Weapon Shop de Omasse - Staff Review  

by Sam "Nyx" Marchello

Very Easy
Less than 20 Hours
+ Brilliant writing and localization
+ Unique premise
- Repetitive with no sense of fufillment
- Too long and bloated for its own good
Click here for scoring definitions 

   RPGamers revel in being the heroes who forge through darkness to slay the big bad evil final boss. But how often do we get to experience the role of the NPCs we spend frequent amounts of time mocking and ignoring? In Level-5's Weapon Shop de Omasse, players embark on a journey like no other — in the role of the blacksmith who rents weapons to local heroes that partake in all the loots and experience while you're doing all the grunt work.

   Taking on the role of Yuhan, former NPC extraordinaire, JRPG fans are treated to an unlikely tale told in a sitcom format. Yuhan takes in requests from local heroes and rents them equipment to help in their do-gooder tasks, from slaying ancient evils to fighting a bored and tiresome Evil Lord. When a quest is successful, the heroes rent the weapons and pay Yuhan for his services, but if not, then the weapon is lost along with the potential profits. Regulars that arrive in the shop have their own sitcom-like plotline wherein they confer their woes, sorrows and aggression on Yuhan, in the hopes that he can perhaps make a weapon to solve their problems. These storylines range from a French hero who must save his beloved Anna, to an elderly woman constantly looking for the always lost, but never found "Grandpa." Each narrative is accompanied by a laugh, applause, and even boos in the appropriate places. These little touches make for fun reading.

   Weapon Shop de Omasse's strength lies in its clever writing. From the strong character interactions to the chatter on the Grindstone, Omasse's version of Twitter, players can dip in and out of each heroes' plotline, while also viewing the heroes' progress in terms of their level, HP, and the foes they are facing off against. The Grindstone is by far the game's best asset as many of the plotlines are hilariously written; sometimes the heroes even provide picture attachments and hashtags to show Yuhan their progress as well.

#smashburnandforge #smashburnandforge

   Although Omasse's writing is at the top of its game, the real focus lies in forging weapons for the local heroes. This comes in the form of a rhythm game where players must tap to the beat provided, while reheating their items when necessary to ensure consistent quality. Tapping areas one has already tapped will cause a miss in the chain, decreasing the quality of the weapon. Even though chains can be missed or broken, Omasse is very forgiving in this aspect. It's important to pay close attention to the request being made by the hero: the type of weapon, the level it can be wielded at, and the elements that enemies are weak against. The goal is to ensure that the hero has the right advantages to claim victory over the enemy.

   Even if a hero loses a weapon, the game is forgiving in that it lets players try again with the only penalty being the lost weapon. Furthermore, weapon rank often doesn't matter. Even a dull weapon can succeed in battle and allow the hero's quest to be completed; all that really matters for success is ensuring that the hero can actually equip the weapon made. While these forging requests are frequent throughout game, Omasse's greatest pitfall is its lack of variety.

   In spite of its creative and unique premise, the majority of Weapon Shop Omasse lies in constant repetition. Players will receive orders, forge weapons, polish them, and rent them out the heroes that requested them. This process does not vary in the slightest, only deviating when a player needs to purchase more items or check their stock. In terms of the rhythm game, there are only a small handful of tracks that loop through the forging process, with set patterns that don't deviate either. Polishing weapons also becomes a dull chore as it simply requires players to use the 3DS stylus and wipe the weapons clean. These gameplay elements are serviceable, they function great, but they don't make for an interesting gaming experience. The lack of variety in gameplay would also feel less frustrating if this were a three to four hour game, but the time to complete one playthrough of Omasse takes ten hours total and there just isn't enough to do to make that time feel fulfilling.

#shutupandgivememyweapon #shutupandgivememyweapon

   Regardless, this game boasts a ton of appeal for JRPG fans, as it uses all of the tropes and trappings to make it unique. While players are assisting heroes through forging weapons, a lot of appeal comes from reading the Grindstone and watching the Quests in progress. A lot of the dialogue is also written with RPG fans in mind, as characters will even discuss their stats, progression and weapon proficiency with Yuhan. The game also has multiple endings as once the Evil Lord gauge at the top right has been filled, the heroes who visit the shop will go to face him in a final showdown, and it differs based on who compeletes the quest first. Needless to say, the main ending has quite the surprising twist.

   In terms of graphics, Weapon Shop de Omasse sports well-designed 3D graphics that are cute as a button, but don't do enough to stand out in a crowd. This could also be due to the fact that the game is three screens long (excluding the ending) so in terms of design there's not much to highlight. It's a good looking game, but suffers from not much being there to begin with. In terms of music, the tracks are serviceable but also fail to capture the player's attention, and since there is only a small handful, they loop quite frequently and it makes the forging sections feel even more repetitious than they already are.

   Weapon Shop de Omasse boasts a great premise and for the most part it succeeds at its JRPG sitcom goals. The writing is sharp and will keep players glued to the Grindstone, and that is why the game is worth the participation. However, the gameplay side is repetitious, and bloats the time creating an unnecessarily long experience that doesn't have enough to do to keep it interesting. There's a lot of great ideas in Omasse, but it's a difficult title to recommend at full price and feel as though you'd get your money's worth. If Omasse had been five hours shorter, it would have made for a great compact JRPG throwback, but at ten hours it doesn't do enough to make blacksmithing feel like a fulfilling vocation.

Review Archives

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy