Omega Boost Review,
This review is from: Omega Boost (Video Game)
Made at the end of the PlayStation One's lifespan, Omega Boost was a shooter game developed by Polyphony Digital in collaboration Shoji Kawamori, renowned for his mechanical designs for game and anime franchises.
The game's story is pretty standard, and serves to give the game a setting as opposed to substance. Set in the year 2099, a rogue A.I known as Alpha Core has taken over the world to the point that human resistance is nigh-impossible. Humanity's only hope is in Lieutenant Lester, the pilot for the mecha Omega Boost. Lester is tasked to infiltrate Alpha Core's main base, utilize its "time-shaft" machine to travel back in time and reprogram the world first electronic computer so that it does not spawn the Alpha Core virus.
The game itself was met with some extremely polarized criticism, and is infamous in causing a divide between gamers and critics, due to the game's design. Taking all criticism and plaudits on board it is fair to say that Omega Boost is a very fun and enjoyable game, but built with game mechanics that make the gameplay hideously simplistic.
The presentation of the game is commendable. The soundtrack is a memorable hybrid of rock and electronic music, and the game's visual graphics proudly maintain a degree of polish, with little to no blocky models or flat shading. The game also boasts a 60 frame per second frame rate, which was quite rare for games at the time. Omega Boost is also very addictively fun to play, with a style that harkens back to older titles such as Panzer Dragoon and Starfox.
Omega Boost has three weapons. First being an energy machine gun that is fired by pressing the fire button rapidly and a missile module that locks on to enemies by holding down the fire button and fires a barrage upon release. Access to the Viper Boost weapon becomes available in later levels but with limited use due to its power. Variety in weapons however is somewhat lacking, with a missed opportunity for an extended arsenal.
The most glaring criticism and limitation of the game is the lack of any depth in its gameplay. While Omega Boost tries to feign free movement in an open zone by the way the player can rotate the orientation of Omega Boost's aim, the mech actually moves on a set line, much like a rail shooter.
The best way to describe the games movement is to compare it to a gyroscope. Omega Boost can orientate itself in all three axes, however is restricted in forward movement, much like how the gyroscope's frame restricts its rotor. Holding the scan button down allows movement symmetrical to the mechanics of scrolling shooters however you are still fixed to move along an invisible rail. The game is also very short, adding to the impression of style over substance.
If you are able to overlook the contained and somewhat sketchy game mechanics then Omega Boost is quite enjoyable, despite lacking any originality or depth.