From avenging the death of a parent to dreaming of becoming an arbiter of justice, the motivations of the characters in Phantom Breaker: Omnia are wide and varied. Some may be all-too-justifiable while others are just plain ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is that all these characters have come together to become Duelists as recruited by a mysterious old man named Phantom. They've been promised the fulfillment of their deepest, darkest desire - of course, the only way to get that sweet, sweet wish is to fight to the death, isn't it?
In Phantom Breaker: Omnia, you take your pick from 20 colorful characters each with their own backstories as to why they're duking it out with strangers on the battlefield with no questions asked. This makes for the perfect breeding ground for characters to go on a mindless fighting spree, justifying the reason behind the fighting game.
The game just wanted me to enjoy the ride rather than obsess over getting every single button right.
Obviously, while the narrative isn't really the main focus of a fighting game, I did gravitate towards the Story Mode as a narrative-driven gamer. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tales of each character pretty entertaining, as far as fighting game narratives go. What probably made this more engaging for me was the fact that the voice acting was done really well - there was none of that cringe factor you often get with badly dubbed English translations. It's refreshing to see how the developers spent as much time and effort on the voice acting as they did the actual gameplay.
Which, in my opinion, is just top-notch. Controls are simplified to keep you from button-mashing aimlessly (but you certainly can, if that's your thing). In particular, the Omnia Style, Quick Style, and Hard Style add a layer of depth to which character you want to play as - it's no longer just a matter of which one looks the coolest (I did, however, have a preference for Tokiya just because he has the same name as one of my favorite anime characters way back when). While every fighter will have specializations when it comes to close-range, mid-range, and long-range combat, you can add your own twist to them with the three styles depending on how you want to play the game.
The Quick Style prioritizes fast combos while the Hard Style is all about defense. The Omnia style is a bit of a mix of both. When picking your characters, you can also choose their variant costumes, as well as pick remixed soundtracks when you're choosing the stage for your match.
All these make for an enjoyable experience no matter which mode you're in to, whether you're battling for supremacy in the single-player mode or beating down on your friends for the ultimate bragging rights in the versus mode.
Phantom Breaker: Omnia | Final Thoughts
It's been so long since I played a fighting game that I actually really enjoyed, and Phantom Breaker: Omnia brought back all those arcade feelings from the flashy sound effects to the satisfying special moves. I also didn't have to learn every move painstakingly just to survive a match - the shoulder buttons are already pre-mapped with combos you can use in a jiffy. It really did feel like the game just wanted me to enjoy the ride rather than obsess over getting every single button right.
Overall, Phantom Breaker: Omnia is a joy to play with not only because of the simpler controls but also because of the stunning visuals and interesting narrative. The characters do have a tendency to look all very similar to each other though, which kind of makes you wonder what makes each one unique. It's also not the most intellectual game out there, obviously, but it's just darn good fun when you're looking to smash some buttons on-screen to let off a little steam.
TechRaptor reviewed Phantom Breaker: Omnia on Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
- Simplified Controls
- Story Is Actually Pretty Fun
- Satisfying Combat
- Characters Look Too Similar
- Gameplay Is Nothing Too Deep