More boobs than brain--but is that a bad thing?

User Rating: 6 | Oneechanbara vorteX: Imichi o Tsugu Monotachi X360
The onechanbara series, translated from the Japanese words onē-chan = big sister, (but also a slang term for a young adult woman) and chanbara = sword fighting, is a new hack and slash zombie fest for the xbox 360. Having made it's release in Japan back in December of 2006, Onechanbara is high action, rampant with blood and gore, "Beat em' Up" style title released by Tamsoft Stateside February 10th, 2009.

Graphics / Presentation: (Rated 3/5)

Onechanbara looks good but not great. Cut scenes were well done graphically but more often than not ran choppy. Animations were fluid with action sequences and combo's feeling right, but drops in frame rates when opponents reached higher levels numerically is always frustrating and unacceptable. Additionally, with enclosed environments (cages, fencing, random bamboo poles appearing randomly from the earth) Onechanbara was more reminiscent of past millennial dreamcast titles than the free flowing environments of the 360/PS3 generation.

Music / Sound: ( Rated 2/5)

Onechanbara sound effects were nothing extraordinary and the games soundtrack was fitting to the "Beat em" Up" title stereotype: More suitable to the 80's. Overall the music and effects were uninspired but never became overly annoying and served as a background distraction from the blood spatters and sword swings.

Story / Writing: (Rated 2/5)

Onechanbara is one title in a progressing series so naturally certain elements are going to be left out. However, though the story at times was entertaining and border line engaging, the writing and flow of the vernacular was atrocious. It's impossible to feel the mood of any story if you're constantly hitting the speed bumps of poor writing, bad sentence structure, and incomplete thoughts. The dialogue itself was pathetic at best, though comical at times with characters laughing expressed as, "Fua wa ha wa" or, "Kwa ha ho". Overall, something has definitely been lost in translation.

Creativity: (Rated 4/5)

Onechanbara I felt brought some new ideas to a game genre that traditionally replaces creativity and intuition with blood and gore. Among such ideas and concepts was a sword gauge that would gradually fill red as the blood and guts of slain opponents accumulated on the weapon. Eventually the sword will lose effectiveness to the point of being unable to cut clean and would actually get caught in zombies until the weapon was cleansed with a button press and slight time delay.

Also, though not entirely unique, was a limit break type effect that would occur when the player had killed too many zombies. Being bathed in the blood of fallen foes, the player would enter a state of blood lust which increased damage and speed while constantly draining the individuals health until a "goddess" item was consumed to break the berserk like state.

Fun Factor: (Rated 4/5)

Onechanbara is a mindless, violent, unabashedly sexy samurai smack down (In bikinis) that is both unapologetically high school and sadistically entertaining. Though the game play can be repetitive with repeated venues and simplistic combo variations, Onechanbara is filled with enough action and hidden content to keep the experience engaging and enjoyable.

FINAL = 15/25 or 60% (Rated 6 out of 10)

Final Thoughts: Onechanbara is exactly what it claims to be: A sexy, stylish, zombie genocide. I don't understand how people can review it at a 1, or 2, as it's truly not a bad game--It's not great, but it's not bad either. If you're looking for a hack and slash title that's reminiscent of the early Dynasty Warrior titles in confined spaces and with a lot more blood, Onechanbara isn't a bad choice...just don't expect any nudity.

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