Omega Five is the latest space shooter to hit the Xbox Live Arcades. In a frenzy of futuristic robots, lasers, and flamethrowers, Omega Five is set to deliver a few moments of heart racing action in high definition 720p.
The Xbox Live Arcade network is a crowded house full of shooters and they just keep on coming out. The latest entry to this living room of shooting action is Omega Five. For Omega Five to be recognized from the rest of the pack it really needs have something special, and in Omega Five’s case this would be its HD graphics and unique character based action. Aside from that, well... you know the drill.
Omega Five makes an impression blistering in brilliant HD. The combination of bright colours, lighting effects and crisp textures makes Omega Five pop out of the screen. Even though the design has a little more to be desired with its sci-fi theme, robot monsters and oversized players, Omega Five is different then the standard R-Type spaceship shooter. In Omega Five you choose from two players, a girl, Ruby and the four armed guy called the Tempest. Each character plays the same in movement, so you’re really only getting an outward change in appearance and the power-ups the can collect. I’d take Ruby over Tempest any day because he is an odd duck. Really, four arms, one gun, and does he hold it, “you know where”? From there you blast away while trying to stay alive to take out the deadly, and always large, final boss.
Powering up each character will give you a distinct edge over the robot army that soars your way. In Ruby's case she gives up three types (A-C) which consist of rapid fire laser, pink lasers, and green steam of electricity. Picking up the same lettered power-up strengthens the weapon giving more bang for the buck. You can also grab the power-ups in different orders for powerful combinations. It’s good to experiment while keeping in mind the order you collected them so you can find the perfect weapon for your playing style. This applies to all the characters a not just Ruby, from Tempest’s B “Liquid Gun” or Sensei’s Sword, the perfect weapon for you is in the game.
If you are new to side-scrolling shooters then be prepared for a challenge. Omega Five only gives you a few continues and throws a large amount of enemies at varying in attack strategies, size and speed. From the all sides your player will be bombarded by attacks which make for a small learning curve. This curve basically takes a few run thoughts to learn the patterns of the enemies. One good thing for new gamers to the shooting market is that Omega Five is a little slower moving then the increasing impossible speeds of something like Geometry Wars. Omega Five lets you breathe for a least a few seconds before the next wave starts. Even a few granted seconds always helps easy the tension.
For all the over achievers and achievement addicted gamers, Omega Five's 12 achievements will put you skills to test. In Omega Five the achievements range from the basic clear the stage achievements for 10 points each to more difficult ones, completing the game without continues. Beating the game without continues applies to each character including the unlockables Sensei unlockable character which brings in 75 points. The other achievements are split up between other goal oriented achievements that should be easy to snag once you find the "Slip n' Slide-Kill Em' All" rhythm.
Omega Five is fast paced, mildly challenging and graphically pleasing, however there is a problem. It’s over too quickly. Four levels isn't enough to satisfy most gamers and that where a few more levels would have helped. Omega Five is lacking in longetivity and strong appeal because its too short. When you can clear the game in one sitting there isn't much reason to get back into the action. If you wondering how quick can Omega Five be cleared, I'd say if you have the skill Omega Five can be cleared within 25 minutes. If you don't mind the lack of levels, Omega Five offers some extra re-play value in its co-op mode, ultra hard ++ modes, and achievement hunting. Unless you're hardcore into shooters, the average gamer will probably play Omega Five long enough to clear it once and then it will be moved it aside for something else. Depending on your gaming nature, this could be good enough for you to warrant a purchase.
Omega Five is a fun diversion game that is over as quickly as it begins. There is some challenge here for gamers wanting to pick up all the achievements or discover a few unlockables. It’s too bad Omega Five is a short game with only four levels because the graphics and game design is impressive. Omega Five stands out marginally against a plethora of shooters in the Arcade, and should be investigated if you’re a fan of classic shooters. If you’ve been hoarding your points, like me, you might want to wait out for a game you can get a little more longevity from.