If there's one series that's the gaming equivalent of a B movie; it's Onechanbara. However, don't let the over-the-top violence carried out by a cast of scantily clad ladies make you automatically assume that it's no good. In fact, you'll have plenty of good times if you're up for it and after all, isn't having fun the reason why we play video games in the first place?
All I know about its plot after finishing Onechanbara Z2 is that two pairs of sisters teamed up to hack and slash their way through hordes of zombies, monsters, and robots. Sure, the story sequences showed the main cast drinking each other's blood to become more powerful and introduced a handful of villains that are trying to do whatever villains do, but who cares? You're probably not interested in Onechanbara for its story. Heck, even the characters don't seem to care since they were too busy one-upping each other in downright hilarious ways. Anyway, the visuals may not be the best of this generation, but they do their job of showing off the mayhem of each battle very well. The soundtrack is composed of trashy J-pop and wailing electric guitars that match the on-screen sleaziness perfectly. To complete the audio, there are satisfying sound effects and voice actresses that do fantastic jobs of giving the zombie slayers distinct personalities with attitude to spare. Overall, it may be unrefined but Onechanbara Z2's presentation is undeniably cohesive in its chaos.
You control the bloodthirsty warriors by mostly running (which is quite fast) and slashing. Thankfully, there are many features of combat that you can choose to incorporate into your repertoire or not. Besides the generic light and strong attacks; you can attack with a sub-weapon, leap towards airborne foes and battle them mid-air, evade and dash out of harm's way, and perform a few special moves. These moves consist of unleashing powerful attacks when your meter is sufficiently full, stomping on downed enemies, and two characters can even heal themselves. You don't have to know how to do everything, but mastering how and when to pull off each move will definitely give you an advantage. If you ever get skilled enough, you can pull off perfectly-timed combos and switch characters at just the right moment to powerfully execute even your toughest adversaries. To mix things up, the ability to switch characters, weapons, and skills on the fly is done seamlessly. Probably the most thrilling part of combat is when you call your fellow fighters to give you a hand. Having all four of them on screen at once as they wreak havoc on countless monstrous creations is simply awesome.
The story mode consists of 16 chapters that can easily be completed in less than five hours (and can later be finished in varying unlockable difficulties). However, there is enough extra content to keep you busy after you get through the main story. First off, there are 20 additional missions that put you in unique situations to test your skills. Trying to climb the leaderboards and outdo your efforts can be satisfying if you're the kind of gamer who enjoys such challenges. Next, a list of 30 quests which act like achievements is included. These mostly require grinding specific moves to complete, but you earn in-game rewards for doing so. Another interesting feature is that you acquire currency as you play which you can spend in a menu to purchase usable items and unlock weapons, skills, and accessories that give you stat boosts. Finally, you can customize the way the ladies look and view illustrations, character models, and music in the gallery after beating the game. In other words, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos does not disappoint when it comes to extra content.
Probably the biggest downside is that the gameplay never really changes. No matter how you slice it, you'll find yourself mindlessly hacking your way through enemy after enemy. The only significant diversion comes in the form of the odd boss, but even then most of them can be slain in the same manner as a regular enemy. Therefore, the most enjoyment you can get out of Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is to play it in short sessions since it tends to overstay its welcome sooner rather than later. Obviously, another main flaw is that it doesn't have mass appeal. If you're easily offended or simply look down at media that you find tasteless then you will definitely not have a good time.
At first glance, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is nothing but an overly sexualized gore-fest. Although it indeed is; there's more to it than meets the eye. In the end, you can't deny how much fun you'll have after you swallow your pride and leave your scruples at the door.
- + Chaotic trashy fun in its purest form
- + Loads of satisfying mechanics to master
- + Plenty of extra content to keep you busy even after you complete the story mode
- - Combat may be fun, but it remains static throughout the entire game
- - Snobs and the easily offended should avoid this like the plague