Hoo Boy! This series had some spotlight shined on it when it concerns of fan service and the recent censorship climate in the industry came into question. So much so that the developers themselves ended up working on two versions of the game to avoid more restrictions and give the fans what they want. Even to the point in advertising, they took a low-key jab at SONY’s policy changes. But this isn’t the PS4 censored version were reviewing. This is the Nintendo Switch version! Completely uncensored for all you people of culture.
The Flowers And The Trees
Admittingly, my experience is light in regards to Rouge-Likes and Dungeon Crawlers genre. The exception being Persona Q as the mixture of the genres dungeon crawler and RPG, this was a unique experience, to say the least. Add some fan service to that and you got me piqued.
This is the 3rd game of the series, with the second one known for being denied a rating and not being able to come West because of the changing political climate and views on Fan Service games then. Even being banned in Australia. But in a strange twist, here we are with Nintendo giving the green light to be released, uncensored on the Switch.
Before you begin, you choose the language option of Japanese or English. Be careful as once you set it, you cannot change back. So make sure choose correctly.
The story is pretty much the usual anime storyline. A transfer student by the name of Hinata Akatsuki is making her way to the all-girls academy, The Bellefleurs Girls’ Academy. As hinted by the French term, the academy has a garden filled with flowers that is labeled the Great Garden. Before reaching the academy, Hinata is suddenly spirited away to a mysterious dungeon. While being guided by a mysterious voice, she manages to find her way out and reaches the academy. However, after being settled in, the flowers suddenly wilted away, losing all vigor and spirit. She is unjustly blamed by one of the students for this event, but she takes it upon herself to do something about it. The only way to revive the flowers is with a special liquid called Soma and the only way to get more is through the mysterious dungeon that coincidentally opens up in response to the events. Apparently, there’s a legend of a goddess that is said to be connected to the flowers that give it their vigor.
So naturally, we have to help Hinata with her adventures to restore the garden and find this Goddess.
As far as the story goes, it is pretty run-of-the-mill anime plots. To the point, there is no shame in regards to the lack of originality. The characters are what you can expect if you have viewed any countless number of anime. The supporting cast consists of the typical tropes you’ve come to expect by now. If you are wondering, yes this does feature an all-female cast. If the flowers didn’t tip you off already, this game is quite suggestive on the Yuri theme.
Once you enter the academy, you get the bubbly first buddy and gymnast, Berune Orenji. Yes, a wordplay on Orange. Mei Kurosaki, the chunnibyou of the cast, with heterochromia eyes and glove to remind you of antics similar like Owain of Fire Emblem Awakening. Mio Aiba , the cool beauty composed kuudere. Nanami Ginjo, the rich heiress of a company. Juri Minesei, an idol who is a bitch beneath the cherry exterior to Hinata. Lastly, Yurika Misaki, the forward elder sister/ oneesan who loves to show affection. The one who speaks the “Ara Ara~” and who is also the well-endowed of the bunch. So ready yourself for some lewd fan service goodness.
Tending the Flowers And Fighting for Soma and Seeds
The play cycle can be summed up into two major parts: The Campus and the Dungeon Crawling. While the tutorial dungeon eases you in on the basic combat of the game, that’s not all that the dungeon offers up. Once you pass some story exposition, you head into your first official dungeon. Since this is a Rouge-Like, every time you will start in a dungeon, you begin as level 1. Dying sets you back majorly as you will lose all items, weapons, and equipment that you have on your character and party. I learned this the hard way and it was crushing.
While traversing the dungeon, you can bring one companion if you desire. One neat little detail about this is if there are one or more members that aren’t part of your party of two, they will venture into the dungeon themselves. So you may encounter them fighting their own battles.
For the maps, they are basic for what it is in design. Separate rooms, some traps hidden about, monsters roaming, and a stairway leading down to the next floor. At the end is the dungeon boss, which range from a big singular enemy or a party of enemies. Again, typical in the usual dungeon-crawler fare. While not bringing anything new, it does the job. A bit of an annoyance is the hidden traps. You can discover them by attacking a spot, but the placement is random so I was not about to attack all squares just to uncover them. The best course of action is to use a tome to uncover traps or just simply set it off to save time.
