Omori on Nintendo Switch SERIOUSLY Needs a Trigger Warningby@Limarc
17,113 reads

Omori on Nintendo Switch SERIOUSLY Needs a Trigger Warning

October 30th 2022
6 min
by @Limarc 17,113 reads
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After having played the game in its entirety, I would argue that the game needs an obvious trigger warning on the front cover (on physical copies) and at the top of the game description on the Nintendo eShop. For the sake of preserving the beautiful Omori cover art, I’d at least argue for a mini-warning that prompts buyers to read a full warning on the back cover. Omori is a game that can trigger anxiety, I know that firsthand. The reason I think people need to be careful is actually the aspect that makes the game so good in the first place: subversion of expectations.
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When you think of Nintendo, what are the first things that come to mind? Most would say Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and maybe even Pokémon. What all of these franchises have in common are that they are family-friendly. Parents can pretty much purchase any title from these franchises without batting an eye or reading about them beforehand. Since the Switch has a huge library of games from third-party devs (especially on the eShop), parents need to be more careful.

One game in particular that SERIOUSLY needs a trigger warning on the front label is Omori by Omocat.

The Switch has the Most M-Rated Titles in Nintendo History

Nintendo was thought of as the family-friendly console, one in which parents still had to be cautious, but never had to worry about themes like suicide being present in a game played on a Nintendo console.

Throughout most of the company’s history, M-rated or even T-rated titles were few and far between. I consider myself a hardcore gamer, and even I would struggle to think of any MATURE titles on the Gameboy, Nintendo DS, or Nintendo Wii.

ESRB Ratings Symbols

ESRB Ratings Symbols

However, the release of the Nintendo Switch literally changed the game for the company. With previous consoles, Nintendo pretty much relied on 1st-party exclusive titles to drive sales.

There’s a reason why the Fire Emblem, Super Mario, and Pokémon series can only be played on Nintendo consoles.

With the Switch, that all changed.

Nintendo game exception third-party developer support, allowing for huge triple-A titles like Skyrim, Wolfenstein, Assassins Creed, and more to be released on the platform.

This is great for young adult and adult gamers, but for kids I really hope that parents are careful about what their kids are playing, especially with the huge library of games (mature games) accessible on the eShop.

What is Omori on the Nintendo Switch?

Omori Game Screenshot

Omori Game Screenshot

Overview and Plot (spoiler-free)

Omori is a psychological horror RPG about a young group of children looking for their lost friend in a fantasy world. The game constantly moves the player from the fantasy world that exists in the protagonist’s mind to the real world in which the protagonist of the game seems to be experiencing trauma and mental health issues. In a typical JRPG fashion, players will fight battles, defeat monsters, and complete quests.

Omori Switch Release Date

Omori was released on the Nintendo Switch on June 17th, 2022. However, it initially released on December 25th, 2020 on PC.

Why Omori on Switch NEEDS a Trigger Warning

After having played the game in its entirety, I would argue that the game needs an obvious trigger warning on the front cover (on physical copies) and at the top of the game description on the Nintendo eShop.

For the sake of preserving the beautiful Omori cover art, I’d at least argue for a mini-warning that prompts buyers to read a full warning on the back cover.

Omori is a game that can trigger anxiety, I know that firsthand.

The reason I think people need to be careful is actually the aspect that makes the game so good in the first place: subversion of expectations.

Omori Switch front and back cover art

Omori Switch front and back cover art

Look at the image above. The art style and messaging alone makes this seem like a fun, colorful RPG adventure about friendship!

The beginning of the game itself plays hard into this trap.

As soon as you think you understand the tone of the game, it changes drastically. It changes from a happy-go-lucky adventure in some quirky fantasy world to a story about serious trauma, hallucinations, depression, and worse.

(Spoiler Warning)

In case you think I’m exaggerating for the purposes of this article, let me explain one tiny gameplay mechanic (if you don’t want SPOILERS, skip the rest of this paragraph). There’s a point in the game where you are trapped in a room or area and you don’t really know how to get out. In desperation, you open your menu and notice there is a new option you didn’t see before. The option simply says “STAB”. When you click it, the game asks you if you want to stab yourself, and you have to do so in order to progress.

Spoilers end here

THAT’S HOW DARK IT IS. So, please believe me, I am not exaggerating.

Like 33% of the American population, I’ve experienced anxiety at some points in my life (particularly on airplanes), but I’m by no means someone that worries about getting anxious playing video games. With that said, my anxiety was definitely triggered while playing this game.

While playing that game, I know that this pixel art is just an animation playing on a game screen. I know there are way scarier and gorier graphics in triple-A titles like Resident Evil 7.

Omori screenshot

Omori screenshot

The reason Omori hits so hard is precisely because the art style, the music, the intro, and the characters, are all the exact opposite of the darkness the game holds.

The constant flip-flopping between childlike innocence to super dark themes and imagery keeps your emotions all over the place at times and can trigger you.

For the sake of your mental health, which is something I take seriously, be very careful with this game. If you are someone prone to serious bouts of anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide, it’s probably best to just stay away from it.

It’s an amazing game, don’t get me wrong. I would go as far to say it’s one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played in my life. But as someone who has experienced a panic attack, no game is worth sacrificing your mental health to play. Maybe come back to it when you’re in a better place mentally and put it down if you ever feel uneasy.

But Does it Really Need a Trigger Warning?

Notice that the title of this article says that Omori on Switch needs a trigger warning.

I didn’t say that it needs one for Steam or for PS4 or for Xbox ONE (although we could argue for that too).

The main reason is that those platforms tend to have more mature gamers. Especially on PC, most people will do a bit of research on it or simply read the Steam reviews on the product page and realize this is gonna be a dark game.

I’m particularly worried about the game on Switch because of the number of younger gamers on the platform.

There are absolutely ZERO inklings, warnings, or images on the eShop page to show how dark this game is going to be.

Looking at the front and back art of the game show no evidence of the VERY dark themes and plot points of the game. For young children, the story itself can scar them if they happen to get their hands on this game.

Omori on Nintendo Switch Game Trailer

Even the game trailer above makes this look like some peaceful game akin to Stardew Valley.

While the subversion of expectations is what gives this game its power, I don’t think it’s worth the risk of triggering mental health issues in anyone, let alone children. And I’m not the only one that feels this way. Here are the top 2 comments on the trailer above:

image

I do understand how controversial this is of a topic, so I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. In fact, please feel free to roast me in the comments below.

It Needs a Trigger Warning, But It’s One of the Best Games I’ve Ever Played

To end this article, I’d like to say I am mostly against censorship in video games. I’m not on that train and this article isn’t about that at all.

I don’t think Omori should change at all. As I said above, it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life.

However, parents beware: DON’T BUY THIS GAME FOR YOUR KID…unless your kid is an adult and doesn’t have any serious mental health issues.

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