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DarthOdium reviews Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad (X360)

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DarthOdium said...

Do you enjoy 'B' rated movies? How about hot girls in bikinis carrying swords or guns? Do you have a obsession with killing zombies? Then Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad is for you! Onechanbara: BZS is the next addition to a series of Onechanbara video games designed in Japan. Developed by Tamsoft and published by D3 Publisher of America, Onechanbara: BZS has finally made its way to America.

The Onechanbara: BZS story takes place in a city where a wicked corporation has been doing wicked deeds by creating zombies. The main characters; Aya and Saki, who are sisters with special blood called baneful blood, and Annna who is a special force member and is the only gun user in the group; go head to head with this corporation. The corporation is interested in obtaining baneful blood; so starts Onechanbara: BZS. So you ask, "why do the girls wear practically nothing while fighting zombies?" As the girls slash, chop, and dismember zombies throughout the game they must allow the blood of their enemy to spill over their skin. This awakes the baneful blood within them. This makes their combat faster and stronger. Sounds like there should be no problem with eliminating their enemies, right? Wrong! Once the girls have transformed, they slowly lose health until they die unless they use a goddess statue or goddess artifact to revive themselves.

Once Onechanbara has begun, you're allowed to choose different modes. Story mode takes you on a quest with the girls. Survival and Free Play modes set different requirements you must meet to unlock items for the girls. A Practice Mode lets you get comfortable attack timing and learning combos. Dress Up Mode allows customization of the girls' hair, skin, and clothing. The last mode is Options (which is pretty self explanatory).

Game play, for the most part, is fairly smooth, and anyone who has played Dynasty Warriors will feel right at home. Attacks are set to two buttons; one is your primary attack with sword play, and the other is more of a stun attack. Enhancing these attacks are a jump button and a special move button. As a single player, you can easily switch between the two characters that you pick at the beginning of each level. Since Aya and Annna have two sets of weapons, they switch between them quickly for different combat modes. As the girls hack and slash their way through zombies, a sword meter on the screen will slowly fill with blood. This meter represents how much blood is on the sword and, once filled, their sword will start sticking into zombies. (Needless to say when 20 zombies are coming for you and the sword gets stuck in one zombie, getting pummeled isn't the way to go.) You can take care of this problem with a simple cleaning of the sword and then flinging blood off your blade so you can carry on with your massacre. When attacking a horde of zombies, the girls can lock onto a particular zombie (I found myself using this feature during boss fights or with Annna only.) The D-pad is used as well to access the map, seeing the girls' status, and viewing the item screen.

Combos are executed in several different ways; one is timing the primary attack, and the other is moving the joy stick in different directions to create spinning attacks or to change direction to attack enemies behind you. Once levels are completed, you get to upgrade skill, health, power, and reach. Onechanbara doesn't feel like your common button masher. Executing the timed attacks is easy and, with a little bit of practice in practice mode, learning combos becomes quite entertaining. Combat never feels so hectic that you feel you must start button mashing. Even when you're surrounded by zombies, you'll never have a reason to mash the buttons to work your way out of trouble.

The adding of co-op to the game is very fun. Having a friend play alongside you is very engaging. Unfortunately, there is no Xbox live feature for co-op, and this might be a turn-off. Although both players can walk around freely in levels if one of them heads to the next level the other will have to follow. This is annoying if you're still battling for experience points and your friend decides to leave the level your on.

So if the game sounds fun, what does it look and sound like? Well, for the most part the graphics are a mix of good and bad. All female models in the game are nicely rendered. They move smoothly and every item of clothing and skin is well depicted. Blood dripping from the girls is a nice feature, and the sword slashing looks nice, but they're not the best models ever seen. The zombies are very bland. You will see the same zombie a million times before the game ends, and they look very square. The levels are just as featureless. Most of the game has you running back through the same areas and you will be surrounded with flat textured walls and plain atmospheres. The game overall looks generic and the brightest design graphics in the game are the girls themselves. The cinematic parts of Onec

Game Traits applied to Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad (X360) by DarthOdium

  • The Setting:
    Tokyo
  • Playing As:
    girls
  • Playing Against:
    Zombies
  • How it's Played:
    3D Hack and slash, Hacking Zombies
  • General Tone:
    Sexy Characters
Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad

Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad (X360)

Genre/Style: Action/Third-person 3D Action
Release Date: 10/FEB/09
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1
Comment
The cinematic parts of Onechanbara are nice, but still feel grainy with lack of shadows and poor light effects.

Music and sound effects, like the graphics, are a mix of good and bad. The techno-style music is nothing special and adds no real feeling to the game. Even turning up the music in the option menu still holds the volume quite low and nothing is memorable. Sound effects for the sword slashing, gun shots, and the moans and groans of the zombies are nice. The voice acting is completely Japanese and sounds fine. For the most part, it feels like everything fits but nothing leaves an impression on you.

As you can gather by now, Onechanbara does come with its set of flaws. The menu screen text is easy to read but, jumping into the story the text style and kerning is horrible. Although still readable, Tamsoft needed to greatly improve text legibility. The cut-screens are boring as the characters just stand on screen and talk. If emotion is evidenced in the voice acting, there is none visible in the character models which make the scenes very weak. One flaw in game that particularly bugged me was the camera which seemed blocky at times, though it worked well in large open areas. When the rooms become smaller you will fight the camera, trying to get back behind the character, or figuring out where doors are. Onechanbara isn't one of the toughest games to play either "Easy" feels super easy, and "Normal" feels like easy. Although Onechanbara comes with some flaws its still a game you might enjoy for a while.

Even with a title as mundane as Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad (that screams 'B' rated T & A movie) was still fun. I enjoyed slashing up countless hordes of zombies and playing dress up with the girls. This game has replay value if you feel like unlocking costumes, hair styles, and background images for the title screen, and of course hacking up zombies to pass time. If you want a hack-n-slash with some T & A, then I recommend this game.
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