Oneechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers WII [REVIEW] | Carpal Zombie Syndrome

As i said in the review of Bikini Samurai Squad, D3 Publisher released that and this Wii exclusive the same year in western territories. Aside being a fairly logical choice to do a “double feature” with games clearly drawing heavily from exploitation cinema of the 70s, these two games happen to be sequels, main installments in the Oneechanbara, as Bikini Zombie Slayers (“Oneechanbara 4”) is set after Bikini Samurai Squad (“Oneechanbara 3”), and features all characters from that game.

The story itself… it’s hard to say it has a plot. I played it years ago and completely forgot anything about the plot, so i had to google it and even that didn’t yield any synopsis, so i had to bust out the game’s physical manual, the old, old school way. One that would never fail… if they actually print any kind of story in the booklet to begin with.

They didn’t in this case.

So, i’ll state this: Bikini Zombie Slayers has a plot. Some dead characters get resurrected due to shameless convenience, they never properly explain how, but then again, the few cinematics and pieces of narrative don’t really bother to explain anything and just assume you’ve played the other games in the series and know these characters. Not that the “plot” is worth sitting through, i’m sure they fully expected people skipping the cutscenes and dialogues most – if not all – the time, so it’s not exactly a “flaw”. You need something substiantly enough to be flawed.

If you wanna go through each cutscenes, dumps of scrolling text put in lieu of cutscenes, and write a synopsis for this game, you’re welcome. I’m serious. I don’t even remember a new villain or enemy showing up for it and then coming back in later games, i feel it’s that pointless of a plot.

Sure as hell i’m not going through all the game again just to catalogue that, especially because this time each character has its own different story mode with different cutscenes and some different missions (still reusing most of the few locales). And as of why, it will be clear soon enough.

The main difference can be guessed or found in the original japanese subtitle, “Revolution”, as in this is a Wii game, and it uses the Wiimote motion controls… exclusively. Yes, is one of those games that would play better with regular inputs, but because they “had” to use the tech and make sure you do as well, so you will need Wiimote and Nunchuck to play it. No Classic Controller support.

You might think this isn’t so bad, since No More Heroes also did that, but that was a far better game clearly made with the Wii in mind, one that didn’t map the basic sword swing to the Wiimote shake in a fuckin hack n slash game. Bikini Zombie Slayers did exactly that, which is a perfect recipe for carpal tunnel. Heck, even Soul Calibur Legends managed to make it.. slightly not worse.

This could be made okay if you could just remap the sword attacks to A instead of the shake and cleaning the sword to the shake instead, it would have been even more appropriate than having you hold B and then shake to clean the sword. But no, A is for jumping… in a game where you need to jump…. ONCE. I’ve noted this down in my old review, and it’s well worth saying again.

Screw joking about the campy plot and low grade exploitation style garbage dialogues, this is something that should have been criminal to sell, since it’s an obvious bad setup, gimmicky and – more importantly – potentially harmful. Rarely you see a videogame capable of inflicting physical damage on the player outside of some weird prototype that never makes it to market.

The only thing that softens the blow is that levels are shorter than usual, it’s clear they realized the effects of extended play with this control setup, definitely that more than hardware limitations, even on the Wii. I’ve seen other hack n slash games run on it better, for fuck’s sake.

Then again, this isn’t exactly anything new for the series, but it’s clear they figured out to make level way shorter than 10 minutes (sometimes 2 minutes long) and avoid much of the fudging around with keys in order to shorten these and reduce the stress on you wrist caused by continuous shaking/jerking of the Wiimote. And it’s the shorter game in the series yet, requiring 4/5 hours to beat, split into 5 character focused campaign that require 1 hour or less each.

It’s pointless to go over gameplay in any more depth, because the progression system and overall combat is the same as the one in Bikini Samurai Squad, and Onechanbara as a whole. Just made worse by a sadistic forced use of motion controls (used for special moves as well), because they wanted to make sure you didn’t just play a garbage game with more imprecise controls, but one that could hurt more than your brain or taste.

All with the same plethora of flaws i’ve found and criticized in the previous Oneechanbara reviews.

And as odd as it may sound, this is actually a lil better in the technical department than Bikini Samurai Squad, which was made in 2006 (basically a “launch title” for the 360) but released in the west 3 years later… even though most of the locations seem recycled from that. But it’s probably not, even though with it being a budget release from D3 Publisher… that would be an educated guess that’s correct. But there are original assets…within the nearly identical levels that appear in each Onechanbara titles, making them mesh together into a blob of garbage even more.

Really, even the modes are the same as the ones found in Bikini Samurai Squad, down to having co-op multiplayer. I could imagine Bikini Zombie Slayers played in co-op.

I won’t.

Final Verdict

Garbage low budget games are an acquired taste for the most masochistic and curious players, willing to explore pretty much any niche and abyss.

But how about a low budget crappy beat em up that not only doesn’t fix any of the issues seen in previous installments (stiff combat, fidgety controls, repetive as hell but without enough real content to compensate), but decides to add physical injury as a side-dish to the mental one?

While quite common to see developers using tech that’s new just for the hell of it, the Wii era brought also to insane decisions like making a beat em up where instead of mapping the main attack (an action that you will repeat continuosly) to a regular button, it’s to the shaking of the Wiimote.

“Why are were? Just to suffer?”

I’m sure that won’t cause any carpal tunnel damage, aside from being stupid, gimmicky and annoying as hell. And you can’t use a Classic Controller for this one, you’ll either use the motion controls or don’t bother at all, you can’t even remap the controls. I would consider Tamsoft making the levels (and by extension, the game) shorter than usual a mercy of sorts, but it’s more like a bad solution to a problem they designed to begin with. Because they did.

Oddly, while it seems like a port of Bikini Samurai Squad, this is actually the sequel, and doesn’t look that bad (it could look and run worse), but it’s an easy mistake to make, given how most Oneechanbara titles have similar looking stages and probably recycle assets to some degree. Hard to tell, exactly because at a glance (and not only that) these games are hard to tell apart, quite hard.

I would bash the story of the game, but i’m not even sure the game has one, or one that goes anywhere or introduces new characters during the 5 hours required to finish all the characters’ story modes. Not that it will be an issue, because like most old Oneechanbara titles, it has become a collectors item and goes for some not small prices on second hand market.

Not that i would encourage anyone to bust his carpal tunnel for……Oneechanbara.




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