While trekking, you will find weapons ranging from swords, wands, magic rods, and others. You get your shields, potions, food, and spellbooks/magics. Magics range from fire magic in a straight line, healing for allies, cast ailments on enemies and so forth. In regards to armor, you collect bras and panties. You read right. Bras and Panties. These can range from frilly, amazonian, lace material, you name it. As loot is a focus here, all gear said can have +1 enhancements or extra abilities like more effectiveness against ghosts enemies. If you just want to go on a loot run, you can do so here. Since you may die and lose everything, this may be a good idea to do, as you can store loot once you exit the dungeon and return topside.
Also to note is that all these items can be thrown. You do have dedicated projectiles like rocks and arrows, but in case you run out, you can resort to using your inventory to do some damage. Funny to say that you can throw lingerie at your enemies to cause some damage.
A bit of criticism is that inventory is limited early on. You can only carry 30 items at first. A bit of reprieve is there are purses you find that add a bit more inventory. You can place any items in these pursues and free up some room in the main bag. These pursues are somewhat rare so you will have times when you will conduct some item management in the menus.
Combat wise, there is a bit of strategy but simple overall. With dungeon crawlers, every move/attacks you make, enemies will move and respond in turn. Your allies will aid you depending on the strategy you set them, such as following you and attacking, supporting you with heal, or have them hold positions. In movement and attacking, you can attack horizontal, vertical and diagonally. When moving or attacking you do have to plan if you plan on holding positions and a let enemies come to you, or gaining an advantage with your ally helping. This can get intriguing when you encounter a monster den that is a room full of enemies, and you have to decide whether to book it while taking damage, or taking them head-on.
Another criticism during combat is the menus. While physical attacks are handled via a simple button press. Throwing or using items or magics is a bit cumbersome. There is a long way in which you have to scroll through menus to select a potion or magic to use on an enemy. Thankfully there is a quick menu option that’s accessible pressing R or ZR to access these items without going through extra menus screens.
While progressing through the multitude of dungeons, you do need to eat to keep your belly full. So be sure to pack some food with you. You can get a free item at the school whenever you return. At times you will also find flower beds with seeds that you can plant on the campus. To what their deeper purposes are, I will explain soon when we return topside.
As you defeat monster and level up in RPG fashion, you also gain Omega power. What is Omega Power? To be blunt, it’s experience points but for your character’s breasts. Yes, your breast are the source of your power. The bigger the breast size, the more powerful your attacks are. This is important as you can reach “Z cup” size as the pinnacle of power. So if you want to live, grow them puppies up!
Once you complete a dungeon, you are scored in regards to optional objectives and time. Medal wise, you are awarded from bronze, silver or gold.
School Life and… Oil Massages?
Remember the flower seeds that you find in the dungeon? Here is where it comes into effect. After your loot/story run, you return to the campus. This serves as your general hub. Here you get your general store, access CG galleries, and pick up side-quests from the other students. The campus itself is not that big, but it would’ve helped if there was a mini-map of sorts to help navigate. There is a quick jump menu to shortcut to locations, but sometimes you find seeds or items on campus.
Once you accumulated some seeds, you can plant them in certain spots in the garden. There is a bulletin board which you can do multiple plots of land at once instead of sowing seeds one location at a time. Once planted, you choose the type of water or nectar to help nourish the seeds. Alongside your gold currency, you also have nectar. This is vital in helping you in your dungeon trips.
Once you’ve planted a seed, it does take a bit of time before it blooms. Thankfully, there is a clock that shows on the side telling you how long you have to wait, so you won’t need to keep checking on the sprouting. Sure it seems like a waste of time, however, the main payoff is worth it in the form of nectar. Which is useful as it allows you to use the greenhouse and access to an oil massage to augment your character’s growth and abilities, like healing or special attacks against enemies. Let it be known that this is also rather risque. Think of it as the petting mini-game from Fire Emblem Fates or Criminal Girls punishment mini-game. However, this pretty much borderlines the eroge genre. Again, very risque!
