Does exactly what it set out to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

User Rating: 8 | Oneechanbara vorteX: Imichi o Tsugu Monotachi X360
Sometimes, I really just do not understand GameSpot's rating philosophies. Yes, there are always going to be games on which we all disagree on; it should be rather obvious that gaming is just like any other hobby/interest: people are drawn to different aspects/genres in the gaming world. In addition, with those differing preferences come differing opinions.

What bothers me though is when a game is taken out of its own context and compared to other ones that may or may not have set out to accomplish completely different things, even if they're technically within the same genre.

It's easy to see that Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad fits the hack n' slash, action genre. Still though, does this mean we need to be reviewing the game from a comparative standpoint? Just because this is a gory, action game, does that mean it needs to be torn to pieces because it isn't God of War?

No, and that's exactly my point: video games, as with movies and really all forms of media should be analyzed within their own context. In other words, does Onechanbara live up to its very minuscule, practically nonexistent hype, lowered price point and blatant "B-movieish" vibe? Yes it does, and quite nicely at that too.

I always go into a movie, game, whatever with expectations that are based off of precisely what I'm getting myself into, not something else. This is especially true when it makes no claim or attempt to be something it isn't. That would be like giving the recently released, on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Genesis Collection huge point deductions because of its graphics.

Anyway, I probably should get off my soapbox and say something specific about the game. Onechanbara is a low-budget, straightforward zombie-chopper with a heart of gold. The graphics are not the greatest, nowhere nearly as terrible as "Xbox/PS2" level that some people are claiming, nor is the level design all that inventive. Still though, even though I bought Killzone 2 and this game more or less at the exact same time, I've been playing Onechanbara nonstop and haven't even put Killzone 2 into my PS3 yet. Unlike some other reviewers (*ahem* GameSpot) who completely missed the mark in understanding what this game truly is, I find the combat completely fun, never stale and only a tad repetitive during some of the longer missions.

Look, it comes down to this: if you're looking for a game during which you can completely turn your mind off for a change and enjoy both gratuitous violence and sexuality, then drop the $40 on this game. If not, you can always go and play your 1 millionth round of SF IV or Halo and keep on telling yourself how great the "replay" value is of dumping hundreds of hours into the same exact thing literally thousands and thousands of times over. Your choice. For me on the other hand, I'm about to go and boot up Bikini Samurai Squad and work on covering my HDTV's screen in blood in new and hilarious ways.

(Note: I'm well aware I did not talk a whole lot about game specifics, and seeing as how this is a review, I'll list a few more factual tidbits: Onechanbara is above-average in length for the genre (10-12 hours on average on Normal difficulty your first time through. There is TONS of content to unlock ranging from clothes and such for the girls (in fact, there is an entire, dedicated "Dress Up" mode to doll your blood-thirsty killers up) to new difficulties and menu backgrounds. The game has a decent amount of DLC including new costumes and characters to add to your standard three girls. There are a good amount of collectibles, most importantly bracelets which unlock various power-ups and such, but without giving anything away, only those with a good amount of skill will be able to get them.

Those out there that call this a "stale button-masher" simply are admitting they do not understand the combat system; each girl has at least two separate fighting styles and plenty of different moves for each type. On top of that they each have a special "Ecstasy Attack" as well as a "Counter Stance" move. The combination of the latter along with mastering lock-on dodging is the key to getting out of many sticky situations as well as imperative to becoming skilled at combat.

Yes, you can button mash your way through most of Easy Mode and the first few missions on Normal, but trust me when I say that without becoming proficient at the combat system, you will not get past later missions on Normal, let alone getting anywhere at all on harder difficulties. You'd also neither stand a chance at unlocking any of the bracelets nor meeting the requirements for the few dozen "Quests" that coincide with the actual game. Said quests are tied to the vast majority of the Accomplishment Points, so if you're a point-hoarder, beware.)
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