Level-5, along with the help of a few other studios, have been rolling out occasional installments to their Guild series. Originally released as a compilation for the 3DS, Guild01 included four distinctly different titles with by various designers including Goichi “Suda 51” Suda and, in the case of Weapon Shop de Omasse, Japanese comedia Yoshiyuki Hirai. How does the comedian’s fantasy rhythm game stand though? Is it a legendary weapon or hot slag?
You are Yuhan. You work as an apprentice in your father’s weapon shop inside a role playing game. Adventurers from all over come to your shop looking for weapons to aid them on their quests, from low-level newbies wanting to gain a couple levels to highly skilled warriors seeking to stop the Evil Lord’s return. With a little guidance from your father and a little rhythm, you’ll have to forge and upgrade weapons, matching your wares to the needs of the adventuring patrons that stop by your shop.
Weapon Shop de Omasse is the sort of game you can quickly pick up and enjoy with minimal introduction. It’s mechanics are fun and interesting, but your clients will make or break your business.
Weapon Shop de Omasse‘s setting is one that few games explore. Set within the world of an RPG, you’re the blacksmith who sells adventurers their gear. The quality of your work, as well as your eye for delivering the right product to the customer that needs it will define you. It’s not a completely new concept, but it’s ground that’s rarely trodden, establishing a fun setting and story.
With each new client you get into the shop, you’ll discuss their planned quest, getting details on the sort of weapons they prefer and what they’re looking to do with them. These can range from your nameless level 1 newbie looking to grind out a few experience points, to a Frenchman trying to become his favorite television heroes, to the perceived hero who may one day stop the coming of the Evil Lord. There are some fun, memorable characters you’ll encounter through the course of the game that help deliver a lasting sense of personality.
Once you’ve finished talking with the customers and getting their orders, the real work (and meat of the game) begins. You have a variety of weapon types and models at your disposal to build. You’ll need to either make a new weapon by request for the adventurer’s order or rent out a weapon already in your inventory that meets their needs.
Making new weapons is both fun and rewarding. You’re shown an outline of the weapon you need to create, then a hot slab of metal is placed on your workbench. Music starts to play, and beats are dropped – first, to show you what to match, and second for you to actually hammer. Using your stylus, you’ll tap away at the metal, working it into the form you need. You can shift it around or flip it over, but hammering away at the same spot over and over will yield no results. You also have to remember to keep the metal at the right temperature! Too hot or too cool and you’ll fail to properly shape the metal into a usable weapon. The better you perform in time with the music, the better the final weapon will be. It can feel a little overwhelming at times, especially when the beats get more chaotic, but it’s fun to tap along to the beat and seeing the final result is satisfying.
Beyond simply making weapons, there are a few other things you’ll need to keep in mind. As a rental shop, you want adventurers to return your gear (and a rental fee) to you. If the weapons you give them break or fail to meet their needs, the rental is free of charge and you’ll have lost the weapon. When adventurers successfully return your goods, you can polish them. This gives them a nice shimmer while improving their stats, leveling it up for the adventurers needing stronger weaponry.
As the game progresses, adventurers will also bring you materials to use in your crafting. These can give the weapons special properties. If you run out, you can order more for a fee, and thus the cycle continues as the adventurers get stronger.
One of the most entertaining aspects of the entire game comes in the form of a Twitter-like mechanism you build into each weapon. Known as the “Grindcast,” each arm you send out the door relays short updates on the status of the quests adventurers are on. These provide an array of humorous updates throughout the course of every quest your weapons are part of, giving you some deeper insight into the adventurers and providing a fun way to monitor the world outside your shop.
Visuals & Audio
Weapon Shop de Omasse‘s visuals are nothing particularly spectacular. Character models are relatively simple with a low polygon count. The skins on those models, however, are bright and colorful, evoking a sense of anime in the art direction. Everything else feels appropriate to the setting. Weapon models look great as well.
The music in Weapon Shop de Omasse is excellent. On top of tapping the stylus along with the beat to make weapons, you’ll find yourself tapping your foot even when there’s no smithing to be done. Beyond that, the laugh track can feel a little overused, but it helps give the game the feeling of a sitcom.
Overall, Weapon Shop de Omasse is a fun, interesting rhythm game with some neat shop management mechanics built in. The characters are boisterous and memorable, and seeing their adventures through the “Grindcast” system is a hoot. If you enjoy classic JRPGs and rhythm games, Weapon Shop de Omasse is a humorous, toe-tapping fantasy adventure you’ll enjoy hammering out some time with.
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