Phantom Breaker: Omnia - PS4 Review

Phantom Breaker: Omnia
by developer MAGES and publisher Rocket Panda Games—Sony PlayStation 4 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes 

Having originally released in the summer of 2011, MAGES are back with an update to their 2D anime fighting versus Phantom Breaker being published by Rocket Panda Games. Compiling everything from the previous versions, introducing new fighters and a new playstyle, there are a few good reasons to revisit this title if you imported it or visit it for the first time as we receive a localized version.

MAGES, formally 5pb, is a studio that while niche for some has always been on my radar since originally sitting down to Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds (PC Review / PS4 Review) with Richard for let's plays back in 2015 as well as Jim for some online co-op. Having played other titles such as Ogre Tale (PC Review) and having cameos in Idea Factory's Hyperdimension Neptunia series, there are a fair amount of other titles including Steins;Gate 0 which also makes an appearance here.

Back to Phantom Breaker: Omnia however, players shouldn't expect a soft entry into the gameplay. Games like BlazBlue, Guilty Gear and Street Fighter, Phantom Breaker is not for the button mashing audience and caters more to fighting game enthusiasts who will perfect their craft over time. While this may turn some players away, and even if this is not my forte, it's a feature that I tend to prefer to have as it forces you to learn and really figure out what a character can do instead of spamming the same three buttons over and over again. That, or simply mash the controller and hope that it doesn’t break which doesn’t tend to work out well either.

In terms of variety, there are almost two dozen characters to choose from spanning from the original release of Phantom Breaker, Phantom Breaker: Extra, Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds and two new characters created specifically for Phantom: Breaker Omnia. Added to this hefty roster are three playstyles for your characters: Quick, Hard, and new for this version, Omnia. Each of these styles changes how your moves can be done with the Quick style being the obvious speed over power, Hard style being power over speed. The Omnia style by comparison is somewhere in the middle but sacrifices certain features such as being able to go into Overdrive or Emergency modes which are both always good to have in a pinch.

When it comes to the playstyles there’s a lot to learn in order to figure out which style works out with which character as some characters are already naturally slower or faster than others. Experimenting with these though can be done easily enough through a story mode if you want to get the full narrative experience. There are other single player modes such as Time Trials, Survival or versus before taking your skills online.

While most of these modes play out like your standard versus experience in which you have a few quick menus for character selection and are off to the action, the story mode surprised me a bit as it didn’t feel like it was simply added on. In contrast to the rest of the modes and the overall gameplay, the story mode is a visual novel-like experience with loads of dialog and character interactions as your chosen fighter before they face off against an enemy. It gives context and was enjoyable enough to sit down for the first time through a character’s chosen route.

By comparison though, while in the story mode there are some of the characters that belong to the Extra content. Unlike those of the core Phantom Breaker, these characters if you want to see their whole path you’ll need to bring your “A game” as you’ll need to meet certain requirements to progress to the next nodes. Some of these are easy, such as reflecting an opponent's attack three times with a select character that has a reflect. Others though require you to pull off certain moves that while not a problem on their own, could be a problem when needing to do them five times and within a time limit while simultaneously trying not to die and to win.

If I were to have one complaint it would be that often enough I felt like the CPU just didn’t want to give up once the battle was won as there was no health left but they would perform a comeback and win the match. It could be frustrating at times but then again, it also helps to teach you quickly to not let go of attacking until you finally see the KO on the screen.


Otherwise, Phantom Breaker: Omnia is a solid enough 2D anime versus that I’m happy to have finally seen localized. Plenty of characters with their own personal fighting styles before applying secondary mechanics and there’s more than enough to keep fighting enthusiasts going especially with the online versus component.

Score: 7.75 / 10