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Game review: Omen of Sorrow (Switch)
Wed, 5th Apr 2023

When it comes to traditional style 1-on-1 fighting games, the biggest franchises are Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat. However, there are some smaller development studios that are trying their hand at the fighting game genre, too.

Some people may not have heard of a game called Omen of Sorrow, developed by a small Chilean studio called AOne Games. The original release of the game was in 2018 when Omen of Sorrow was a PS4 exclusive. Now you can play the game in 2023 for the PC, Switch and PS5 platforms.

The fighting game genre has always been one of my favourites ever since I first played Street Fighter II and Tekken 2 back in the ‘90s. I never actually played Omen of Sorrow in 2018, so I had some high expectations when I was asked to review the Switch version of the game.

Sadly, I have to report that Omen of Sorrow isn’t a great game on the Switch. Before I begin talking about its many flaws, one of the worst things about the Switch version is the very long loading times. Weirdly, the loading times are so long since this isn’t an open-world game, and the graphics aren’t highly demanding.

Another bad thing about Omen of Sorrow is that the graphics are laughably bad on the Nintendo Switch. The character models and environments are pixelated both in handheld and TV modes. The lack of detail in the graphics makes this game look like an early-generation PS3 or even PS2 video game at times! Probably the worst-looking character is the wolf named Caleb. He has the most unrealistic fur I have ever seen in a video game.

I’ve looked at gameplay screenshots of this game online, and it appears the game looks far better on other consoles and on PC. It’s sad to see how this game hasn’t been fully optimized for the Nintendo Switch. The Switch looks like it’s the worst way to play this little fighting game.

Aside from the bad graphics, the gameplay and animations don’t hold up that very well, either. Modern fighting games feel fast and fluid, plus they balance the gameplay to make sure most of the fighting roster has a fair chance at winning matches.

The gameplay just feels unbalanced and unfair if you’re playing as a slow character. For example, there’s a Frankenstein-like character named Adam, and he moves as slowly as a huge tank. It’s pretty hard to play competitively with Adam because his moves are too slow to connect with any of his opponents!

Another useless character in this game is the mummy-like character named Imhotep. He can stretch out his body like Dhalsim in Street Fighter, but aside from this gimmick, he’s useless at everything else. 
That being said, there are some characters that fair better than these two. Arguably the best character to play is a human named Gabriel. I could actually do some juggles, thanks to his fast and frantic punches. His mentor called Zafkiel is also one of the more decent fighters in this game too.

As of the time of writing this review, the Nintendo Switch version of the game only has 12 fighters in total. This includes the lovely-looking Erzsebet, who was not featured in the launch roster. I’m not sure if other free characters are coming, but it will be nice if more are added.

The only redeeming factor about the gameplay is that each character has special and super moves in their repertoire. The aforementioned Erzsebet can summon a literal bloody dragon, while the main boss Thalassa can conjure up many other animals to fight for her. The controls are pretty easy to remember as it’s similar to how you play Street Fighter and other 2.5D games.

In terms of game modes, there’s a lengthy Story mode that features a hilariously bad story with horrendous voice acting. It also includes cheap cutscenes, and you get to play as almost everyone on the roster during this story.

If you want a more streamlined experience, you can also bypass the Story in favour of the Arcade mode. The only disappointing thing about completing the Arcade mode is the lacklustre character endings. Instead of cutscenes, you mostly get a wall of text to read, which is boring.

Other game modes include Versus, Survival, Practice and Online modes. An added bonus to the game that I actually like is a Gallery Mode. When you play through the various game modes, you could unlock several artworks of the characters and environments.

Even though I’m a person that likes to support smaller indie developers, it’s sad to report that Omen of Sorrow just isn’t a very good fighting game to play. The graphics and performance are bad on the Nintendo Switch, plus the gameplay isn’t that great either. It’s probably only worth getting this game at a heavy discount if you’re curious to play it.

Verdict: 5.5/10