What is the meaning of Life?
Attention: Just like the game, this review isn't recommened to be read when somebody is looking over your shoulder or else be ready to expect some weird looks.
Before we go into it, we have to go back to the story of Omega Labyrinth Life’s predecessor: Omega Labyrinth Z. For some of you it might sound familiar. It was at a point slated for release on our shores. Unfortunately, something put a wrench into those close to finished plans because Playstation had a change of heart. They dropped a sudden decision to to have some extra requirements for certain kind of games to protect their customers and their brand. In the end, it never got released because the developer was already busy working on this very game and sequel Omega Labyrinth Life.
Omega Labyrinth Life is a roguelike RPG with a mix of gardening, it’s customization and… a few things that are deemed lewd but not too lewd. To go back to the title. We’ll be taking a trip down the Omega Labyrinth Life lane. Penetrating the surface and taking a look at its possibly thematic undertones in regard to the games Motto: Life is a Labyrinth.
For one there’s the question why is it “Life”? One could assume that it might have something to do with what Senran Kagura’s producer once said: “Tits are Life, …”. If you look at the name of the game it creates some kind of symmetry like a certain something, that is a big theme in this game…
- Interesting Gameplay Mix
- A good variety of Characters
- Over The Top ideas…
- …that might not fit everyone
- Price is slightly high
Your Legendary Garden is in Danger!
Belle Fleurs Academy that has existed for over 100 years. A magical place that is known for its eternally blooming flower garden. It’s not only filled with beautiful. Flowers but also gifted maidens. One could even say this Academy is a flower garden in more ways than one. Our Hero Hinata Akatsuki (Cup Size C) is the very first transfer student ever. However, something isn’t right! Even before even entering the Academy she gets sent to a not so nice pocket dimension. Also known later as a Cave. Fortunately, she’s a very fit, and a voice helps her to safely get out of that place. While in that Cave she learns that, there flows a certain special power: The Omega Power. A power that defeated enemies release and gets stored into her breasts, which circumstantially leads to a bigger bust. The more Omega Power one possesses the stronger you’ll be. There’s a catch. The power disperses from the breast once you leave the Cave.
Anyway, that mysterious thing is a thing of the past now and it’s time for more important things. Which is going to school. Due to Hinas positive character, she quickly makes friends with Berune Orenji (Cup Size E) or Bell in short. That idyll is soon disturbed with a big catastrophe.
Oh no, the garden has withered! It didn’t take long for the wannabe Idol Juri Minase (Cup Size C) to blame Hina because she doesn’t like a foreign transfer student. To prove her innocence, Hina heads into the Cave accompanied by Bell to take on that challenge and recover the Garden while at it.
Aside from the already mentioned characters, there are much more to get to know. Each of them has vastly different personalities:
Mei Kurosaki (Cup Size B), a Chuuni (short for Chunibyou or eight-grader-syndrome with all kind of delusions), the silent Mio Aiba (Cup Size F), the Student Council Chairman Nanami Ginjo (Cup Size D), or the calm and sister type Yurika Murasaki (Cup Size G).
As you continue the story, Hina will befriend them to save the garden together.
The allegory is shockingly clear when things come crashing down and Hina gets accused of a two-faced snake, she didn’t lose hope. Nay, she stayed positive, grit her teeth and put on a grind in cooperation with others to bring back Life to the garden.
Gameplay & Controls: Academy (Slow Life)
Omega Labyrinth Life offers a variety of things, including QoL features such as a Lightning Fast Quick Run so you don’t have to go through passages manually and thus saving you time. Don’t underestimate this, even if it’s just a second these will pile up as you continue playing the game. The controller is fully utilized with shortcuts with no stone left unturned to make sure you have a better time playing it no matter which part you’re currently in.
The gameplay itself is split into two Main Parts.
The Belle Fleurs Academy (Slow Life)
This is where you make your preparations prior to stepping into the next dungeon. It’s more than just a Hub for you to buy things, it’s a place you can personalize to express yourself in it.
Here and there you’ll get Item requests from NPCs that you can take on. They look like quests, but if you’re looking at it from another angle it’s nothing more than a trade. You can always cancel those at any time.
Aside from Omega Power being one of your currencies there’s also Omega Nectar for other specific things. You’ll find it lying around in the Campus, at the Shore or special tasks such as…
One of the first features you’ll be unlocking. Your duty is to take care of the garden by sowing seeds and watering them. Usually, they take like 3 to 4 hours to bloom but there are ways to shorten that time. As much work as it sounds like, it’ll not be left unrewarded. You get important Omega Nectar and materials such as fruits for improving your equipment.
