So the time has come for “Part 2” but, partially breaking the promise made on Part 1, I will not be talking about a Gundam title.
The reason for this is pretty simple: I still can’t find the time to play “Gundam Musou 3” and, as you know, I won’t write about it without having performed some “serious testing”.
Nonetheless, this post is still robots-related, and you’ll find the end of the entire story in the upcoming “Part 3“.
Let’s start by saying tha Omega Boost is a three dimensional shoot’em up developed by Polyphony Digital for the Sony PlayStation, and was released starting from April 1999 (EU release was in September same year).
In case you didn’t know about this title, Polyphony Digital is much better known for Gran Turismo saga, but OB used the same 3d game engine, and it shows!
In the game, you take control of the Omega Boost, a giant robot. Your mission is to travel back in time to stop an artificial intelligence called Alpha Core from altering ENIAC, the first computer. Should the plan succeed, Alpha Core would result more powerful in the future, thus threatening the existence of mankind.
The game itself is not very complicated in terms of gameplay: using your giant robot you face your enemies in waves, which will appear in the same groups and formations every playthrough.
In truth, although simplistic, this being “on rail” does not hamper your freedom of movement: you can fly where you want in most stages. Sometimes you have complete control over your mecha, specifically when you are in orbit or fighting in the planet atmosphere; other stages just give you lateral control, since speed and advancing is computer controlled (for example when falling through the timeshaft).
Like in every manga, anime or decent game, your robot is fully equipped with very powerful booster packs, which allow you to move in any direction and strafing around enemies. It also has a scan and lock-on feature, which really help during battles.
The game has an arcade type of gameplay (no customization allowed) resembling the Z.O.E. saga, and fairly short missions, but its technical compartment is very strong. Besides having a high production values due to its music tracks, it also features a live action introduction …
…and mecha designs by Shoji Kawamori, responsible for Macross (Robotech) saga. In addition, being released late in the PlayStation’s life, Omega Boost is said to have some of the best graphics on the console with parts of the game running at 60 frame/s. The game was criticised by some reviewers for being too short (only nine levels and a fistful of additional unlockable special missions) and, as said, simplistic. However, it is still considered one of the best Macross style mech games ever produced. Too bad it had such a poor marketing!
Even after all these years, Omega Boost pushes the Playstation to its limits: its 3d engine throws hundreds of enemy crafts and light sourced explosions at you. As stated above, the graphics show its Gran Turismo origins. Light reflects on metallic surfaces and missiles flow across the screen with their smoke trail while hundreds of enemies fire hundreds of shots at you, each one being destroyed with a light sourced explosion, without showing a loss in the frame rate.
Despite its simplistic gameplay, Omega Boost is a pretty hard-core title. So face it only if you are willing to embrace your laser rifle and equip your homing missiles. If you are, you must travel through time to replace a vacuum fuse on an antique super computer. And in the way there, just make sure you blow the hell out of anything you encounter.
When you are done, please report back! [End of part 2]
(Images taken from internet)