E3 2015: ‘Onechanbara Z2: Chaos’ is One Bouncy Hack ‘n Slash

Onechanbara is one of those series that I’ve always harbored a strange interest in. No, I’m not particularly obsessed with games that hypersexualize their protagonists, but there was something strangely compelling about the mostly Japan/Europe exclusive series. When Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad and Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers landed on western Xbox 360 and Wii platforms respectively, it seemed like it was finally time for the series to receive release parity. Outside of that brief stint, however, the games went back to Japan for quite a while. But soon gamers all over the world will be able to play Onechanbara Z2: Chaos on PS4.

onechanbara1

There are four playable characters and each was unlocked on the show floor. Each has her own specific visual look, complete with irresponsibly skimpy outfit and weapon. Before battle a ridiculous little cutscene played as well. The storyline is obviously not meant to be the main draw of any Onechanbara game, though those who adore B movies might find something enjoyable in its presentation here. It may just manage to be charming in that “so bad it’s good” respect. So, what about gameplay?

The biggest failure of the Onechanbara series in my opinion is that the gameplay was never that fun. Instead of being a hack ‘n slash with tons of combos, creativity, and awesome visual flourishes, you’re basically left with a button masher which only provides fancy breast physics. From what I’ve seen thus far, it doesn’t appear that the game has evolved much since its PS2 origins in this respect. Battles against zombies still require a lot of monotonous button pressing — at least that seems to be the case. It’s possible I didn’t get enough time to recognize the true depth of gameplay, but it’s definitely not up to snuff with the best the hack ‘n slash  genre have offered.

onechanbara2

Another issue that has dogged the series for years is its total devotion to character sexiness over everything else. Yes, the characters do look quite nice on PS4, but not quite as good as you might be expecting. Enemies also appear to look nicely varied and unique. For example, their zombies take on an actual Asian mythology vibe rather than the brand of zombies we in the U.S. expect. Backdrops, however, truly suffer. I guess the fact is players won’t stare at backgrounds as much as the actual action, but they look completely droll. Honestly, they look about as pretty as something from generations ago rather than PS4-worthy.

Okay, okay, so there are totally fans of this series who already know what Onechanbara lacks and adore its charm all the same. So, for you folks, here’s the nitty gritty details. There is both a Japanese and English voice acting option, and English voice acting seems fair. You’ll also be able to practice your fighting technique in a practice mode. Of course you’ll also be able to customize your preferred character’s outfits. Given that this is a PS4 release it also plays at 1080p with 60fps. Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is coming to PS4 this summer where it will likely delight a new breed of Onechanbara players and confuse everyone else.