I don’t know how Ruby can fly around in the Glacial Fortress without freezing to death because she is wearing leggings. Or why Tempest has four arms and only carries one gun (seriously?). But I do know Omega Five is intense. Not seizure inducing, flickering bullet dodging intense. More like watch your back because a giant robot is creating lines of ice intense. That’s pretty much what happens in the first stage. After a calming moment of launching red laser beams at starships that try to crash into you, a robot that takes up a quarter of the screen chases you from behind.
Even though Tempest looks a lot cooler, I tend to use Ruby a lot. She has three kinds of fire:
Type A – a rapid fire laser burst
Type B – a piercing pink laser beam
Type C – a single stream of green electricity
Her weapons can level up if you grab the same color weapon power-up. Right at the beginning of the first stage you can grab one of three weapon power ups. If you switch to Type B first you get stuck with a level one weapon. However, if you snag the Type A power up (red) then the Type B power up (blue) Ruby has a level 2 pink laser that splits into two beams. Level up Type B again and you’ve got my favorite weapon, a piercing laser that bounces from the ground. Using the laser beam is one way to destroy the robot, but you can also use Ruby’s variable direction, an attack that calls her tethered probe to grab hold of an enemy. When the probe latches on it causes damage and if you can hold on for ten seconds you get 15 Gamerscore points. I used the probe to break the robot’s freezing mechanism, but that doesn’t stop it from approaching. The robot continues to invade the screen like a timed event. Eventually, it retreats and it’s time to maneuver through narrow corridors dodging kamikaze ships.
The second level has a similar space devouring nuisance, a flying worm that snakes around the screen. You need to hide in corners and sneak in between the narrow space created by the worm. While the worm moves in the same pattern every time you restart the level the event is still exciting. Most modern shmups are about evading a sea bullets instead of piloting through humongous threats like a monstrous worm or debris falling from the sky. The change is refreshing and exhilarating at the same time. Now if I could only master using the dimensional field, a move that lets you teleport short distances at the cost of a little life, through these hazards I would be in good shape.