Set for release later this month, Phantom Breaker: Omnia technically isn’t a new game.
It is, in fact, the latest update to a fighting game that has existed since 2011. But with the original Phantom Breaker and another two updates only ever being available in Japan, Phantom Breaker: Omnia marks the first time the game will be available in the west. And you know what they say: good things come to those who wait.
And that’s what our limited time with the game so far suggests. Phantom Breaker: Omnia is actually rather good. It’s fast-paced and flashy, with a varied range of anime-styled fighters all wonderfully animated. The game it’s based on may be over ten years old now, but the visuals still impress to a degree, even if the backgrounds are a little sterile and occasionally dull.
What’s impressed us most about Phantom Breaker: Omnia so far is the combat itself. Or rather, how much control you have over it. You see, after choosing your character (there are over 20 available), you then have to choose between one of three styles. And your choice can have a large bearing on how you play.
Choose Quick Style, for example, and while you’ll have lower health you’ll move faster and have access to multiple quick combos. Hard Style, on the other hand, gives to access to a unique command and increases your HP, but you’re limited to only one quick combo. And then there’s Omnia Style, new to this release. It strikes a compromise between the two other styles in terms of speed and strength, and allows you to easily perform combos. But it blocks you out from using some of the game’s more advanced features.
The result is a fighting system that keeps you on your toes. Even if you’re up against a character you’ve fought numerous times before, their choice of style may mean you’re not quite prepared for the onslaught they might unleash. Though even at its most complicated Phantom Breaker: Omnia is still accessible, with special moves being a cinch to pull off thanks to a dedicated button, and more advanced features just asking you to press two buttons at once.
That’s not to say that Phantom Breaker: Omnia is easy, however. The breakneck pace of combat means you need to think – and act – fast. And when it comes to fighting against the CPU, while you can adjust the difficulty of arcade mode and versus, story mode throws throws you in at the deep end, requiring you to brush up your skills.
We’ll have a full review for Phantom Breaker: Omnia later this month. And if you’re into fighting games you’ll probably want to check it out. What we can say now though, is that it’s surprised us with its generous offering of modes and exhilarating gameplay, and we can’t wait to dig into more of it.
Phantom Breaker: Omnia launches on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC on 15th March