As you can see, consistency and forward-thinking gets you a lot of rewards that pile up and at some time it’ll be useful when the time comes.
Flora (No interactions on PS4)
After rescuing the Grand Spirit of the garden she’ll be residing alongside you at the center of the academy. Sometimes you’ll have to help her out by removing some bugs. After finishing once, you can always skip it. The good thing is, you’ll be getting some free Omega Nectar this way.
Blooming (shortened on PS4)
One of the most important elements of the game if not the most important one. This is where you strengthen your characters with skills. Some passive increase your stats, some active ones give you special moves you have to use deliberately within the dungeons. There are multiple blooming themes per character and each comes with different bonuses.
There’s a mini-game involved in Blooming. You have to touch the character on designated areas and raise the heat. At the later part she’ll you’ll have to mash your button to increase your overall performance. Once things hit the climax you’ll get EXP and vials of water for gardening. The better your performance the more EXP and vials you should get. If you opt to skip this, you’ll get a fixed good grade. The PS4 Version skips this automatically and does not show the climax artwork.
It’s clear what it’s trying to tell us. You can lose equipment, your levels, your money but what you don’t lose are your skills. Nobody can take that from you.
Additionally, the blooming water is the result of your blood, sweat, and tears that are there to accelerate the growth of Life in the garden. Though it requires a match. Like a puzzle.
Before anything else, I recommend you to go to the shopping area and get your free meal. One of your NPC schoolmates gives them out. With that out of the way let’s talk about the two different shops.
This shop is run by the School Head who’s coincidentally also responsible for the Omega Power science. The equipment in the shops are unremarkable and I consider them to be more of an emergency measure.
The eyes should fall on the real prize: Blooming unlocks and Academy upgrades. There’s no need to talk about Blooming. The Academy upgrades offer thing such as a Spa or Locker limit increase.
Then there is the Omega Nectar Shop. This is where you can buy items for gardening or even fruits. The items always change and only a limited quantity will be available each time.
The last three are available within the Academy and Dungeons.
Always getting back to level one? Guess what doesn’t reset? Equipment! If you’re well versed in games such as Dark Souls, you’ll know the importance of equipment. This is where Synthesis comes in.
You can upgrade and customize them here. Fruits are responsible for buffs. You heard it right it’s the fruits. So make sure you got some good gardening going.
Remember one of your Dual Shock 4 breaking down only to salvage it for the working parts, practically synthesizing a new working DS4 from two non-working ones? This is for sure a powerful message that sticks.
Spa (Increased amount of Steam in the Artworks on PS4)
Your first meeting with a Spa will be in the dungeons and later on, they become a purchasable upgrade for your Academy. Who doesn’t want to enter those dangerous places without a buff? Well, those who don’t want to spend money on it. Yes, they have an entry fee on the campus.
Ever had a bad hangover from partying too hard the day before? Nothing beats being at a good condition when starting a new day.
Size Up (Skipped on PS4)
You’ll be getting a lot of loot and how could it lack unknown items? Fear not, you do not need a special greedy appraiser for this. You will be using Omega Power to unravel those mysterious items… with your character's breasts. How? The item will be put into a special container and lands between the characters breasts, where she’ll have to rub it till it unveils itself. Oh, I think I forgot to mention a more or less important fact. You can buy new container forms in the item shop if that’s your thing and more pleasing to your eyes.
Not sure, what use something has? Remember the iPhone or iPad? At first everybody thought it has nobody would need it but soon the boom came and changed our Life forever. Just because an item's usage isn’t apparent doesn’t mean it has no use. Size Up shows that if you grind it down good things might happen!
Putting the whole Belle Fleur Academy into context, you get a clear picture. It’s not the level up or the grind that’s important. It's what you get and do with it.
Gameplay & Controls: Dungeons
The gameplay is a pretty rare breed of real-time turn-based RPG with randomly generated dungeons aka roguelike or rogue-lite. How does it exactly play then? You’ll be moving on a grid-based movement system where each move is a turn. This also means that enemies act when you act.
Another unique thing is the fact that you always start at level 1 and work up from there. Therefore as already stated, permanent buffs and equipment are the most important things when it comes to progress and it comes with some visual changes too…
The latter can have special attributes attached to them. The good news is, that Synthesis is available at any time in your menu, alleviating Item Management issues by a little bit.
