Onechanbara Z2 – Chaos review (PS4)

There’s more to Onechanbare Z2: Chaos than meets the eye. And what the eye meets are barely dressed ladies. Read on for the review.

Before Onechanbara Z2: Chaos, we had never played an Onechanbara game – despite the series having been around since 2004. Not all titles came to the US and Europe though, and not all of them had Onechanbara in their title when they did. Ranging from Zombie Hunters to Bikini Zombie Slayers, the liberally translated western editions did do a decent job of showcasing what Onechanbara is all about – and Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is no exception.

As its heart, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is a hack and slash game that at first sight is not too different from games like the recent Dynasty Warriors games. In terms of gameplay, the main difference is that Onechanbara Z2: Chaos might be more of a pure button masher, whereras Koei’s series also incorporates tactical and strategic elements.

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos

Obviously that’s not the only difference, and we’re not trying to ignore the elephant in the room. On top of all that traditional hacking and slashing is a thick layer of zombie-fueled gore, as well as a hefty dose of female (near-)nudity. There has always been a market for gorey games, but combining that with – shall we say – a celebration of the female body is much more rare. The Senran Kagura games do it (though without much of the game), but that’s about all we’ve seen here in the west.

Though both the blood-filled aspects and the scantily clad ladies will have their share of fans, we tried to look beyond that and we a bit surprised to actually find a halfway decent brawler underneath as well. The story is bizarre and hard to follow, but the fighting system is much deeper than you’d expect. You can get pretty far just randomly mashing buttons, but there are tons of combos to learn and master, as well as move that involve multiple characters at once.

The game plays a bit like an arcade-style hack and slash game, but with a combo system that’s more elaborate than you’d think at first. As such, the 4 hour campaign length is decent – any longer and the game could have overstayed its welcome. We’re glad we stuck with it, and didn’t just judge this book by its cover. It’s still not an earth-shattering classic and doesn’t feel very ‘next gen’ either, but it’s a fun little diversion that’s definitely not afraid to be different.

Score: 6.7/10

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