I just can’t stop writing about Idea Factory games – it’s that mummy curse that forces me to cover every remotely fanservice-y anime game striking again. This is why I can’t put this stuff on my resume. One Google search and it’s all over. Er, anyway, today we’re talking about Omega Quintet, the latest JRPG to get cranked out of the Factory – and the first for the PlayStation 4, as it happens. The twist here is that Omega Quintet sells itself as a combination of idol simulator (a la The Idolmaster) and JRPG. It doesn’t really work out that way, though – what we’ve got here is maybe 10% idols, 90% JRPG.
Omega Quintet is fairly reminiscent of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, which should come as a surprise to pretty much nobody. It stars a singing, dancing, monster-slaying troupe managed by the player. Your usual anime tropes are present and accounted for, of course, because this is an Idea Factory game and gosh darn it, they do one thing and they do it well. One of these days Idea Factory is going to make an incredibly gruesome FPS and we’re all going to be shocked. That day is not today, this is a JRPG about idols. There you have it.
The idols in question are Verse Maidens, magical girls with magical voices whose singing is used to combat interdimensional monsters known as the Blare. As Takt, the girls’ manager, you’ll be assisting with this much as you “assist” in any other idol-type game – in other words, you’re mostly an observer. Takt can show up and help in combat every so often, which in turn offers your usual Relationship Points-style boost, but this game’s all about the girls.
Despite Omega Quintet largely selling itself as a hybrid between an idol sim and a JRPG, most of the game consists of JRPG-style combat. The combat system is similar in concept to some of the Atelier games as well as Final Fantasy X, featuring a gauge that tracks your characters’ turn order along with that of the enemies. There’s a few ways that things get shook up though, most of which are based around positioning, as your weapons and skills will do varying amounts of damage based on where the enemies are in relation to your characters. You also get bonuses for combo attacks and for, uh, fighting with your clothes messed up. It’s exactly how you think it is. Not quite Senran Kagura or anything, don’t get me wrong, but it’s exactly what you think.
What it isn’t, though, is very…uh, idol-ish. There’s not really a lot of singing. My significant other was particularly dismayed at this, and I’m sure her dismay is going to be reflected on the faces of anyone who goes into Omega Quintet expecting it to be a musical RPG. Don’t get me wrong, musical RPGs are great. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure was probably the greatest game ever made. Omega Quintet, sadly, does not feature nearly as much singing. There’s the odd musical segment, including the ability to direct your own promotional videos, but it’s no Rhapsody. It’s not even a Karmaflow. That’s disappointing. Why isn’t every random battle a musical number? Why isn’t every line of dialogue a lyric? Alas.
Still, Omega Quintet definitely has that Idea Factory charm in spades. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel about the company, because without the actual musical aspect of the title, it feels like one of their more generic games. I still feel like IF makes some of the best JRPGs out there and this is certainly a good game, but it had the potential to be so much more. If you’re hurting for some JRPG action and you’ve cleaned up the Neptunia titles already, then Omega Quintet should slake that thirst just fine.