*UPDATED JAN 6TH 2019*
*Now that this game is available on the Nintendo Switch we now have the power of portability with such an amazing Metroidvania! This is a game a must own must buy game and runs smoothly portably!*
Omega Strike Is A Love Letter To A Bygone Era. Omega Strike plays like a fusion of Metroid and Treasure’s Sega Genesis classic Gunstar Heroes. Featuring vibrant sprites, satisfying gunplay, and excellent and cohesive stage design, it’s a loving throwback that no fan of the 16-bit era should miss. The game follows a band of heroes known collectively as the Omega Strike team. Doctor Omega and his army of mutants are marching toward world domination, with no one other than the Omega Strike team standing in his way. It falls to you to navigate and blast your way through a band of interesting locations and put a stop to Doctor Omega’s nefarious movement once and for all. Like I said, it’s pretty light on the overarching story, but it works well nevertheless.
Omega Strike is a metroidvania experience through and through so it was nice to see Omega Strike taking this foundation seriously. As you dive deeper into the game and unlock new capabilities, you’ll be able to travel back to previously charted locations to reach new areas. Players are free to explore a sizable map teeming with baddies to blast and secrets to uncover. As you progress through the world you’ll frequently encounter obstacles. And more often than not, the key to overcoming these roadblocks is a new ability that’s unlocked by toppling a boss or exploring some dungeon-like area. However, while many Metroidvania games move at a methodical pace, Omega Strike steams ahead at a steady clip, thanks in no small part due to its snappy platforming and delightful, fast-paced gunplay. This more frenetic pace suits the game well, making Omega Strike feel decidedly more punchy and explosive than other games in the genre. Each character brings their own flavor to the mix through the use of unique weaponry and traits. For example, Sarge packs a machine gun, making him a solid fit for most fights. He also gains the ability to roll under low ledges and climb pipes to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. The burly Bear’s grenade launcher doesn’t pack the rate of fire or range of Sarge’s machine gun, but its arcing shots can hit enemies from hard-to-reach angles. He’s also the strongest member of the bunch, and can move giant blocks out of the way to clear paths and create makeshift platforms. Lastly, the agile Dex is an invaluable member of the squad. His double jump allows him to deftly reach high-above platforms and avoid pitfalls. And his shotgun is absolutely destructive – especially when it’s fully upgraded by the friendly neighborhood arms dealer.
These traits, such as being able to blow up objects or reach higher ledges, will be used frequently throughout the game in order to proceed further in. On the basis that it complements the game’s steady pace, this works well in its favor. Though, again, there’s little reason to fast-swap outside of that. I often found myself sticking to just one character religiously whenever I could. Still, it’s very easy to overlook in the long run. Playing Omega Strike really does feel like digging into a long lost prototype from the days when the 16-bit console wars were in full swing. Trust me, if you’re a fan of colorful pixel art then you’re going to love what you see here. Charm can only take you so far though, and at the end of the day Omega Strike left me wanting more. Not for a lack of quality, mind you. Make no mistake, what’s here is great! The problem is it feels more like a bite-sized — albeit delicious — appetizer than a spectacular feast for fans of the genre. This is mainly due to the game’s rather toothless difficulty and staggeringly short campaign. You’ll never find yourself too far from enemies who seemingly shower you in health power-ups.
Omega Strike is fun, thrilling. I adored the time I spent with Omega Strike. From its lush sprite-based visuals to its unforgettable soundtrack, it’s an incredibly slick package. This masterful presentation, combined with some really well crafted levels, creates an almost intoxicating experience for Metroidvania fans with a soft spot for the 16-bit era. The only downside to me is the easy difficulty and the biggest of all is the length, however, when a game’s biggest problem is you just want to keep playing it, you know you have a winner on your hands.