Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers has attracted a lot of attention in the run-up to it’s US and European launches. Arriving on European Wii’s this Friday, 27th February, 2009, alongside a sister title on Xbox360 – Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad – what would be considered the most accessible Unique-Selling-Point by the more cynical gamers is obvious from one simple look at the artwork for the title.
However, it has long been myth that videogames featuring buxom young starlets cannot feature other redeeming qualities – few would knock Lara Croft’s first adventure, the Dead or Alive series has become a staple in the Beat-‘Em-Up genre and there’s quite a bit of anticipation building for the forthcoming WET. So what else does Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers have to offer the European Wii owner? Zombies, of course: and lots of them.
A break-form-the-norm on Wii, Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers is a modern Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Up akin to the Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden series, however here the emphasis is on exhilaration as opposed to endurance. The first few Levels will be unlikely to tax many gamers, with streams of blood gushing across the screen and adversaries finding their end at your quick hand.
The Wii Remote controls are basic – certainly not at the level of swiping your sword in direct relation to the on-screen action – but this is exactly what Wii gamers have become used to. The Motion Controls of the system are rarely used to create a real-world representation of the on-screen action (Nintendo first-party releases aside), and instead the developers of Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers have chosen to utilise the Wii Remote’s capabilities to heighten the feeling that you are, in fact, a dab-hand a slaying zombies.
As with any release in the genre, different enemies require different tactics. Police zombies become introduced early-on, and have a momentary defence in the form of a block, and the Boss Fights rarely feature enemies less than four times your size. The difficulty of the game is questionable for Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Up experts at this point, but will almost undoubtedly pick-up after more progression through the adventure.
The story is rather unwieldy it seems, although this may be due to the lack of localisation in the version we sampled. Delivered in a staid fashion of a voice-over on a single screen, exactly how European gamers will be introduced the fundamentals of the long-running Japanese series will remain a mystery until the games official release.