Developer: Xseed Games
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Onechanbara is a video game series hailing from Japan that has been around for sometime. The most recent release, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos, hit US shelves, having already been released in Japan last year, earlier this month. I acquired a copy and spent some time sitting down and playing it. After playing it, there is one thing I’d like to say upfront; this game is NOT for kids. There is a lot of fan service, some interesting language and a ton of blood and gore.
Storywise, there isn’t a whole lot there. The general plot follows the exploits of four women, Saki, Aya, Kagura and Saaya, and their mission to stop a recent plague of undead. Minus some plot details at the beginning of the game and the occasional dialogue before important battles, that’s all there is to the story. Despite the hollowness of the story, I was intrigued because the interactions between the four protagonists was entertaining enough. In fact, the dialogue alone makes up for the lack of depth in the plot of the game. I cleared the game on it’s standard difficulty in about 5 hours, even taking my time to look around the levels and with no restarts, so it is not a long game. However, there are other difficulty tiers that unlock as you clear the previous ones which does provide some replayability. There’s also a bit of character customization, allowing you to change the look of the four ladies and an extra mission mode to keep things fun.
The game is hack-and-slash that is full of some really fast and really fun combat. The combo system is so simple to pick up and play that the average gamer (not me) and fans of the genre (also not me) are able to just dive right in with minimal difficulty. There are four playable characters that, after clearing the initial levels, can be swapped on the fly depending on the in-game situation. Each character has their own weapons, combos and skills. However, despite this, two of the characters, particularly Saki and Aya feel like carbon copies, their combos and abilities generally looking the same as their counterparts, aside from some minor tweaks.
There is a variety of normal enemies, including gunmen, giant demon dogs and some weird bird thing that would not stay down. This different cast of enemy types is a good thing, keeping things fresh as you slice your way through the waves. The only frustrating thing about combat is the stun and knockdown spam from some of the enemies. Otherwise, basic combat is solid and enjoyable and the game has an amazing soundtrack, making the slaughter even more fun. The boss battles are challenging, requiring the quick swapping of characters, really good timing and the occasional QTE. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of QTEs but this game did pretty well with them. There’s just something magical about watching a scantily-clad samurai decapitate a demon dog.
Overall, the game is a blast to play. It’s got replay value with the additional difficulty and the extra content, and while the story lacks depth, the characters don’t and that’s good enough for me. I’d recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something fun to play that doesn’t require too much out of you. Stop dragging your tits and buy it already.