Swords, blood, underage girls and waggle: Hands-on with Onechanbara (Wii)


There's a saying: don't judge a book by its cover. But, we're fairly confident you can do just that to Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers. The upcoming Wii/360 action game knows its audience, and aims to please by combining Japanese school girls, swords, zombies and buckets of blood. The developers of Onechanbara are so confident this concoction will make gamers swoon, they've trimmed all the unnecessary bits like enemy AI, depth and most importantly, clothing.

It makes sense that these girls will have to undress and get down to their bikinis. Why? They're just soaked in so much blood. Enemies get cut up real well in Bikini Zombie Slayers, with body parts and gore simply flying all over the place. The cartoonish, over-the-top violence continues Wii's strange penchant for these kind of games (e.g. No More Heroes, Madworld).
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Onechanbara
is a feast for fans of dismemberment (but not the "strategic" kind found in Dead Space). It took us by surprise how easy it is to pick up the controller and start cutting bodies in half; in fact, it may be a bit too easy. The secret to success? Hold down the Z button and waggle the controller up and down. Saki locks on to the nearest enemy and starts hacking away. So long as the Z button is held down, she'll just continue killing everything in sight.

"Different swings of the Wii remote resulted in different sword strikes, but it seemed unnecessary to put any more thought into the combat."



The enemies didn't try to hinder our onslaught in any way. Different swings of the Wii Remote resulted in different kinds of sword attacks, but it seemed unnecessary to put any more thought into the combat. There were two things we had to take note of: how much blood was covering our sword, and how much blood was covering our girl. When a sword is fully caked in blood, it will get stuck in enemies. To clean a sword, players must hold both A and B and shake their controller.

Players must also watch out for how much blood is covering their girl. If she becomes too blood-soaked, she'll enter Rage Mode. If you predicted that she'll become stronger and turn blonde in Rage Mode, then you get a point. Her attacks will not only get stronger, but she'll get faster as well. Watch out for Rage Mode, though. The powers you gain are balanced by a draining health bar.



Although the graphics on the Wii version are very PS2-era, we're pleased to note the framerate holds up quite well, in spite of the large number of enemies (and enemy parts) on screen. As seemingly endless hordes of enemies continued to spawn on screen, we found that our furious Wii Remote shaking had made our forearms sore. And ultimately, we're sure that's exactly what Onechanbara is set out to do. Well, D3, let us be first to say, "Mission Complete."

Expect Onechanbara on Wii and 360 in early 2009.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.