The concept behind Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (and its Xbox 360 counterpart) is something 12-year-old boys would come up with during Math class, then be all nervous when called to write on the chalkboard.
Acting as a sequel to the Xbox 360 game, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad, you play as sisters, Aya and Suki, who deal death to the undead in skimpy underwear, boots and a cowboy hat and a school girl outfit, respectively. There are big swords, breasticles, buckets of blood and legions of flesh-hungry creatures waiting to be dismembered and disemboweled in fancily violent ways. It’s effectively a living testament to the adolescent boner daydream (one we’ve had some time with before) and therein lies its charm.
Onechanbara is not the prettiest game one will set their eyes upon, but what it lacks in eye candy, it delivers back in smoothness. The game is all about action — lots and lots of it — and the game pushes an impressive amount of enemies on-screen at once with nary a hit to the framerate. It was very impressive as sometimes there would be 20+ creatures scrambling around with blood and body parts flying. Who says ultraviolence and Wii are strange bedfellows?
Since this is the Wii version, you can bet your mama all the death dancing is handled via motion controls. The main weapon is controlled by swiping left-to-right, up-to-down or stabbing forward with the Wii remote. You can pull off combos by alternating your attacks and from what I saw, the controls seemed to be mostly precise, with minor hiccups in direction here and there. The nunchuk controls movement (durrrrr) as well as target lock (Z button) and off-hand attack with a second sword or grapple maneuvers depending on the character.
The more you kill, the more awesome you become (scientific fact). As you rack up a body count and the gallons of blood flow, your rage meter rises which, when activated, allows you to deal extreme amounts of damage at the price of having the health bar drain. Blood will also collect on your sword which makes for sticky situations when it becomes lodged in an enemy’s body and you have to wriggle it out with twists and turns on the Wii remote. A flicking motion will remove the blood in a large splatter on the floor which is funny in a “it shouldn’t be” way.
There’s also the added bonus of character customization that lets you choose alternate costumes for your heroines and a RPG-light mechanic allowing you to level up stats affecting your damage, health, speed, etc. It’s like the violent, darkside of Barbie.
Onechanbara knows exactly what it wants to be and that’s a game where you kill lots of zombies as scantily-clad female badasses — it doesn’t overreach or try to be something it’s not. With various game modes, split screen co-op and a budget price of $29.99, this may be one to watch out for when it hits US shelves on February 10th. That is if cutting up legions of the undead in skimpy outfits is your bag. If it isn’t, it should be.