The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Weapons can make or break any
adventure. When playing an RPG, we always make sure we have the right
equipment, whether it's buying a higher-powered sword at a new shop or making
our own tweaks and upgrades with customization. Weapons get us through the
majority of our quests, but they're rarely what the journey is about. Weapon
Shop De Omasse shifts the focus onto making these invaluable implements,
leaving the adventures as an afterthought. Even when heroes win, it's the
weapons that get the praise.
Weapon Shop De Omasse tasks you
with running your own weapon rental shop. The premise is simple: study the
quests the heroes are embarking on and rent them weapons to improve their
chances for success. When a hero has a quest, it lists what level of weapon can
be wielded and what types of weapons and elements the enemies are weak against,
like fire or pierce attacks. Your goal is to improve your heroes' chances to
come back victorious. If a hero doesn't succeed, the weapon is lost and you
can't rent it out again. This sounds like an interesting dynamic, but Weapon Shop
De Omasse doesn't keep you on your toes. I only lost a single weapon, and it
was because it was staged for the tutorial. Sometimes I didn't even improve my
chances as much as possible, but still succeeded. The challenge of running a
shop never shines through, and each mission is too forgiving. Without chaos or
difficult choices, my wits went untested. Since there's only one difficulty
mode, it doesn't give you any way to rev up the challenge, either.
What little challenge Weapon Shop
De Omasse contains is in the actual weapon creation. You select the weapon
type, add any materials for boosts like poison or extra pierce power, and then
create it via a rhythm minigame. Your success depends on tapping the metal in
sync with the beats to shape the weapon. It has some depth to it, as your
success at certain stages in the melody determines the weapon's slash, pierce,
and blunt power. You also can't just tap the same part of the material
repeatedly, or you miss. For the best results, you work your way from the outside,
tapping as many different points as possible.
The problem with creating weapons
via rhythm minigames is that it gets boring, especially since each weapon type
carries the same tunes. Everything becomes too predictable, and it's
unfulfilling. In a game where your main job is to create weapons, making the
experience so monotonous and unexciting takes its toll. The actual creation is
shallow; weapons aren't complex to make, you can't customize them beyond color
choice, and even the option to add materials doesn't provide enough depth. In
forging, you merely select materials to add that you either pick up from
adventurers or buy yourself for bonuses. If they were harder to obtain, altered
weapons drastically, or had a hook - like allowing you to create better bonuses
by mixing materials together - it would be a different story.
As you create weapons and polish
them, scrolling text documents the different heroes' adventures. This gives
insight into how your weapon is faring, but the real draw is the humorous
commentary. Weapon Shop De Omasse doesn't take itself seriously, and that's
where it earns its charm. The whole time, it makes fun of itself and other
video games. NPCs rent weapons and say stuff like, "Are you sure you don't want
to save this weapon for a real character?" Or they announce that they're the
"stereotypical adventurer that are a dime a dozen now."
Main adventurers also come into
the shop, and these characters have story arcs that play out through various
quests, and they are even more entertaining than the NPCs. They're all pretty
eccentric, like an innocent-looking granny who can pack a punch and
overconfident acrobatic sisters who are just picking up a weapon for the first
time. Still, these diversions aren't enough to overcome the boredom, especially
since they're treated as background noise. Their journeys play out as you're
doing shop work, so you're more zoned in on that, especially during the rhythm
As more people rent out the same
weapon, the weapon levels up. You also acquire stronger materials as the game
goes on. That is, until the very end when you're creating the weapon to take
down the Evil Lord. This was one of my biggest annoyances, as it goes against
what the game has told you from the start: Always make sure your weapon matches
the quest level. You never receive materials to create a level eight weapon to
match the Evil Lord quest. This creates confusion, since the game keeps going
on until you decide to provide a weapon. I actually waited a bit wondering if the
materials were coming and I just had to fulfill some NPC quests or create all
the weapons possible. Essentially, you're supposed to send a character in with
a level seven weapon.
I liked the quirkiness of Weapon
Shop De Omasse, but I was never truly captivated by it. The best simulation
games get you in a groove and provide a great sense of progression, making them
hard to put down. That just isn't what Weapon Shop De Omasse offers, being too
simplistic for its own good. Level-5 is known for putting a great deal of
customization and depth into its games, but here it's missing and I was wishing
for more control over the weapon creation process. Weapon Shop De Omasse offers
a diversion and loses its momentum quickly; if only it had something more
substantial to save it from being another humdrum shop simulation.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
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