We all get the urge to jump into a mass of zombies and just let loose with whatever we happen to have on hand. We even have the urge to do this in nothing but a string bikini and cowboy hat, and then change into another string bikini with matching high heels… I could be wrong about that last part. Gamers who don’t have a problem with massive amounts of blood, zombies and busty women might be missing out on one of the most entertaining zombie series of games available. The Onechanbara.

Disappointment is abundant when it comes to games that promise fields of zombies for you to hack and slash your way through. I’m looking at you Dead Rising. So it’s a relief whenever we get to go back to the shambling hordes, and we get to take out our frustrations after trying to rescue someone because you got a message you couldn’t read at the bottom of your screen. What is even more of a relief? The fact that Japanese game makers still have no problem with the famous Capcom breast jiggle engine.

The The Onechanbara series of games originate from D3’s Simple2000 games that specialize in cheap, fun games. They don’t have a lot in way of depth or in game cinematics, but what can you expect from something written on CD discs and only costs 2,000 yen (~$20)? The Onechanbara is the Simple2000 series that stands out. In fact, they stand out so much that Microsoft picked it up to continue in Japan with last year’s release The Onechanbara: vorteX.

The Onechanbara and its many sequels have enjoyed a certain amount of success in Japan and South Korea because of their simple game play and the cathartic effect of watching a woman wearing less than Paris Hilton at a family function cutting zombies to ribbons with a katana. The series, which has four PS2 titles and one Xbox 360 release, was an evolutionary process that can be seen as the titles progressed. In the first of the series the speed at which you attacked zombies makes you miss the swift actions of Frank West, but that’s okay because the zombies aren’t terribly interested in you. On top of it there was a blood rage power up meter that filled very quickly and killed you even faster.

It wasn’t until less than a year after the first, and a pitiful expansion called The Onechanbara: Blue, that The Onechanbara 2 was released Shortly followed by its own expansion called The Onechanpon, which not only fixed the unwieldy speed and retooled the frustrating blood rage, but it added a two player option. Now you had the option to play as a bikini clad bimbo while your friend played as another bikini clad bimbo, a schoolgirl, a biker chick or roller derby girls. (They all have names, but does it really matter?)

Now don’t start revving up your zombie bloodlust and PS2 just yet. Even though you don’t need to know Japanese to get the gist of the game it’s not available on the American market, at least not to people who play by the rules. There are, however, still rumors buzzing about Tamsoft releasing vorteX for American 360s. Nothing is confirmed yet, but if there’s enough demand, it might still be possible. How does the Xbox 360 version play? I don’t know. I only have an American 360. How does it look though?



Pretty good.

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