Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (Wii)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Friday, February 27, 2009

Graphics: 7.50
Sound: 4.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 8.00
Gamelength: 8.00

D3Publisher’s odd release scheme brings us the direct sequel to the Xbox 360 version of the same series, “Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers”.

I don’t quite understand D3Publisher’s logic here. Why would they release the first game for one console and the direct sequel for a completely different console at the same exact time? This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and people who actually like the game are going to want the other, but can’t have it without getting another console. It’s ludicrous to release games like this, but I guess that’s not really why we’re here. We’re here to discuss exactly why this game isn’t as bad as everyone seems to think. The first one’s out for the Xbox 360 and is properly titled “Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad”, while this direct sequel is for the Nintendo Wii. This version is more fleshed out and contains more content, but truth be told, I prefer the standard control scheme of the Xbox 360 a lot more. Still, let’s dive in and explore the ridiculous world of “Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers” for the Nintendo Wii.

Although the visuals aren’t “as” smooth as the Xbox 360 counterpart of the same series, in some respects I honestly think the graphics are more fitting on the Nintendo Wii. The processing power isn’t the same as a next-gen console and it seems to handle the framerate and such a lot better than the Xbox 360 for some unexplained reason. The character models are identical, the zombies and bosses are of the same quality and while the rough edges are a bit easier to see here, the game is still pretty smooth for the most part. I’m led to believe that the game could have been much better on both consoles, but there’s no excuse for the Xbox 360 version to look as bad as it does. Anyway, the textures are bland, the blood is highly unrealistic and the only thing that really has any true visual appeal is the four main character models. The girls look great, they’re very “bouncy” and they’re definitely the stars of this game. I just wish a bit more effort would have been put into the visuals for both versions of the series here in the USA. They have so much potential to really shine. Oh well. The game is still awesome, so it’s not the end of the world.

Much like the Xbox 360 version, the music is repetitious and standard. Also making a valiant return are the annoying sound loops that the girls make when they move around. They still sound like walking beatboxes and there’s not a whole lot that can be done about it. At least you can use custom soundtracks in the Xbox 360 version and turn down the sound effects, but the Wii has no support for any of that, so you’ll just have to deal with absolutely no sound if you can’t handle it. If that doesn’t bother you and the graphics aren’t all that important to you, then you’re in the same boat as me, in which case there’s a high chance that you might really enjoy this game.

If you’re a fan of the “Dynasty Warriors” series, this will be nothing new for you and in fact, it might even feel dumbed down to an extent. This game is a very simplistic hack and slash game with very little combat depth, so don’t expect anything flashy or innovative here. The controls of the Wii version are far more intuitive by comparison to the Xbox 360, but I love the standard and tight controls of the Xbox 360, personally. This version of the series forces players to use a hybrid of standard controls and motion controls. For attacks, you’ll mostly be switching styles and shaking or swaying the Wii remote as though you’re having a seizure. The game modes are basically identical to the Xbox 360 version. The story mode, survival mode, practice mode and quests all make a return in this direct sequel and remain virtually unchanged. Quests require you to meet certain requirements, but there aren’t any actual quest levels. It’s more or less just a series of things that any player has to complete; more like challenges, if you will. The game gives you no clues as to what you need to do for these challenges, so unless you look up an online FAQ, buy a strategy guide or simply get ungodly good at the game, there’s not much you can to do find out what the hell the quests are. The story mode is as the name implies: A stage-based story mode with very linear passageways and tons of zombie combat. The story picks off directly after the Xbox 360 version’s story ends and while it’s entertaining to an extent, it’s really not that deep and is still every bit as terrible as the first. Survival mode is still my personal favorite here in the Wii version, as it provides the most challenge and replay value. Practice is just as pointless and just wont do any good, so avoid even messing with that mode. The ability to level up and go into a rage both make a return here, as well as a new fourth character not found in the Xbox 360 version. Levels don’t do a whole lot, but you can obtain new skills, enhance your damage and raise your life bar by gaining levels and distributing points properly. Rage occurs when you’ve maxed out your blood meter and covered your character portrait in blood. When you’re in rage mode, you do way more damage and you move much faster, but your health drains over time, so you have to be very careful about how you approach the game when in rage mode. The fourth character is much like the third character, so there’s not much new about her, but she’s another human and focuses more on ranged attacks. It’s pretty cool to be able to run around with both ranged-focused characters if that’s your cup of tea, but they’re crippled in some respects. At the end of the day, this is basically the same thing as the Xbox 360 version, but it’s a bit more fitting on this console and has slightly unresponsive motion controls instead of a standard tight control scheme. At $29.99 MSRP, this is the version to buy if you own a Nintendo Wii and don’t mind the controls.

Overall, D3Publisher should have seriously put both versions on both consoles. It wouldn’t have hurt them much to include them in one single package and simply call it “Onechanbara”. Either way, it’s a good game and while it could use some work, it’s worth a look.

Pros:
-More fitting visuals for the Nintendo Wii.
-Very nice difficulty curve.
-Plenty of replay value.
-4 full characters to play around with.
-$29.99 MSRP.

Cons:
-Too mindless for most people.
-Concept is a bit “out there” and wont appeal to many gamers.
-Sound is very obnoxious because of those annoying beatbox movement sounds.

Bottom Line:
I’ve had enough of this series for now. I love it, but there’s only so much mindlessness I can handle at one time. If you have to choose, I’d say go with this version over the Xbox 360 version for all intents and purposes. Not only does it have more content, but it’s $10 cheaper and seems to run better by comparison.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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