(3DS eShop)

Weapon Shop De Omasse (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Weapon Shop De Omasse Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Well-crafted

Remember the Guild01 series from all the way back in late 2012? Of course you do. It’s the little eShop series that could. Defying all expectations, the Guild games jumped the pond from Japan and landed securely on the Western 3DS eShop stores, providing three indie games that span a variety of genres. The success of the original three — Liberation Maiden, Aero Porter, and Crimson Shroud — led to the eventual Western release of Guild02, but the first collection was never actually complete. Now, more than a year later, we’re finally treated to the fourth and final instalment in the Guild01 series, the rhythm-based RPG Weapon Shop de Omasse.

Originally citing an excess of dialogue as causing localization issues, it immediately becomes apparent upon loading up the game that this was a valid concern. Weapon Shop de Omasse is a very text heavy game, especially when considering that it doesn’t exactly fall into the visual novel or other similar categories. In fact, this game tends to pick and choose elements of different popular genres and mash them together into an entirely new concept that wouldn’t ideally work on paper, but it all somehow comes together; it’s a rare type of game that sets itself apart from specific classifications and still manages to provide a fulfilling experience.

Putting a twist on traditional RPG roles, you play as Yuhan, an apprentice blacksmith determined to revitalize your master’s failing business and bring it back to the forefront of weapon crafting. Rather than engaging in any type of monster slaying or relic hunting, heroic figures and nameless NPCs instead visit your shop in search of the right equipment to complete their own gallant quests. Through interactions with your customers the full story unfolds, revealing the return of a great evil. It’s up to Yuhan to become the best blacksmith that he can be in order to craft a weapon powerful enough to allow a hero to defeat the Evil Lord.

Combining rhythm gameplay, RPG elements, and a whole lot of dialogue, Weapon Shop de Omasse stands out as something completely unique on the eShop. Though billed as a rhythm game, the process of shaping your weapons’ metal is the only time when you’ll be following a beat, and this doesn’t constitute nearly as much of the gameplay as one might expect. Hammering away at a weapon takes around 30 seconds of tapping on the touchscreen, and though you’ll be crafting many, the majority of gameplay involves interacting with customers and determining what to create next; not unlike a Phoenix Wright case, part of the challenge for crafting the perfect weapon for any given customer involves getting to know them.

Presented as an in game “blog,” key elements from conversations with customers are recorded along with their skill level, strengths, and weapon of choice, and this is where the RPG elements come in. Using the information received in conversation, it’s your job to assess what weapon would work best for each customer before crafting the armament accordingly. Adding additional elements to weapons can give an advantage to specific attributes, and how well you can follow the beat during the actual crafting also contributes to its overall quality. Properly making the right weapon means a successful quest and payment to you, but loan out the wrong armament and you might not hear back from your customers again.

Dialogue can be sifted through using the 3DS’s lettered buttons, but gameplay mostly involves the handheld’s touchscreen. From hammering out a sword or axe to polishing your new tools, everything is controlled with taps and swipes on the lower screen. The controls don’t exactly call for precision, but they work well and add an extra layer of engagement between the player and the game. It would have been just as easy to allow players to use the A, B, X, and Y buttons to shape their metal, but having to physically interact with the product via touchscreen controls adds an extra sense of connection to your work.

As odd as the plot and gameplay may be, the most bizarre aspect of this title may be that the entire game apparently takes place on the set of a television sitcom. Whenever someone visits your shop, an off-screen studio audience will cheer as the character makes his or her grand entrance. Humorous dialogue is accompanied by laughter and the entire game features a docile soundtrack that could easily be plucked out of your favourite TV comedy from the '90s. The whole aesthetic comes off as frivolous and confusing at first, but once you realize the tongue-in-cheek nature of the game and get to know the characters better, it all comes together to create an experience that makes sense.

Following in the trend of its sitcom styling, the entirety of the game takes place within the walls of the weapon shop. The characters who you loan weapons to leave to take on their foes, but you never actually see them out in the wild. As such, the setting is limited, but the character models and interior environment are both detailed and attractive. Interactions with characters are displayed on the top screen, allowing for the console’s optional 3D effect to add a little depth to the otherwise flat rooms occupied with 3D character models. This is not the type of game that relies on its visuals from which to draw appeal, but enough is done with the limited environment and characters to make for an attractive game with a lot of charm.

The overall effect is fantastic, with excellent writing binding the quirky gameplay, setting and presentation into an entertaining end product.

Conclusion

Weapon Shop de Omasse isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it’s a fantastic option for gamers interested in its small niche of unusual gameplay and unique staging. Combining RPG elements with rhythm based gameplay, there is definitely something here for fans of varying genres, but what stands out most of all is its relentless charm. It’s a very basic game conceptually, but a lot of care was put into its writing and development to turn this into a new experience worth having. If you’re looking for something new, this is the perfect time to pick up your hammer, start a fire, and get crafting.

