Sunday, March 8, 2009

GERARDAMO Reviews: Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad

First, I apologize for taking this week off (again) and writing my review right after 20cc. I suppose I could have written it earlier this week, but this week hasn't exactly been sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. So, in an attempt to make it seem like I'm not trying to steal 20cc's thunder, I'm going to wait until Sunday to post this up, sometime after the release schedule.

Alright, Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad seems like it should be a good game. I mean, seriously, look at the name, look at the idea behind it. It has everything:

1. Hot Japanese girls in bikinis with giant samurai swords and guns
2 Violence
3. Zombies
4. Violence
5. Unbelievable amounts of blood
6. Lots of violence

So, Onechanbara SHOULD be a good game, right? Well, it seemed like it at first. In fact, the first hour I played it was a total blast. You run through the streets slashing up zombies, splattering blood everywhere, giggling at the laughably bad breast physics (Apparently, dual-booby bouncing means that one bounces up while the other flops down. This is very hard to describe, and I'd say you're better off playing it to see them, but...). However, the second hour was like the first, and the third hour was like the first, and the fourth hour was like the first, and so on. I'd actually have to say that each consecutive hour was actually a little first, as you start realizing the game's many flaws, like: These graphics are slightly sub-par compared to most games today. This combat is just as dull as any other hack-and-slasher. Those zombies walked up to a fence and got stuck AGAIN, and so did I.

There are 3 characters to play as, Aya, Saki, and Annna (Yeah, 3 n's.), along with some downloadable characters (Well, pay-to-unlock characters. One of them is free, and she's pretty badass. Definitely my favorite out of the four characters I had, but I could only use her in free-play and not story.) Even Aya and Saki, who both fought with just swords had very different feeling moves. However, they could all be done by mashing the X button, but at least they tried. There's a tag team feature that allows you to switch between two characters, which is fun. 

It would be nice if you could use it strategically and switch characters when your health was low, but the zombies never seem to attack you. Instead of zombies that move towards you (I'm not saying run at you. I still don't like Left 4 Dead.) and demand "BRAAAAINS!" these ones just kinda... Stand at you, and ask, "Brains? Please? Maybe just your arm? Actually, I'm not even hungry. I'll have a salad." This is one of the main reasons Onechanbara falls flat. Zombies don't seem to be very aggressive at all. In fact, they seem quite civil. They just walk around the city and go about their business, and for some reason you walk up to them and kill them, just because they're zombies. There's a strong political message there.

I give the game props for sticking true to it's Japanese roots, but I realize I'm a small audience when it comes to this. The game is only lightly translated. The text is in English, but all of the voice-acting remains in Japanese. This lack of English, however, leaves out some much needed explaining in things. How come once you kill so many enemies, you get angry and your life starts depleting and then you die? Who knows? The game never tells you why. But, it's quite frustrating when you're fighting off hoards of lazy zombies and all of a sudden, one of the game's few meters fills up and your bikini-clad samurai gets angry and eventually kills herself. It's like that was placed there so you had SOME way to die, since the zombies certainly won't kill you.

The game has split-screen co-op, and it's hard for me to find bad co-op mostly because I never play co-op with anyone who takes games seriously. I played the first few missions with my younger sister who never plays games, and we had a good laugh at just how... Well... Bad the game was. However, I guess there is such a thing as bad co-op, because the split-screen co-op had an AWFUL frame rate, and it's not like there was too much for the game to process because the graphics certainly couldn't have been too hard to render, and there never were that many zombies.

Onechanbara is filled with glitches, and they aren't even entertaining glitches, they're just annoying. You'll have to clear a certain area of zombies, and fences will pop-up around the perimeter. This is already frustrating enough, being limited to a very small area to slash out of. It's more frustrating when zombies will wander into the fence and get stuck and become invincible to attack, making it near impossible to get out of the area. Sometimes, you might even get stuck in the fence yourself, and you're left to sit and wait to be devoured by the only slightly irritated zombies.

Alright, time to finish this up. Onechanbara was a game that had promise, everything was going for it. However, it's lack of explanation and depth and overload of glitches makes it fall flat on it's bouncing breasts. It holds SOME simple, guilty pleasure, but after about 2 hours, you're bound to grow tired of the X-button, and there are better boobs in better games. Rent it if you're really desperate for a game, but otherwise, you're better off with just about anything else.

(And for those who only like numbers:
Fun: 15/40 (Shallow, nothing to comeback to.)
Graphics: 5/15 (They look VERY dated)
Controls: 5/15 (MASH X! I forgot to mention that the camera moves unplayably slowly. You'll need to find a spot to stop and rest in order to just see anything.)
Story: 10/20 (It TRIES to make a decent story, and it almost is. Maybe it could have been interesting if I could have brought myself to finish it.)
Sound/Music: 0/10 (The music sounds like something from a gay night club. I had a much more enjoyable time playing it with the accompaniment of bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Heads Will Roll even fit more than the in-game soundtrack did) that actually had the energy to make this game feel somewhat exciting, and the voice-acting just seemed lazy.)
Final Score: 35/100


  1. I think it's high time someone took a stand against such blatant zombie discrimination. What have the poor things done to deserve such cruelty? (I realize this might sound hypocritical after my L4D review, but hey those zombies were trying to kill me!) Also, haha sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

  2. I know, right? For all we know, you could have been invading a happy little zombie utopia? If only the story would have better explained where you were :P