Otaku USA Magazine
Preview – Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers


Oops! I seem to have—gotten *ahem* my freaking—sword STUCK—in your—freaking…CHEST—you son of a—zombie—bastard! That’ll teach me to kill them faster than I can clean my blade with a decisive swipe of the Wii remote, flinging the blood haughtily to the ground. Actually, maybe it’s just the pink boa that makes it look so haughty.


Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers is not the first in the series of “big sister swordplay” (that’s the Japanese pun) games, but they’ve broken out of their Simple Series roots and are making their way for the first time to North America with both this Wii title and the entirely separate 360 game, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (which hasn’t been shown yet). The subtitle really says it all: you take control of super human, blood-fueled sisters, Aya (who does wear a bikini) and Saki (because there has to be a sailor fuku somewhere) as they•slay zombies. Piles and piles. With swords. You can even customize the color of the blood that spurts, sprays, and splatters with every slice.
Aya, the older sis, is, for starters, awesome because of that boa I mentioned, but she’s also a dual-wielder, which comes in pretty high on my list of melee badassery. She can use just one sword and shake the nunchuck to kick, but I’m much more interested swiping horizontally with the nunchuck and remote at the same time to get a handy double-bladed sweep. That’s not to say you’ll be clearing many paths—the zombies just get cut till the zombie-cutting is done.


Saki, the little schoolgirl flavored berserker, only uses one sword, but it has a better range. She also has throw moves, so if you lock onto a target and shake the remote while pulling the analog stick to the front, back, or side, she’ll chuck her opponent into whatever is nearby–safety railings work well.

Both sisters collect dropped orbs for use during an upgrade phase between levels, and both have to keep their weapons clean to keep their moves flowing smoothly and avoid “sticky” situations. The final, and key, point they share is the ability to go on a rampage after filling a bloody meter via killing. Unfortunately, with true power comes true-death, as being faster and stronger drains your life away. The only way to keep the streak going is to heal at the goddess statue (a healing station in each level) or find shards of the statue and hearts that zombies drop. I wasn’t really joking about buying Onechanbara when it releases early ’09. This is super otaku happy time—D3Publisher isn’t even bothering with a dub because they know it’s for us and we want nothing short of the original Japanese. Maybe it’s not quite as involved as Devil May Cry, but it would be a sad day if gamers pass up the opportunity to hack ‘n slash the undead as a co-op pair of cute girls.

Publisher: D3 Publisher
Developer: Tamsoft
System: Nintendo Wii
Available: Early ’09
Rating: M