Lately I’ve been in the mood for something mindless. Perhaps I’m still intoxicated from an overload of campy Halloween horror, but regardless I decided to pick up the newest Onechanbara for PS4, Z2 Chaos.
Bikini Samurai Squad is one of my Xbox 360 guilty pleasures (why yes, I’m fully aware it’s fucking terrible) and yet somehow I failed to notice Z2 Chaos even made its way stateside until stumbling upon a mini-Let’s Play by one Jim Sterling.
For those of you not sitting at the cool kids table, Onechanbara is a series of games where you control scantly clad (extreme emphasis on the term “scantly clad”) vampire women, whose job it is to massacre the undead. Imagine the most revealing female Dead or Alive fighters, just covered in blood from head to toe instead of, I don’t know, playing volleyball. You hack and slash through a sea of red, while you, the player, are rewarded with additional skimpy outfits and accessories in which to decorate your murderous eye candy.
If this sounds like Lollipop Chainsaw to you, you’re clearly in the right ballpark. It’s notorious for looking awful and playing like complete shit, but I’ve always adored its unapologetic approach to gore and b-movie horror. Basically, it’s right up my alley.
While browsing GameStop’s used game rack earlier today, I noticed they had a copy of Z2 Chaos’ Banana Split edition–which I didn’t even know I wanted until that exact moment. Having no idea what the special edition even contained, I popped open the case and saw a DLC voucher for a set of downloadable costumes that literally consist of nothing more than strawberries covering their nipples, a giant yellow banana over their vaginas, and a pair of boots that looked like something Flash Funk would have worn back in his WWF days.
This is really a thing. Don’t believe me? Here’s a screenshot that’s probably NSFW.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue with my little anecdote. I showed my girlfriend the picture of the costumes and we joked about how they all looked like they were sporting massive yellow dicks, but we both kind of hoped the voucher wasn’t already redeemed. Sadly it was.
Jumping in to the game, I experienced something unexpected; Onechanbara Z2: Chaos was actually fun.
I’ve played Bikini Samurai Squad on Xbox 360 a bit, even dabbled in Bikini Zombie Slayers on the Wii for a few minutes, but this is a drastic leap in quality so far. Level designs are awful and look like barren upscales of a long forgotten PS2 game, and the dialogue is still campy as hell, but the gameplay itself is fluid, flashy, gore-filled, and pretty damn enjoyable.
Oh, and there’s a photo mode. EVERY game needs a photo mode, in my opinion.
What differs here is the ability to play with all 4 girls at the same time (stop laughing). Each one has their own set of unlockable weapons and combos, and you can switch between all four on the fly with a simple touch of the d-pad.
Apparently they’re two sets of sisters from rival vampire clans (I think?), but they’ve (mostly) put aside their feuding in order to battle a greater evil. There’s one with a chainsaw, another that punches stuff, and plenty of katana and boomerangs to throw around while failing miserably at explaining to your girlfriend/mother/both (but not at the same time, because that’s creepy) why this is even on your TV in the first place.
The framerate is pretty stable (I imagine the eyesore backdrops aren’t exactly taxing the Playstation 4’s hardware) and performing 200+ hit combos while zipping between groups of monsters, swapping in and out of the entire playable cast at will, is awesome.
It’s not brilliant gameplay, but let’s be serious. I’m not expecting Bayonetta 2 or Devil May Cry 4 levels of polish here. I just want to carve zombies and werewolves with my chainsaw while caking the floor with their blood.
I hear it’s a relatively short game, and I’m okay with that. It’s something to blast through in one or two sittings and put it back on the shelf for a rainy day, just like Lollipop Chainsaw.
My adventure came to a close today after finishing off a boss (and his many, many zombies) atop a yacht. All was going well until I entered a quick-time event–which are super responsive and handled solely by swiping specific directions on the DualShock 4’s touchpad–and removed his top half from the bottom.
What I was left with was a 40 foot tall walking ass. Here, have a look.
Once the boss is split in half, the top and bottom parts stumble around the yacht’s floor while jumping in and out of the ocean. After dealing with countless zombie spawns and finally chipping away their respective health bars, I entered another quick-time event.
This one features one of the girls punching the seemingly endless legs in each of their ankles, thus spreading them apart. I’m sure you know where this is going. I regret to inform you males out there that, yes, she then buries her sword in the beast’s grundle and then proceeds to slice it up the crack of its ass until it splits in half, filling the screen with gore yet again. What. In. The. Fuck?
I’m intrigued, but more than anything I’m happy. Happy that XSEED took a chance in bringing this absurd, niche series’ newest entry to North America. Happy that developer Tamsoft has drastically improved gameplay on all fronts. And happy that I don’t need to rely on films to sate my lust for campy horror.
I’ve just reached the game’s halfway point and I definitely look forward to seeing what other sorts of ridiculous bullshit Onechanbara Z2: Chaos throws at me.