I know what you’re thinking; “OMG! Another game starring zombies, how exciting(!)”. Yes it’s true, zombies have outstayed their welcome in Videogames for far too long now. So it’s understandable why one may instantly turn their nose up at yet zombie shooter, particularly that game happens to be a Playstation Mini. Were it not for Laughing Jackal’s excellent track record, I probably would have never given OMG-Z the time of day but luckily my faith in the developers behind Cubixx and Vibes out-weighed my initial scepticism.
“Its impossible to not feel like a badass when using three or four bullets to take down an entire screenful of enemies!
OMG-Z is not your typical shooter. Rather than mowing zombies down with an arsenal of weapons, you have limited ammo and must use the few bullets you do have to set off a chain reaction of exploding zombies. The action is viewed from a fixed, top down prospective with you controlling an on-screen reticule. The game features various zombie types, all of which react differently when shot. Some explode taking down their friends surrounding them, some let off a shot of their own which if timed correctly can be used to take down fellow zombies and others melt in to a deadly pool of acid, harming whoever is foolish enough to walk through their liquidized remains. Its impossible to not feel like a badass when using three or four bullets to take down an entire screenful of enemies. Watching as a single shot to one zombie’s head turns in to what looks like a mass-suicide protest is eerily liberating!
Your performance is rated at the end of level and players are rewarded with both medals (ranging from Bronze to Platinum) and cash determined by how much enemies are left standing once you run out of bullets. Cash can then be using to purchase upgrades for either your rifle, exploding barrels and even the zombies themselves. Upgrading appropriately is vital if you plan on making it through the game’s 80+ levels which in total amounts to hours of gameplay. While 80-odd levels may seem like too much, the branching level system means you won’t have to complete them all in order to see a conclusion to the story but the multiple endings provide an great incentive for those who wish to leave no stone unturned.
“OMG-Z is a fantastic game that is well worth the super low asking price
Being a Playstation Mini means the graphics don’t look too hot when playing on the PS3 but the game’s black and white art style (with buckets of red blood littering the streets) looks fantastic on the PSP. At times it can be hard to distinguish between certain zombie types but hitting the right shoulder button quickly alleviates this problem. The games soundtrack also stands out for its awesomeness, the hip-hop inspired main menu theme is particularly great!
The fact that there’s no time limit and your character (who appears on screen amongst the horde) can’t die can make OMG-Z feel more like a strategy game than a survival shooter. It’s unfortunate because this means that the enemies never feel like a real threat, instead you’ll spend the entire game casually trying to shoot the right zombie at the time. I also don’t like that the placement of the zombies are completely randomized, meaning you’ll often find yourself reloading each level until the odds tilt in your favour.
Despite those two minor gripes, OMG-Z is still a fantastic game that is well worth the super low asking price. This is definitely one of the best Minis available on PSN but more than that it’s just a great game in general. Whether you choose to play OMG-Z on the Playstation 3 or PSP you’re sure to have a good time. Hopefully Laughing Jackal will give this game the Cubixx treatment and release a HD version sometime in the near future but until then this Mini-version is more than good enough!