Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), PC
Right off the bat, you need to realize something about Rising Star Games' Kromaia Omega – it's weird as hell. Think of a space shooter with the wide open environments of Star Wars: Starfighter, coupled with the controls of the Interplay classic Descent. Then throw in an art style that resembles a painter tripping out over their colors and backgrounds (like Rez, but not quite), and you have Kromaia in a nutshell.
While the story isn't much – this is really just a spiritual trip that doesn't make much sense as you explore its four vast worlds – the shooting action is quite satisfactory, as you scoot across each stage trying to collect orbs, while taking out any enemies that get in your way. Along the way, you'll also have to deal with a cantankerous boss, before heading back through the entry gate.
Kromaia Omega certainly has its perks, but its short-handed content and strange presentation may leave a lot to be desired with some players.
Fly Around and Trip Out
Developed by Kraken Empire, Kromaia Omega is certainly one of the most unique visual experiences you'll come across this year, as its art style is definitely "out there." Everything from the polygonal level designs to the weird internal settings to the enemies (which resemble flying fish, UFO's and a bunch of other strange stuff) carries this style.
At first, it takes a lot of getting used to, just because the developers at Kraken Empire insisted on making it so different. After about a few minutes, though, you'll get used to it, and see some crazy worlds brought to life, and you'll soon begin to make out objectives clearly and get the hang of flying through this odd space.
It's definitely inventive, but to a fault. First off, with only four overall worlds to explore, the décor can definitely get repetitive after a few hours of play. That's not to say the worlds aren't worth checking out, as there are plenty of hidden goodies, but more levels wouldn't have been a bad thing.
Secondly, it is relatively easy to get lost if you don't understand the map system. There are arrows indicating where your next objective should be, but it's smack dab in the middle of everything. As a result, you'll probably lose your way more often than not, only to get bombarded by enemies.
These qualms aside, the game does look very good, embracing its weirdness instead of shoving it aside for conventional space design. Unfortunately, the audio side of it is a bit too uncomfortable, with tunes and sound effects that don't really match the visual design. It's like it's consistently trying to play catch-up instead of vying for the same groovy tone.
Trippy Rocket In Flight, Afternoon Delight
If there is one aspect of the game that works relatively well, it's the gameplay. It'll take you a few minutes to get used to the Descent style of controls, especially flying around internal structures, but soon enough, you'll be blasting enemies and have a bit of fun scooting around the galaxy.
In addition to objectives and blasting away at enemies, Kromaia Omega also comes with plenty of hidden goodies, which are worth exploring for. These add a bit of challenge to the game, which is a good thing considering that you can blow through the main journey in a matter of a few hours. Still, some people will find that it's all about the journey, not the destination – especially if they've been yearning for some flight action.
And the game has substantial weight beyond that, with the addition of a score attack mode (classic style), and a Pure Mode where you can do whatever you please in the reaches of space. Perhaps the coolest mode, however, is co-op. Though it's local only, it can make for a good couch session, as you control the ship while another player takes hold of the guns. Trying to stay on the same page can be a challenge – "no, I said shoot that thing!" – but it mostly results in a few laughs, so it's worth a few go-arounds.