Do you like beautiful women? Do you like beautiful women in bikinis? Do you like beautiful women in bikinis wielding awesome swords? Do you like these beautiful women wearing bikinis wielding awesome swords running around killing zombies??! If you said yes to any of the above combinations, I highly recommend you purchase this game. (And yes, I'm aware these people are animated and not real, but if you can't understand my point... well then, maybe you shouldn't play video games in general... or watch animated films... or look at art...)
Meet Aya and Saki, these scantily clad sisters have a problem on their hands. There are zombies outside, so what is the first thing they do? They put on their bikinis, grab their swords and go on a killing rampage! This is definitely everything I expected this game to be! Still not sure why Aya insisted on the huge cowboy hat to complete her outfit... but oh well.
My review is pretty detailed so I'll do a quick breakdown of the pro's and con's. If you want to read the details on why I say this, continue reading!
+Large level design
+Characters can level up
+Characters can use more impressive looking combos in higher levels
+Free Play Mode
+Dress Up Mode: (Characters can run around in their underwear if you want them to)
+Maps are large and well developed
+Interactive load screen
+Unlockable items: (Even new characters!)
-Split screen on y-axis
-Game dialogue in Japanese and have to read subtitles
-Camera rotation is a bit slow
-Incredibly uninformative instruction manual, resulting in long review writing
I'll admit, this game could have gone either way for me. The developer could have either screwed this thing up royally or they would generate one of the more randomly fun games released this year. My girlfriend and I sat down to play this game yesterday when it came in and we spent hours playing it. It really is a fun game and I was pleased to see it had co-op. Well it's a fun game if you're not a prude and lament the fact the girls wouldn't be running around like that in real life during this situation. Or if you can get beyond an attitude about objectifying women in video games, etc... then you might actually have some fun with this game.
As we got used to the controls I started to enjoy the game mechanics a little bit more. At first I was pretty mad we couldn't do any kinds of combos that looked really cool, but that's just because you need to level up your character! Yes this game has a leveling up mechanism that is actually pretty good. It looks like you can play this game for a long time without even getting close to completing everything. We've only made it to level 7 in the game and our characters are already at level 12 and we've barely touched getting the bars filled up, so I imagine there is the ability to level a lot.
So far I really liked the level design. The maps seem to be pretty big and there are a lot of places you can go. There is an added element that to get further in the game you have to find the key that unlocks that area. This adds another layer of challenge to the game... which usually results in wandering around looking for the key. Luckily the zombies re-spawn when you return to an area so you're not completely bored running around, plus this helps you level up a lot more as you try and get your bearings. There is an in game map to access to help you find your away around. If you hit the back button it gives you a list of items you picked up on your journeys and you can heal, stop being in a rage, and things of that nature. I really like that they infused a lot of Role Playing Game elements into this game. Another random aspect is the interactive load screen. This is hilarious and is like a mini version of Onechanbara in really terrible and old graphics. Think original Nintendo level graphics and 2-D game play! It's stupidly fun, but we're not sure you get anything for killing zombies in that screen.
As you move through the story you can unlock other playable characters. The first one you meet is named Annna, yes it has three "n's", and yes we thought this was pretty stupid too. Annna primarily uses guns and has a nice assortment of them, so if you're the type of player that prefers a ranged attack, then this is the girl for you! As you play you also unlock more costume items. There is a "dress up mode" section of the game where you can dress up and make new costumes for your girls. We played around with this function a little, and yes you can just choose to have them run around in their underwear. I tested this out; the one part I didn't like is you couldn't have them change the underwear colors or style. Otherwise this was a pretty hilarious feature and Saki will now run around with virtually no clothes as far as I'm concerned.
Why is this review so long? Because now I'm onto the cons and here's con number one. The booklet is terrible. It's one of the most uninformative user manual's I've ever seen. Rather than explain this game and it's functionality for all it's worth, they decided to write the measly few pages over and over again in different languages. I realize they want to get this game marketed as globally as possible, but still... I'd like to know that my characters level up and a breakdown of the items you can get. It really wasn't that obvious as soon as we started playing the game.
The way they use split screen co-op is somewhat of a turn off for me, though I understand why they would do this. Instead of splitting the screen horizontally along the x-axis of your television, Onechanbara is split vertically along the y-axis. The reason for doing this is probably so you can see more of your character in all of her scantily clad glory. However, it is different from what I am used to with games like Left 4 Dead, where I have the whole top screen to myself. However, this really didn't diminish the game play that much for me.
The biggest con is the fact that all the dialogue and story line movers are in Japanese. So you have to read this game in English if you really want to know what's going on. The introduction to new levels actually involves quite a bit of reading. Paragraph upon paragraph explaining what's going on in that particular level, kind of like this review! It's cool that they tried to involve a deeper story line, but it's annoying they couldn't hire English voice actors to tell me about it. The story line, honestly, is nothing to really get excited about, but I really expected this, so it really doesn't take away from my rating or my game play experience.
Another downfall, and this one is actually kind of major for me, is that the characters get split up and there is a section of this game where only one player can play. It's kind of like in X-Men: Legends when Wolverine had to go off on his own! The level is actually kind of long while the other player sits there and just watches instead of playing. This was kind of annoying, even though it actually adds a decent element to the story line. I don't like my co-ops going single player. They solved this problem for the other sequence by introducing Annna, which I thought was a great idea and didn't compromise the story.
Whew, I think that's it for my review. I hope it's informative enough to everyone that opts to purchase this game. Sorry it's so long, but there's a lot to say that you really don't know about just by picking up the game and flipping through the booklet! If you like the hack and slash styled games then this is a must get for that feature alone. We've been playing this game on Easy to start off and it's a little too Easy at this point, but I do want to get through the story and see what happens. These aren't like Left 4 Dead zombies that move quickly, they're more like Resident Evil, slow and lumbering. If you just want to kill things you can go into something called "Survival Mode" and you can co-op in there and just work on leveling up your characters. Alright I'm done... enjoy your zombie hunting!