Jan 10, 2008
Oldsters will immediately be reminded of the classic Capcom shooter Forgotten Worlds upon firing up Live Arcade’s latest offering, Omega Five. Like Forgotten Worlds, the characters in Omega Five don’t need any fancy space ships to perforate the hundreds of bogeys inhabiting their constantly scrolling world. These heroes simply fly - or float - through each level, shooting in 360 degrees and generally wreaking havoc.
Though Omega Five isn’t really all that long, the difficulty easily makes up for the brevity. There are no options to change the difficulty either, so if you’re easily frustrated with the type of challenge found in most old-school, arcade shooters, Omega Five probably isn’t for you. It’s worth noting, though, that after a few play sessions the game will reward you with a few more continues than the initial two that you receive. And this isn’t a one-hit-kill game, either. You actually have a life bar to work with, and it can be replenished with certain bonus pickups.
Control is the now-standard, dual analog stick setup seen in games like Geometry Wars and Everyday Shooter. There’s a rudimentary power up system that’s pretty effective as well, allowing you to level-up one of three different weapons by concentrating on the proper pickups through each level.
While the game play isn’t incredibly fast, it is intense, and that’s what really counts. Plus, as in all great shooters, you’ve got not only screen-filling bosses, but frequent encounters with similarly ginormous baddies throughout each level.
There’s no real story to speak of, and really nothing overly cohesive about the various levels found here. But that’s kind of what Live Arcade is all about - this is obviously a small project from a small development team that was never meant to be a full-fledge, retail style game. All you need for a great shooter is solid control and intense action, and Omega Five has that in spades. Plus it’s got some extremely pretty visuals to boot.