Amaterasu Blog

10Jul/117

Omega no Shikai Review

One of the most unforgettable mind screws I've ever read.

The writing in Omega is absolutely ridiculous. Tons of cryptic language, abstract ramblings, maybe a hundred arc words (whose meanings you have to figure out), kanji and non-kanji puns, furigana abuse, stuff that looks like gibberish but isn't, random assortments of the above, and on occasion it seems to be outright mocking your ignorance. Between this, the good soundtrack, the unique and memorable art style, and the actual plot connecting all that nonsense together, the game is thoroughly immersive and addicting. Anyone who likes mind screws will have a very strong desire to unravel the mysteries, no matter how long it takes or hard it is to do so. And it is very possible to work out a lot of it by paying sufficiently close attention (and taking a few notes).

The flip side of this is that there is an insanely large amount of this cryptic text. So much so that it ends up being a bit of a chore to read through all of it. Though it is a satisfying chore, answers and plot developments really should have come at a slightly faster pace, and by the end there are simply too many questions left hanging. The ending itself was also a slight disappointment in some ways.

The strange thing is, in retrospect, it's hard to care very much about those faults. Puzzling out what I could was just so satisfying (in that trying harder really did consistently result in more understanding) that I still love the game even though I'm probably never going to get complete closure on it.

There's not much to say about characters since they, their actions and their motivations are all so thoroughly integrated into the mysteries (whether you know it or not). But I liked a lot of them and there are no clear faults to pick with any of them.

Score: 8.5/10

Polarization: (-4/+1)

For many this will be an unrewarding, convoluted, slow-moving, pretentious mess and nothing more than that. For a few, this could be weeks or months of happily piecing together obscure plot points. Hopefully you'll be somewhere in the middle like me.

Routes/Endings Played: Mostly linear, both endings

Warning: When you save your game in Omega, you're making a save at the start of the chapter, not at the exact line you're currently on. I don't know why either, but that's how it works. Fortunately there are a hundred or so chapters.

Comments (7) Trackbacks (0)
  1. For those curious as to whether I’ll translate this, the short version is I’d love to someday, but I’m not honestly sure I can. This is the only thing I’ve ever read which I think could be called “untranslatable”, though I’m unsure whether I would call it that myself. Still, I probably will take a stab at it someday as I doubt anyone else would want to/dare to.

  2. Sounds interesting…^^
    I always seem annoyed at mind screw kinda stuff because I can’t figure it out and none of my friends read the same stuff but then I end up liking to read them anyway~

    I just finished Inganock and I loved it!
    Thanks for all the work you’ve done~.

  3. Stop reviewing interesting things! My backlog is big enough as it is!
    By the way, about how long is it?

  4. @Mazyrian: Quoth my twitter: “I think it’s actually average length, the writing is just so absurdly difficult it may as well be 3 MB or something.”

  5. Nekobanana’s Omega…
    A curious study into screwing the mind…

    I wonder how you’d go about translating something like, “stuff that looks like gibberish but isn’t”. xD
    Thanks for the review! Was wondering about Omega ever since the last major poll.

  6. I find it amusing how often you link to tvtropes. I’m almost thinking that you’re trying to screw over some of your readers for life.

  7. Nothing would make me happier than seeing this translated. Maybe it’d be better if I just improved my Japanese instead..


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