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User Comments (47)

Dpullam

#1

Dpullam said:

This game does look pretty interesting to me. I'll probably give it a go once it gets discounted.

Spoony_Tech

#2

Spoony_Tech said:

I've been waiting for this review for like ever lol! Just beat the game last week and enjoying the after game which can be hard. Already lost a couple of master weapons. Good game and made me laugh more times then I thought I would! I still wouldn't have scored it quite that high but can't argue with it as it was your experience with it. Great review!

Great_Gonzalez

#3

Great_Gonzalez said:

I'm interested in this game but I really dislike rhythm games.. So I'm waiting for a discount. I do love the idea of being a shop owner though I was always upset when the Harvest Moon shop game on wiiware never made it over here.. oh well sigh

BakaKnight

#5

BakaKnight said:

I was waiting this review, now this game tempt me more than ever!!!

I just have a question, I understood the rhythm is not the whole part of the gameplay (which is why now I want it more than ever XP ), but how much is needed to be good in rhythm games?
Are we at the level of Harmoknight and Rhythm Heavens or this game is more forgiving/easy in its rhythm sessions?

I'm honestly terrible with rhythm and if crafting a weapon require a very very good sense of rhythm then I could barely play the few first minutes of the game before getting forever stuck >.<

CanisWolfred

#7

CanisWolfred said:

I'm looking forward to finally playing this. If nothing else, it definitely appeals to me.

Spoony_Tech

#8

Spoony_Tech said:

@Great_Gonzalez @BakaKnight This should not be even considered a rhythm game. Those parts are not even the main game imo. They are really basic and the tunes aren't really all that interesting. Think of it more of a narrative game with rhythm on the side. As a rhythm game alone it would fail bad!

BenAV

#9

BenAV said:

Yep, I don't think people who have trouble with rhythm games will have much of a problem with this, the rhythm element to it is really light.

I'm happy to see this getting a good score, I've really enjoyed it myself and it seems that other sites have been pretty critcal of it.

Phantom_R

#11

Phantom_R said:

@BakaKnight Compared to stuff like Rhythm Thief and HarmoKnight, the rhythm minigame in Weapon Shop is very simple. You're really just relaying back a few taps on the touch screen. It's more basic than Theatrhythm ever gets.

Peach64

#12

Peach64 said:

It's had pretty bad reviews everywhere. I was going to wait for a sale but I don't think I'll bother at all.

eviLaTtenDant

#13

eviLaTtenDant said:

Nice, now i can finally download it. I had very small doubts left in me but the review makes it sound like i's exactly what i expect.
I think it'd be even better on the Wii U though since the weapon crafting would surely feel that tiny bit more natural and special on the seperate screen.

Ren

#14

Ren said:

this looked really fun and I'd been waiting on it, but the review here pushes me one step closer, I'll have to pick it up now.

BakaKnight

#17

BakaKnight said:

@BenAV @Phantom_R @Spoony_Tech

Thanks for your comments, I understood the rhythm element in this game was just a part of a way bigger picture, but I was worried it could still require a really good sense of rhythm for be dealed with.
I guess I can stop worry and go download this little gem! Really can't wait to play it :D

dumedum

#19

dumedum said:

It didn't have bad reviews everywhere. More like mixed. Destructoid also gave it a really good score.

WaLzgiStaff

#20

WaLzgi said:

I liked it a lot. It even provided the most play time of all the Guild games

brokenfang

#23

brokenfang said:

Glad this got a good score. I've been enjoying the grindcast so much! Fun game. Give it a shot people.

CanisWolfred

#24

CanisWolfred said:

@Peach64 Not everywhere. I mean, these guys gave it a good review, for one thing. What, does this place no longer count for some reason?

Also, it sounds more like a lot of people simply didn't "get it". While I have nothing against a reviewer reviewing something based on their tastes and experiences, that's where anyone who has an interest in a game has to read between the lines, as well as read up on positive reviews like this one to see where and what the appeal is supposed to be. If you come into a game expecting it to be something it never was, you're setting yourself up for disappointment, so that stuff can be very important.

ledreppe

#25

ledreppe said:

It's a good little eShop game, but it felt quite 'flat' at the end, just didn't seem to offer any challenge to finally beat it.

Xyphon22

#26

Xyphon22 said:

I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, but IGN's review made it sound like everything was just kind of pointless. It didn't matter if you paid attention to what a customer wanted or how well you did at the rhythm game, they would almost always succeed in their quest. Can anyone comment on if they found this to be true or not? Because while the RPG aspects and trying to discover and make the perfect weapon for each NPC sounds good, if it really does not matter at all then I'm not sure about getting this.

Spoony_Tech

#27

Spoony_Tech said:

@Xyphon22 Yeah those might be the people that didn't finish the game. I had a few quests fail but if you have the right weapons or forge the right ones then no one should fail. The problem is when a certain stat of your weapon is overpowered it can end a mission for them quite quickly but they don't always attack with that same ability which can cause a fail attempt. That's when you need to have a decent all around weapon to help them out. I've had quite a few fails and lost some good weapons in the after game!

