Thanks to Digerati for the review code
Title: Omega Strike
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 12/25/2018
In this action-adventure game, you take control of a band of heroes who set out on an adventure to stop an evil dictator from unleashing his grand plan for world domination! It’s as basic of a plot as you can get, but it still manages to serve a purpose and explains how you get your upgrades.
Woblyware’s usual 16-bit inspired pixel art strikes back again, but it looks much better here than in any of their previous efforts. Being a metroidvania instead of a stage by stage platformer, the backgrounds are much more varied and both them and the sprites are more detailed, making this game look really pretty. The music is even a step up from the usual efforts as well, and while it’s still not close to being a memorable soundtrack, there are at least more decent/good tunes than bad ones this time.
Omega Strike is a metroidvania game where the main gimmick is taking control of three characters that each have their own differing abilities. One of them can break through walls, one of them can roll, and the other can rapid-fire and double jump. Before long though, your two buddies will be taken away from you, and it’s up to you to hunt them down and get their help in order to take on the dictator!
Each character has their own sets of abilities, which you’re given a sampling of at the beginning of the adventure. Sarge uses a standard weapon and can do a roll to crawl under tighter passages, Bear is the big guy that uses a weapon akin to the Fireball from Cave Story while also being able to push big blocks out of the way, and Dex can double jump and fire more powerful close-range shots. Once you re obtain all three, switching between them on the fly will be quick and easy, leading to the world getting more open.
Thus, the standard fare of a metroidvania applies. Going from point A to B, gaining new abilities and using said abilities to open new routes in older areas all applies here as well. Along the way you can find optional goodies such as life cubes, which can be traded in the main hub town for extra health once you give up four of them, along with coins and treasure that can be spend on upgrades for weapons on all three characters.
The game does open up a bit once you get your squad back, and there’s a lot of optional stuff you can goof off and complete before focusing on the main objective, though the game doesn’t really do much else besides that. It gets pretty engaging once you rescue Bear, but during that period of being a solo guy Omega Strike can kinda feel like a cut and dry Metroidvania. I think that if Dex was the main playable character instead of Sarge, the game would flow much better during those opening hours, since while it technically works, it also feels pretty plain, and the fact the game gives you a tease of the best parts before taking them away is just a small bummer.
In conclusion, Omega Strike, while not the best Metroidvania I’ve ever played, was still surprisingly fun compared to my initially low expectations. Despite the annoying distance between save points at times and how the game takes a few hours to open up, this is a really enjoyable adventure game that’s worth a look if you’re into more metroidvania action. It doesn’t do much to shake things up or even offer a unique take on the formula, but Woblyware managed to provide what’s easily one of their best experiences to date, and it was one that I feel is worth a look if you liked any of their other titles or just want a new metroidvania to play. That being said, if you were hoping for a new twist or something cool to experiment with, you may be disappointed.
I give Omega Strike an 7 out of 10.