Omensight Is An Excellent Take on the Majora’s Mask Formula, Just Not on Nintendo Switch
Despite being a unique and ambitious indie game, Omensight: Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch is worth passing up due to technical woes.
Omensight positions itself as an epic tale filled with a lovable, diverse cast and time travel magic to round out a cataclysmic adventure. Taking the reigns of The Harbinger — summoned by the world to protect against apocalyptic ruin — you navigate through a world of colorful characters and engaging fantasy. It’s a game that should be on every indie gamer’s roster of story-heavy titles…but maybe less so if you can only buy it on Nintendo Switch.
That latter note is definitely a shame — the game is born to be played episodically, with each timeline acting as a small vignette as you unravel a massive plot to take down the Redwall-esque kingdoms. Intertwined with magic and time travel, nothing about the game is so heavy or plot driven that you can’t play it in short bursts, but it is engaging enough that you will want to play for stretches at a time.
Even better, the game at time feels naturally inspired by previous Nintendo cult classic The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. A principal mechanic of Omensight is that your character must return back in time, effectively uncovering plotpoints and progress to piece together fragmented stories to save the world from a cataclysmic event. Hardcore Zelda fans will instantly pick up similar vibes, even as it takes some experimental approaches with that formula. It’s a game that feels like it should be right at home on the Nintendo Switch.
However, not all ports make the multiplatform switch as easy as others — while some indies like SteamWorld Dig 2 are arguably the most definitive on Nintendo Switch, you never know how each game’s individual back end will interact with the experience when systems switch over. And though Omensight has minimal technical issues on PC, PS4, and Xbox One with generally light loading times, almost the opposite is true for the Nintendo Switch version.
I’m an old-school gamer, and I fondly remember some extended loading screens. However, for an idea of a particularly egregious section, just check some gameplay below (courtesy of YouTuber Handheld Players):
Before even getting to touch the engaging in some hack-and-slash combat, you sit through roughly a minute and fifteen seconds of loading screens. Even worse, those loading animations are a staggering mess — the first time I booted up the game, I was sure that something had crashed on me.
And thankfully this isn’t the case with all versions. In fact, you can catch the same exact segment on PC below (courtesy of YouTuber King Arthur Pendragon):
The loading screen animations are fluid and take place in easily under 20 seconds, which is about a quarter of the time that one would see if playing on Nintendo Switch. That is really disappointing.
The animation woes don’t even stop with the loading screens. Even going through the combat itself, you will hit patches where the game simply will have to stop and take a breather to process the upcoming area or the action that is about to occur. Frame rates notably skip and boss fights stutter. Omensight is by no means unplayable in the state, but it will be enough to draw your attention away to your phone or cause a significant annoyance.
Though, like I mentioned, this is hardly an indication on Omensight as a product — rather an issue with the port to the handheld Nintendo Switch. I think the Nintendo indie scene is bustling in 2019, and I’ve long since said that I would like to play any indie on the handheld console. However, occasions like this feel like developer Spearhead Games put the carriage in front of the horses and I fear that it will leave a sour taste in an otherwise gem of a title. Other developers have been clear that some titles just aren’t a technical fit on Nintendo Switch, and (while disappointing) that kind of honesty is perfectly okay.
Omensight is ambitious and not without some missteps when it comes to game design, but fans of unique storytelling should pick the game up. Peppered RPG lite mechanics and a deep world lore make it an amusing indie well-worth its asking price. However, with the game available on Nintendo Switch, PC, and PS4, make sure to grab it on one of the latter two platforms. It deserves (and frankly needs) more power than the Switch is able to provide, even if doesn’t look that demanding.
DualShockers was provided a Nintendo Switch copy for this editorial. Read more about the DualShockers Review Policy here.