Klinny

#28

Klinny said:

@Xyphon22 Just to test it I started giving people bad weapons and they almost all lost. First I gave them the wrong type of weapon that was also a low level and they were defeated. Then I gave them the right type of weapon (but low level) and they were defeated. Then I gave the heroes the right type of weapon at the right level but with the wrong stat distribution and they lost pretty hard.

I even gave a hero the wrong type of weapon, (a club instead of a sword) but at the right level and with the right stats and he still managed to lose, (although he was very close to winning).

I am playing with level 5 heroes at the moment, (so maybe halfway through the story?) but I know with level 1 and 2 heroes the game is quite a bit more forgiving. (I've given level 2 NPCs bad weapons but they generally manage to squeak by). But as the game progresses you have to do a better job of making sure you're giving heroes and NPCs the right weapon.

But it's more like the closer you follow a customer's request the more likely it is that they'll succeed. If you follow it exactly, there's pretty much no chance of failure. But stray a bit and they still have a good chance. Do a terrible job and they're probably going to fail. (This is of course only for the story, I'm not sure how strict it is after the main game!)

Prof_Clayton

#30

Prof_Clayton said:

I'm really tempted to buy this now... then again Guild Games go on sale more often than the Wii U gets good games...

PrincessSugoi

#31

PrincessSugoi said:

The mixed reviews are baffling. Only started playing this game for a few hours this morning and already am in love. If you're truly on the fence about it then wait for one of the frequent Level 5 sales but if you're already leaning towards it, I'd recommend taking the plunge.

The rhythm game is kind of iffy for me admittedly since I'm more used to the complex rhythms and tight responsive syncing of Project Diva and Rhythm Thief but it's by no means difficult and it isn't the part of the game to be overly concerned with anyway. It's the three dimensional characters, witty dialogue, Grindcast and shop running that makes this game a winner for me. This is the perfect game to just chill with, it's like playing through a self aware MMO themed sitcom and I've just been completely won over by it's charm.

Klinny

#34

Klinny said:

@Spoony_Tech Ah okay. My bar states I am exactly half way to the return of the Dark Lord, (and I've just started making level 5 weapons). I just wasn't sure if there was more story after that or not :P

khululy

#35

khululy said:

@PrincessSugoi so true as with most guild 01/02 titles it's more a focus experience then complex controls mechanics and like Attack of the friday monsters it's just the charm that makes it great to play.

I truely hope level 5 will bring us more of these little gems because I am surely enjoying them.

Ralek85

#36

Ralek85 said:

Gonna pick this up once it is on sale like all the other Guild games. Interesting to see though that the reviews for this one are all over the place, really seems to fall into the "not for everyone" category ^^

DrVollKornBrot

#39

DrVollKornBrot said:

The idea of this game is really good, but the crafting is too random (It's better to ignore the rhythm for better weapons) and the quests too easy, you don't really need perfect weapons to finish this game.

Squid

#40

Squid said:

Honestly, on paper this sounded boring, but maybe I will give it a shot if it gets discounted.

Agent721

#41

Agent721 said:

This game sounds cool...I wish that had something similar for Zelda Games. Imagine a cool DLC that builds on the next Zelda, allowing you to see the adventure through the eyes of the iron Smith, potion maker or anyone else in the game, helping out link.

Windy

#42

Windy said:

I absolutely loved this game. I would consider it more of a digital comic/interactive game with a little bit of Rhythm game thrown with an absolutely well written and Hilarious Grindcast.

Kitsune_Rei

#43

Kitsune_Rei said:

I was waiting to see what you guys said, I'm glad you rated it highly. It still seems like a game that's more about the experience than really the gameplay, but it sounds quirky and fun. I'll probably pick it up.

DragonCactus

#45

DragonCactus said:

I bought this game day after it came out. It's more of a comedy game than a rhythm game, as I was expecting, and it isn't a bad game. Certainly only appeals to a certain crowd though.

TJF588

#46

TJF588 said:

"RPG" and "rhythm". Well, that seems to hit two of my DS-line suits. C'mon, Level-5, announced a GUILD03 so this can hit that nice $3 price from some weeks back. (Though, not quite as nice as the $2 low that Liberation Maiden's hit on iOS.)

Whatonearth

#47

Whatonearth said:

I thought story mode was great but you need to be able to stand doing repetitive things. The endless mode is terrible though. Don't waste your time. I spent hours grinding to level up to get higher level weapons and have my character level up but guess what? Nothing happened. I lost a bunch of very highly ranked up weapons and was hoping ranking up my shop would help with that nope. Even if your rank is 8, you can only make level 7 weapons. Then you need to rank up the weapons with returns. It takes an insanely long time. You also don't get new weapons by making all the weapons which I tried.

In review: story mode is great, endless mode is not worth your time.

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