Onechanbara Z2: Chaos releases under the wings of D3 and is developed by XSeed who have created several games in the Onechanbara series dating as far back as 2004 on the PS2. With a new game on the PS4 how well does the sexually liberated game hold up and more importantly is the mixture of thongs, zombies and lots of blood worth checking out. Take a look at our Onechanbara Z2: Chaos review for the full picture.
Onechanbara Z2: Chaos Review:
Today we’re taking a look at Xseed’s latest Onechanbara game with the PS4 exclusive Onechanbara Z2: Chaos which released last year in Japan and now sees its western release. It’s not the first time the series has made its way to western shores and so there should be legions of fans well pleased at this latest offering.
In a nutshell, players assume the roles of sister hunters Kagura and Saaya and the alternative Aya and Saki who are also sisters. The story is perhaps inconsequential and can largely be ignored for the most part as all players really need to know is there are zombies and other beasts needing to be killed. The other thing that is apparent from the off is how the sisters dress in bikinis to get the job done. If you can ignore the titillating and inappropriate looks of the characters then you’ll find quite a solid action game on offer here.
What’s neat about the gameplay is how players can hot swap in an instant between the four characters who each have their own attack style as well as two main weapons and a sub weapon. Aya and Saki have their own set of skills and can dodge evade slowing down time and allowing for neat counter attacks whereas Kagura and Saaya have the option to manually heal their wounds should things get on top. It’s a great set up for players to find a preferable character and then use the others as backup and with the options to upgrade weapons, moves and add ability enhancing rings means there’s a bit more under the bonnet to mess around with.
The combat itself is pretty satisfying against varied opponents such as zombies and large boss characters with a selection of moves available for each of the ladies. Attacks come fast and fluid mixing aerial and ground based manoeuvres with much vigour and style. There’s a handy dash move which closes the gap between player and target and an ease of mashing buttons or learning combos to see one through – take your pick. In fact, whilst it’s another game which allows for success by way of hammering the buttons until the cows come home, there’s a skilful element to the gameplay as well. For those players willing to learn can get their timing right to execute more stylish moves which increase power, add attacks involving multiple characters and utilize transforming specials which ramp up the offensive capabilities even more. There’s quite a bit to master here which although feels quite daunting at first, becomes fathomable once a few hours are invested. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful gameplay hints during each loading screen which aid the learning process considerably and act as a good reference for beginners.
In terms of visuals the game’s looks are a mixed bag with some low resolution textures used for the environments which can only be described as functional at best and rather generic. The character models fare a little better but when viewing up close you can clearly see a lack of texture detail. That said, the character design and their outfits are pretty neat in a tacky way and have been designed to titillate as much as possible and certainly make up for the lack of overall detail. The game also runs pretty smoothly throughout even when there are four characters hacking away at groups of enemies and large bosses – or both. The only minor complaint here is that sometimes the view gets too obscured with attack animation effects making the screen filled with a mash up of colours making it hard to actually tell what is what. The camera can also be a little problematic in places as well which isn’t great for this type of game.
Audio is of a good quality with some competent voice acting for the main characters despite the script being a little awkward at times. The ladies are likeable although the music behind them is probably an acquired taste as it’s filled with screeching guitars and up-tempo tracks to suit the gameplay. Other sound effects are as expected and so there’s not much to fault in this department as it works as intended especially once the music is muted (if that’s your preference).
Players can challenge themselves with the game’s story mode which is set across 16 stages. Sadly it’s over all too quickly where to get any sort of longevity you’re encouraged to replay it several times whilst upping the difficulty. Playing the story again adds additional layers each time making each playthrough slightly different in terms of enemies and bosses. There’s also a mission mode which has plentiful challenges to complete across the difficulties and a quest option which sits in the background and requires specific gameplay elements to be repeated several times unlocking extra character customization items in the process. The customization adds very little to the core game but does serve as a bit of fun for dressing up each character in unusual threads. It’s pretty basic stuff but offers some options to allow a personal touch to the characters. There’s some unlockable artwork to strive for and a model viewer which is neat if you’re into looking at the ladies up close and personal.
Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is a solid action game that houses some neat combat mechanics combined with overtly sexualized female characters and some deliberately groan inducing humour. It makes no bones about this and simply says if you don’t like it then find something else to play. In this regard one shouldn’t let the sexy looks lure you into a false sense of security as the game is quite challenging once the difficulty is upped and there’s a fair bit to strive for if you can handle beating a short but sweet campaign several times over. For its low price then the value is fair, but it’s a shame there’s not much meat here for those who aren’t into replaying the same stuff over and over. If you like games such as Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, then this is worth checking out despite a lack of graphical finesse expected from a PS4 game.