Rhythm games aren't dead: They've just gone underground. Appropriately, Omega: The First Movement is all about secrets, rebellion, and an underground movement.
This peppy rhythm title focuses around one of the few flesh-and-blood human musicians remaining in a world of cyborgs. The hero makes robot-destroying noise with the help of his massive axe and timed input (that's where you come in). Beware: The robots are capable of dishing up the pain, too.
When music hurts
There aren't too many rhythm / battle game hybrids out there, and Omega: The First Movement is a welcome addition to the sparse library. Each game level pits you against some manner of robot, all of which have some very cool and creative designs presented through an eerie rusty filter.
When a fight begins, you're allowed to choose from one of three options - attack, defend, or charge up your special attack. Once you've chosen, you begin a quick rhythm game that involves tapping left and right buttons to the correct beat. Once it's done, you perform your selected action. The better you do in the rhythm portion, the better the outcome.
Enemies have the same turn options as you do, which gives Omega: The First Movementa bit of a Paper-Rock-Scissors vibe. If your enemy defends, attacking won't do much good. If they rain attacks on you one turn after another, you're going to want to defend – and that goes double for any instance wherein they pull out a massive special attack.
Every musician starts off slow
Omega: The First Movementis easy to play, though initially understanding the game's instructions is a bit tricky thanks to some very poor translation work. The shoddy translation also makes it difficult to understand the game's story. The story isn't vitally important of course, but you'll spend some time wondering what kind of tone it's trying to take.
Decent gameplay triumphs at the end of the day, however. Whereas most rhythm games end a session if you goof up too often, falling down in Omega: The First Movement simply means you make a weaker attack for that particular turn. Being allowed to stay in the game becomes especially nice in later levels, where you may squeak by, but are allowed to progress regardless.
Omega: The First Movement has an upgrade system that you definitely want to partake of. In fact, even though you're not held prisoner on tough levels by being forced to restart over and over for a few mistakes, you're still motivated to travel back to previous levels and do better in order to collect the metals necessary for upgrading your attack, defence, and special skills.
Omega: The First Movement is a bit on the short side, but being able to replay missions for rewards helps pad things out.
While some change-up in music would be nice (most of what's on tap has a same-y rock sound, which isn't objectionable but not really memorable either), Omega: The First Movement is a fresh and fun rhythm title that should give fans of the genre something new to play with. Down with the robot regime! Up with big huge guitars!