For a full disclosure, I chose to review Omega Labyrinth Life blind. What that means is that I didn’t look at any information about the new releases and instead just selected the one with the most intriguing name. Omega Labyrinth Life, yeah, every part of that title is astounding. The power of ‘Omega’, the mystery of ‘Labyrinth’, and the perplexity of ‘Life.’ Having been craving a good JRPG, I was thrilled to find I had selected one entirely by accident. Upon retrospect, though, the inclusion of jiggle physics during every bout of dialog made me think “What have I gotten myself into?”.
Omega Labyrinth Life attempts to combine genres quite daringly, as it mixes a rougelike dungeon crawler with a story-heavy JRPG, folding in a light life simulation. The game doesn’t do enough to make each fit together well enough, though. The inclusion of each hampered the others, creating a title that felt disjointed and confused.
You start the game entering the Bellefleurs Girls’ Academy, a Japanese boarding school. The centerpiece of the academy is a large, beautiful garden. However, shortly after protagonist Hinata Akatsuki transfers there, something happens at the Bellefleurs Girls’ Academy that never occurred before; the garden dies. A large number of the students blame the new girl, so she attempts to clear her name. To do so, she has to delve into strange caverns beneath the school to find out what happened to the life force of the flower bed.
The biggest problem with the plot is that everything about it comes across as forced. The dialog feels overly flowery and unnatural, with little to no tension built between characters. The writing feels rushed but still drags on. So little happen yet events whizz by insanely quick. I found myself dreading listening to the narrative, as it was a sludgefest to get through.
The characters aren’t much better. Introducing themselves all at once, the women of Bellefleurs lack any defining traits that make them memorable, or separate them from one another. While the character designs are decent and there are a few unique personalities among them, they all share the screen early on and fail to make any lasting impression. The only name I found myself remembering was Hinata and that’s because of other Hinatas in the media elsewhere.
I have a hunch that the ladies lack any form of personality because instead of writing them the time was spent drawing their voluptuous forms. And so we arrive at the central piece of Omega Labyrinth Life, the sexual content. While censored more so on the PS4, the Switch version lacks many restrictions and is quite explicit at times. Yet despite the pleasure I personally can find in the female form, the way it’s presented here is awkward rather than enticing.
A few years back I played Senran Kagura Estival Versus, another game featuring copious amounts of sexual material. Yet what I remember most was not the breasts and nudity, but the sense of the fun the game had. It featured strong gameplay, and the story and visuals contained such an over-the-top design that made things fun and almost comical. Yes, it was fan service, but explicit materials, such as the torn-off clothes, were added to the special finishing moves. It fused together the lustfulness and in-game interactions that produced the ‘so bad it’s good’ effect often found in films.
Omega Labyrinth Life, conversely, lacks the consistent, cohesive design. The closest it came to this was with the dungeon crawling segments, which I found to be the best parts of the game. The key to solving the mystery of the dying flowers is hidden down in caverns featuring hordes of monsters, with Hinata and her classmates diving down to take them on. From here the rougelike nature takes over, making each dungeon crawl unique. Despite all my criticism, this was the bright spot that kept me pushing forward as long as I did.
The sensualism was used best there, too, thanks to almost stupid in-lore explanation. You learn that defeated enemies grant ‘Omega Power,’ a form of energy that is collected by and stored in breasts. This results in the bust of your selected females expanding over time, with their cup size growing in a comical little cutscene. This design choice is goofy and foolish for sure, yet by linking the sexuality portion of the game with the actual play, it acts as a reward for playing the game.
The gameplay during the dungeon crawling is fairly simple yet effective. You roam around the randomly created floors, attacking enemies nearby with an assortment of weapons and items, and look for a staircase to the next floor. Traps lie scattered around the area, and again there was some fun moments that were married with some lusty themes. However, something I thought while playing was that this all felt similar. That’s because it was almost exactly the same as the game I reviewed back when I first started writing, Dragon Fang Z: The Rose and Dungeon of Time, yet that comparison wasn’t favorable to Omega Labyrinth Life.
The life simulation side of the game is small and almost inconsequential. You can change the flowers in the garden with collected seeds, and even though there’s an in-game value to doing so, it feels more tedious than welcomed. You can also change up the scenery, replacing benches and lamps with different objects. That’s about it, though, and beyond cosmetics, I found no benefit to bothering with it.
Focusing in on the suggestive subject matter once more, I found that the way it was presented actually made me uncomfortable. One way to make your character stronger is to give them a massage. To do this, a mostly still photo of the character in a lewd position and/or outfit appears, and you touch their body at certain points. It results in them moaning, and as you continue to grope and rub their body, they eventually explode in a literal flurry of liquids at the screen. Add in the touch controls of the Switch, and I didn’t find these portions fun or sexy at all but just awkward and wearisome.
It’s sad to say that I didn’t enjoy the game because I do appreciate what it tried to be. The dungeon crawling aspects were actually quite well done and used the lewd content not as mere pandering but as rewards for the gameplay. The idea to add in a cosmetic items could have been expanded more and unlockables could have been included to reward for pursuing the plot. The story had potential, had it not been such a rush. Introducing characters with a calmer pacing might have made them stand out more and could have created a strong connection between the player and the busty ladies of Bellefleur’s. Overall, the intent was clear though; introduce a bunch of sexy girls to be ogled at and made to squirt.
At the end of it all, Omega Labyrinth Life is a game that was not made to be remembered, but instead made to pander certain kind of players. The overt sexual themes, lackluster story, and misused features all came together to make me uncomfortable at worst, while making me only mildly amused at best. What the game does do well has been done before and better, and everything ends up suffocating under its lovingly rendered and bouncing massive mammaries.