While we are talking about Items. Your Inventory is limited to 30 spots. This entails everything, even equipment. There are some extra pouches that help a bit but you shouldn’t count on them too much and it takes extra time due to one or two extra steps.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem that difficult until you notice that you have multiple projectiles and require food. Did I just say food? Yes, it has indeed a food system that requires consideration and item slots. The good thing about food is they also double as buffs and mini healing items. As for projectiles, to give you some perspective, I had like 5 different projectiles in my inventory and that’s 5 out of 30 spots gone.
In conclusion, Item Management is going to be a crucial part and you’ll be constantly making decisions.
The dungeons are not a walk in the park. There are potential enemies and traps at every corner. Let’s not forget that those corners are hidden if you haven’t already explored them. Don’t forget, all maps are randomly generated. There are items to counteract them but they won’t always be available. In fact, Yuri has a skill that activates randomly uncovering the whole map.
There’s a very special trap room that is filled with monsters but there are skills to make things much easier. For example, Hina has an active skill that attacks all enemies in the room. Which is another reason why Blooming is so important.
Worry not, you’re not alone. A partner of your choice will accompany you through this adventure. You can even change the leader aka the character you control, giving you a second set of skills.
Boss Fights are also part and parcel of the dungeon. Though they are not always there but are when they are you better come prepared.
There’s something else that might await you at the end of the dungeon, the requirement is that you possess a special item. What is it? It’s a mini-game. To be exact it’s a Rock, Paper, Scissor game but with a twist. It’s called Tit for Tat and it’s not the hands that are doing the job but the breasts. There’s a 2:1 chance that you win, since a draw is also counted as a win for you. If you manage to beat your opponent you’ll get some increased boon for finishing the dungeon.
Extra Dungeons: Sage Trials
The controls are the same as with normal dungeons. These trials are puzzles where you have to search for a solution. No equipment or items are allowed. Careful, for some reason, all of your items are put into the locker once you attempt these trials. Which means you’ll have to re-equip your things. You wouldn’t want to enter the dungeon naked right?
Both dungeon types have optional missions such as defeating a number of enemies or solving the puzzle at a certain amount of turns.
The dungeons are like a daily grind that throws random things at you. While Sage Trials have a fixed problem with an ideal solution. Sound similar?
As you can see there are all kinds of Innuendos to the theme of Life or maybe we were just seeing things and it’s just a lewdish dungeon crawler RPG to begin with.
The gameplay is surprisingly competent, dare I even say good. The mix between gardening, dungeon crawling, crafting, item management, and the Omega Labyrinth Life stuff proves to be solid. The pervy stuff is obviously a matter of preference. Even then, a lot of them are skippable.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics are more on the budget end coupled with nice-looking artworks. The characters look quite diverse and the cute mini-versions of them on gameplay are giving the game well-rounded visuals.
There’s a visual feature that I have never seen before and I’d guess that it’s exclusive to Omega Labyrinth Life. Every time it’s the characters turn to speak, their breasts will jiggle. Yes, they jiggle. Every time. Although it can be seen as a useless detail, it adds to the Over-The-Top attitude of the game.
This and all the different mini-game artworks are to give people some nice memories if you’re into that kind of thing…
The music doesn’t stand out at all, which isn’t a bad thing because it shows that it bolsters the atmosphere of the game. All conversations between the main characters are fully voiced in Japanese.
Don’t expect any elaborate cutscenes and tbh. D3 Publisher isn’t the one for this. As their games are known for being budget titles with more retro gameplay and gimmick focus. For example, Earth Defense Force which got quite a bump after establishing itself, but still keeps going with gameplay first approach.
Omega Labyrinth Life looks at first glance extremely superficial with all that highlighted fanservice. The truth is, there’s a formidable game lying underneath. Even after a few hours, new gameplay features keep coming.
Ultimately, as good as it is, the pricing feels a little bit too steep for giving it an unconditional recommendation. People who like the whole package including the niche pervy stuff, it’ll be interesting for sure.
For people who’re looking for a fun game, the price could prove to be prohibitive high when compared to other games. It is also worth mentioning that the PS4 version does have a cheaper price to accommodate the reduced content.
In short, those who like the whole package will for sure find something worth their time and money in here. Those who’re only interested in the gameplay might want to take a second look before deciding on it.