Oneechanbara: Origin is the latest in the long running Zombie Bikini Slayers series which started back on the PS2 with TheOneChanbara or Zombie Zone for us EU lot. Aiming to bring in a new fanbase, Oneechanbara is looking at the tale origins, is this something that the series needs or is the series just a shambling corpse? Read on to find out.
This review will not be as in depth as we would like, unfortunately as described below our initial reviewer could not get this game to run in an acceptable way and as such I have had to step in and produce this mini review.
So Oneechanbara Origin tells the tale of the two Baneful Blood sisters, Aya and Saki, Aya recieves a text off of Saki telling her to die and Aya decides to don her bikini, grab her Katana and fight her way to the the hospital Saki is in to find out what’s going on, aided by the mysterious Lei (pronounced Rei).
The story of Oneechanbara Origin follows the original two games, known to us UK lot as Zombie Zone and Zombie Zone 2, what it does is tells the story in a much stronger and cohesive way. Alot of dialogue is given during a stage to flesh it out but most stages come with cutscenes beforehand for the major story sweeps, all you need to know is the Sisters get powers from Undead blood hence the Bikini wearing and everything in your way needs to die.
The writing is as funny and outlandish as you would expect from the series, when Saki eventually joins the team you see a fantastic side of Aya that up to that point you wouldn’t have expected. Lei often comes off as bipolar, hinting at that there is something not quite right about her, unfortunately this comes much earlier than the reveal.
Cutscene audio was completely out of sync which was a shame, while I didn’t skip them, they just oozed jank and was a shame as the new cel shaded graphical style is really really nice!.
Geoff: From what I hear, Performance on Nvidia is somewhat playable judging by Andi being able to get a review penned. On my system (R51600/16GB/5700XT) though? A broken mess with woeful performance, mid 30’s tops with lows creaking in the low teens, and a settings menu that doesn’t work at all. Audio is glitched like Andi’s, but worse too as it’s prevalent throughout the game and gets so bad it sounds like a dial up tone at times. 2 0MB patches since launch have done nothing but change the version number on the title menu, reinstalling the game did nothing but wipe my save and worse still the game now crashes towards the end of the third chapter constantly. It seems mainly GPU related, performance monitors show 2-5% usage at all times with CPU looking fine. As much as I’d love to tell everyone to go out and pick up an Onechanbra game, avoid this on PC for now – especially on AMD hardware.
The campaign runs about 5/7 hours covering both Onechanbara 1 and 2 but alot of stages have either been merged or done away with. Basic stage loop is “Cutscene, room to room arena fights with Undead, Genocide flashes on screen, Stage End”, you can upgrade characters after a stage with stat upgrades and you can use an ingame shop at a Goddess Statue to buy new rings to further your abilities.
Combat has seen a massive downgrade since the previous entry ZII Chaos, you now only have a few combos and one button has now been designated as the parry button. Mudzombies are now only really killable using Parry meaning they are a flow killer, adrenaline combos are still in and much easier than ever to pull off.
Baneful Blood mode when you are covered in blood now has two stages and the timing is still painfully random to the point you’ll rarely have it when you need it like in the boss stages and there are a good few here ranging from the Zombie Sisters to a Zombified Bear!.
Oneechanbara Origins is a good title for newcomers, but for older fans the lack of moves is almost crippling, it’s more of a button basher than ever at the expense of a nicer art direction. While it’s good to see the sisters return, sync issues and performance on the Steam version of this title really sullied my time with it and while I enjoyed it, I found that previous entries of the series were a lot stronger in the content I actually liked as an Action Hero title rather than a Beat em up with boobs.
Perfomance issues and a lack of what made the originals great cripples what is a great art direction for a series on its last legs