Yep, the game loves to imply the innuendo. So if you are playing the Switch version, make sure your parents are not around, less you have understanding parents. There is an option to skip the mini-game, however, you will not get as much nectar as you would if you go through with the massage mini-game.
Simple Shameless Pleasures
Let’s get this out of the way, this game isn’t going to win any awards for its presentation. The sounds are above standard for what it is. One of the main drawbacks for me is the campus music. It does the job of emphasizing the girl’s school theme, with strings and harpsichord pianos. When coming and going between dungeon runs, it can get old fairly quick. There are other songs that you can change for the Academy’s BGM, but they are currently as DLC from what I played so far. Dungeon music has some variants that help avoid some repetition when venturing.
While models and presentation are disappointing there is an upside to this; all the conversations are fully voiced. From minor sub conversations to the story, you will get dialogue for all. Including the mini-games that rivals to some “off-brand” anime. There is a downside though. When opening up your main menu, your fairy companion will explain the options every time. So if you are triggered by The Legend of Zelda’s Navi’s “Hey Listen!”, this may bring back those memories.
As this is very similar to a visual novel, the CG art is impressive. From the typical clouds in the sky to the raunchier hot springs and massage mini-games, the artists surely had a fun time with it. Especially when the profile of each cast members all have their chest purposely jiggle when in conversations. It may be distracting to some, but it doesn’t detract from the experience.
Oh yeah, the fan service. Like in spirit with Dead or Alive Xtreme, the creators and game know you bought this game for the service. If you’re a fan of games similar to that, then Omega Labyrinth has got you covered. From the typical Hot Spring CG’s and to the lewd situations, it satisfies the itch for your base desire. I mean just look at this!
This also reflects on the script of the game. The localization has some great fun with the translation and how it relates to the situation at hand. Some I had to do a double-take to make sure I was reading right. For example:
Needless to say, mature players will understand this game very well. While it may not always be a direct translation from the original Japanese dialogue, it is a funny, touch-in-cheek style that depends on your sense of humor.
Welcome to the Garden
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with Omega Labyrinth Life. The traditional dungeon crawler and rouge-like elements are quite simple and accessible for a newcomer like myself. The Fan Service is high quality and will satisfy that itch that is growing in the Nintendo Switch library. Though, unsurprising you will be viewed with eyes of contempt by those who don’t appreciate this sort of thing. Like two certain cohorts I know…
The story is pretty basic for what it is and characters play on the anime tropes quite heavily. If you were expecting a fairly deep story, this may not be the game for you. Presentation of graphics and design is dated and simple. Omega Labyrinth Life is a game that focuses on the gameplay, rather than graphical fidelity. The over-the-top lewd factors and funny scripts make it a more pleasurable experience.
Omega Labyrinth Life is a game that is meant for a particular taste. Niche already is the dungeon crawler, but add the fan service to it and you can an oddly enjoyable mixture. If you are curious about an accessible dungeon crawler, rouge-like, then this is a good title to start with. Lover of Fan Service? Even more so. If you can see past the rough patches and flaws, then you may see something that is beautiful. Every rose has its thorns, but this garden has its beauty.
Review Disclosure Statement: Omega Labyrinth Life was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info. Affiliate Link Disclosure: One or more of the links above contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we may receive a commission should you click through and purchase the item.
Omega Labyrinth Life is as niche as it gets. Even with this game being a clear example of the changes in the recent gaming climate, it is a solid product and Dungeon Crawler, Rouge-Like. It does have its flaws, such as basic models and some few quality of life issues like its menus and traversing the campus of the academy. If you are looking to add another fan-service title for the Nintendo Switch library, then this is a solid addition to the collection. The game knows you want service, and it offers it in spades. Enjoy your stay at the academy.
- Fan Service in spades
- Solid dungeon crawler gameplay and loot system
- Great and funny Script localization
- Lewd mini-games
- Voiced dialogue and CG artwork
- The voiced menu gets somewhat annoying
- Features a standard anime plotline
- In-Game models and graphics are dated
- Scrolling through menus in Battle or campus can be tedious
- Hidden traps in dungeons are annoying