge: Ranged Combat
Time to beat: ~6 hours
Review Info: Omega Strike was played on Steam.
Buy Omega Strike if you like…
- Switching Characters
- Beautiful Pixel Art
- Decent Music
- Killing Mutants
- Low Challenge
▼ Review continues below ▼
Every good game should strive to reach what I like to call “The Point of Satisfaction.” This is the point when if the player stops playing they can look back at the experience with fondness and no regrets. The content the game should be just enough to achieve this. If it undershoots the point of satisfaction, then it may be a reason that the game feels too short, as the player subconsciously recognizes untapped potential – and this can happen even if the game is over 20 hours long. Conversely, a game can overshoot the point of satisfaction, which is in my opinion one of the major contributing factors to why a game can feel too long. Even though it’s only 6 hours long, this is where Omega Strike stands with me; it plays out all of its mechanics very quickly and hits the point where the remaining content had me saying to myself “Yeah, I get it.”
It’s really a shame too, since mechanically and graphically Omega Strike looks and plays fantastic. Ostensibly its character switching should have brought in a ton of unique situations – and it does – but it simply repeats those situations ad nauseam rather than providing new level gimmicks or content that feels fresh. There are three main enemy types that you’ll see at the beginning of the game all the way until the end of the game – the latter enemies just take more damage to keep up with your weapon upgrades. Using similar enemy types throughout the game isn’t inherently bad – even some of my top rated games do it – but for the most part your first 40 minutes are going to feel exactly like the last 40 minutes with only a few minor adjustments here and there.
Your three characters function, essentially, like a weapon switching system – except you switch your Metroidvania power-ups too. The main character has a rapid fire attack that would be useful if you didn’t have to dodge all the time. You have a strong guy that has a gun that shoots grounded bullets, which is useful for taking out enemies before you drop into places, but in general you only switch to this guy when the game forces you to. Then you have the Third character that I ended up playing most of the time since he has the double jump – and the agility you gain from that is one of the most powerful defensive tools you can have in any Metroidvania game. The concept of character switching isn’t new to the Metroidvania genre. It works well in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and in Julius Mode in Dawn of Sorrow. I think one of the key features of those examples though is that each character complimented the others in some way. In Omega Strike when you have to switch so that you can roll through a passageway or do a double jump it feels more like an unnecessary obstacle added to the formula rather than fun diversity. It doesn’t help that there are three characters, but only one button available to switch them with, meaning you have to cycle through the usually worthless Strong Dude in order to switch back and forth between rolling and double jumping. I think the game could have been improved if it was just the Main character with three weapons he could switch between – and all movement upgrades – rather than having the swap system, even if that would have given Omega Strike even less of an identity to make itself stand out.
In terms of level design, the difficulty is handled by creating larger gaps between checkpoints rather than changing up the challenges. Just looking at the level structure, there are a lot of great level design concepts, they just get overplayed very quickly. And, at least while playing on the highest difficulty, bosses similarly just overstay their welcome. With a few exceptions they have pretty simplistic patterns that once you get it down it’s just a matter of waiting out their HP pool. Cut a little shorter though, the bosses actually aren’t too bad in terms of design – it’s just that they fall prey to Omega Strike’s general flaw of spreading its ideas out too long.
Omega Strike’s strongest feature is its production values, but unfortunately outside of its great pixel art and pretty good music, it’s a mostly forgettable experience. The character swap mechanic is a bit of a miss, and there isn’t even any quirkiness to help it standout, making it difficult to recommend to anyone over the plethora of other options available. Omega Strike isn’t bad by any means, but it also fails to do anything particularly interesting.
Combat Mechanics are very tight, but the content spreads itself far too thin to keep it interesting for the gametime
There is the occasional challenge, nothing too hard, but then you get to repeat them a few times until it's boring
There are health power ups and money to buy more healing items. It's pretty unexciting
Not a focus - but nothing obstructive
Evil Scientist uses Captain America potion to take over the world Shoot his face. Nothing particularly special
The pixel art is fantastic
The music is catchy and fits the game very well
Two difficulty modes, but really no reason to play this twice