Phantom Breaker: Omnia review: Clash of the magical girls

As a fan of fighting games drowned in the goodness of recent mighty fighters like Guilty Gear: Strive, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, and King of Fighters XV, I’m all for more in what I would consider a new golden age. for gender. Enter Rocket Panda Games’ Phantom Breaker: Omnia: a remastered version of a popular anime fighting series coming to western regions for the first time. PB: Omnia is quite different from what I’ve played so far, in some ways and not so well in others, but I think it’s another strong and interesting flavor among the band, even if the team was unfortunately unable to implement the rollback netcode.

Realize your desire and make it a weapon

Phantom Breaker: Omnia’s Continuing Story pits a cast of mostly high school kids and girls (16 girls, three boys, and one zombie) against each other at the whims of a mysterious character known as Phantom, who gives many of them a chance to fulfill a single wish if they fight for him. Becoming known as Duelists, these characters are given magical weapons that allow them to accumulate power as they win battles. Unfortunately, the power also seems to bend the laws of reality and dimensions, and there are more sinister schemes at play. And so, it becomes a struggle between those who want their wish more than anything, those who carry out the plans of Phantom and fight back, and those who knowingly work for him.

Despite what I might consider a cast of mostly various magical girl heroines, Phantom Breaker: Omnia still has a decent and varied roster. Mikoto is the leader as a gothic lolita with a broadsword and has your standard projectile, uppercut jump, and rush attacks. There are also characters like Mei, who is a singer and idol turned real magical girl with a wand for long-range attacks, and Cocoa, an MMORPG-obsessed girl who has manifested a deadly vampiric hand that allows her to rush opponents with a barrage. slashes. Even though the cast might be seen as stereotypical at first glance, they offer a good level of variety in both their looks and fighting style. There are even guest characters from other popular anime franchises such as Kirisu from Steins;Gate and Rimi from Chaos;Head.

Technically the third game in the series, Phantom Breaker: Omnia is an updated and polished collection of the Japanese releases. Not only does it bring all the previous characters together in one game, but it also adds two more in the form of Maestra and Artifactor. He also rebalanced and retuned the game’s characters and mechanics and gave it a remixed soundtrack. The soundtrack is still there and you can access it freely, but I think Rocket Panda did a great job with the remixed music for Omnia. Each of the remixed songs sound a bit more fleshed out than their original counterparts, adding more emotion and intensity to the overall fights.

I think one of the only issues I have with the overall layout of Phantom Breaker: Omnia is the design of some of the game’s new fighters. Where most of the cast’s character models feature hand-drawn sprites and they look great, a handful of characters look like very subtle 3D models. When the fight is going on they work just like any other character on the roster, but they also look like they were made for another game with the way they contrast side by side with one of the 2D animated characters. It’s not like it’s Capcom Vs. SNK, so it’s a weird thing to see two quite obviously contrasting character design styles inhabit this list.

Clash, against, against, clash

Regarding the gameplay of Phantom Breaker: Omnia, the configuration is very simple. Rather than inputs like quarter circles and buttons to do specials, each character has light, medium, and heavy attacks, as well as a special attack button. In neutral mode, the special attack button will do a Burst Counter which can absorb enemy attacks and then punish them. It can also be powered up to make a stronger meter at the cost of part of the character’s special meter. Holding forward, down, or back while using the special attack button does a special move (like Mikoto’s aforementioned projectile, uppercut jump, and dash attack respectively), but pressing the attack button lasts at the same time, you can also do boosted-up EX special moves which eat a special meter and act as super moves. You can also unleash a Phantom Break ultimate move at max meter to perform your character’s ultimate attack.

What really makes this all interesting is the use of styles in Phantom Breaker: Omnia. Each character has the option to choose between Hard, Fast, and Omnia playstyles. Each style changes quite drastically what your character can do. Quick Style features a Slip Shift dodge ability and your light and medium attacks have automatic combo cycles. Meanwhile, Hard focuses on defense and super armor, but you lose access to light and medium auto combos, leaving only hard auto combo cycles. Omnia is the balance of the two, allowing you to use all of your combos and auto abilities at the cost of losing some defensive options and replacing your character’s Phantom Breaker attack with a “ranged attack” that fires homing projectiles and is the same for each character.

I really like the three-style system and the options it offers. There are definitely characters who benefit more from one or the other and it will be interesting to see which players prefer. The game also features some of the easiest inputs I’ve ever seen in a fighting game and allows for gameplay where a better understanding of your character’s attacks and game mechanics will matter far more than your ability to grasp them correctly.

I’m a little split on certain aspects of the game such as Clash and Burst Counter, though. As in any fighting game, when your attack hits an opponent at the same time, it clashes without any damage being inflicted on either side. However, in Omnia you can smash the Clash with various attacks in an attempt to break through, usually resulting in multiple Clash. Clash is even encouraged as each Clash gives a powerful boost to your special meter. What I don’t like is that the game relies a bit too much on Clashing and Burst Counters. Playing in Arcade mode, even in the early stages, you’ll see opponents spamming the hallowed hallowed of Clashes and Burst Counters every time you try to go hard at the paint on offense. For me, I just started baiting my opponents Burst Counter and then punishing, but almost every time I tried to go all-in, it ended in a long series of clashes that continued until that one of us crushes a successful attack.

As for the different modes of Phantom Breaker: Omnia, it offers quite a few. There’s a Story mode with the original scenarios from Phantom Breaker and Phantom Breaker: Extra, as well as Arcade, Survival, Time Attack, and Score Attack modes. It also has local VS for two-player and player vs CPU matches, practice mode, and online modes. I was unable to effectively explore the game online due to a lack of available players during my review period, but I can say this with certainty: Phantom Breaker: Omnia does not have a rollback netcode. It’s lag-based and susceptible to traditional online issues that fighting games have faced in the past depending on how far your opponent is from you, especially if you dare to use a wifi connection.

The price of a wish

Phantom Breaker: Omnia is a really interesting anime fighting game with an eclectic cast of characters, even if some of those character art styles feel weird and out of place. An interesting and easy-to-understand combat system also means being able to specialize any character with the game’s three systems and further increase the variety of playstyles. Some might be surprised by the simplicity of the inputs, but it there is still a lot of strategy and character mastery to be had. That said, the open option to abuse the mechanics of Clash and Burst Counter feels like they’re dragging Phantom Breaker: Omnia’s fights down. Add to that the caution that comes with being stuck on lag-based netcode and this game has baggage. Even so, it’s also a slick game with a fun cast and great music to go along with it, making Phantom Breaker: Omnia another welcome addition to the growing roster of new fighters.

This review is based on a PS4 digital copy provided by the publisher. Phantom Breaker: Omnia will launch on March 15, 2022 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.

News editor-in-chief

TJ Denzer is a gamer and writer with a lifelong passion for games. He found his way to Shacknews’ roster in late 2019 and has been working his way to senior news editor ever since. In between news coverage, he also helps out with livestreaming projects like Indie-licious focused on indie gaming, Shacknews Stimulus Games and Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at [email protected] and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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